Site owner may be jailed over waste

Construction waste has been dumped at a site in north Cork which has been the subject of years of legal actions to have rubbish removed.

A case against Seán Murphy, of Mylane Cross, Co Cork, was before Cork District Court yesterday. The matter had come before the court at least 10 times. Judge John King suggested the prospect of a prison sentence “might concentrate Seán Murphy’s mind”.

He adjourned the case until September 26 but made it peremptory against the defendant. “A custodial sentence awaits him if no progress is made,” said Judge King.

The matter had been raised before the High Court over the past 10 years. The judge inquired how much the legal fees in the case had cost the taxpayer. County Hall solicitor Lee Wah Pay advised they had run to €80,000.

Ms Wah Pay said the case was about the storing of waste without a licence. The property owner was directed to remove all waste from the site. “It is still not remediated and new waste material was found on the site.”

Fergus Appelbe, defending, said the defendant’s nephew had taken major steps to address the problems on the site, which he described as 90% better than it had been.

The case was before Cork District Court last March and Mr Appelbe conceded: “I am afraid it has slipped back a bit again recently.”

Judge King noted: “Since March 2018, it appears no progress has been made.”

Mr Appelbe conceded: “I could not argue with that.” He outlined particular challenges of the defendant and said Murphy was not the one who was cleaning up the site.

“Does he want to go to Cork prison,” asked the judge. After a brief adjournment Mr Appelbe said the defendant’s nephew would have the site cleaned up by September.


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