A man who was found guilty of dumping in a protected bog has been ordered to pay €18,810.
The case was brought before Mullingar District Court by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage on Thursday 8 of April.
The man was convicted and fined a total of €15,000, plus €3,810 in costs for dumping in 2020 in the protected Milltownpass Bog Natural Heritage Area.
Milltownpass Bog is designated as a Natural Heritage Area (NHA) under the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000.
One hundred truckloads
National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) ranger Tríona Finnen gave evidence that she investigated reports of dumping in February 2020.
On two dates, she observed a truck dump soil material within the protected NHA on lands registered in the ownership of the Minister and on adjacent land.
An estimated combined total of 100 truckloads of soil were dumped
The court heard that there was no licence or permit in place for the dumping from either the county council or from the NPWS.
When questioned by Finnen, under caution, the man admitted employing a driver to transport and dump soil on the land. An estimated combined total of 100 truckloads of soil were dumped in the protected NHA during the spring of 2020.
The judge was satisfied that the man should be convicted on all summonses before the court and he stated that the breaches had to be treated as aggravated breaches of the law.
The man indicated that he intended appealing the verdict. The case against the other defendant, the truck driver, was adjourned until the 17 June.
I welcome this judgement and fine. I hope it will serve as a deterrent
Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan, in welcoming the judgement, said illegal dumping is a serious issue, even more so when it impacts on important habitats.
“I welcome this judgement and fine. I hope it will serve as a deterrent to others who engage in such activities and I commend my team in the NPWS and all those who helped to bring about this successful prosecution.”