Thursday 25 February 2010

€60,000 dumping fine for waste firm and boss

A WASTE disposal company and its director, Louis Moriarty, have been fined a total of € 60,000 at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for illegal dumping in Co. Wicklow.

Judge Tony Hunt said it was ironic that hotelier Moriarty (68) was now trading on Ireland's image as a green and beautiful country in his current business in contrast to his illegal dumping activities nine years ago.

Swalcliffe Ltd , trading as Dublin Waste, of East Wall Industrial Complex, Dublin 3, pleaded guilty, through solicitor Mr Vincent Shannon, to holding or disposing of waste in a manner that caused or was likely to cause environmental pollution on dates in 2001 at lands owned by Clifford Fenton at Coolnamadra, Donard.

Company director Moriarty, of Griffith Avenue, Drumcondra, pleaded guilty to disposing of waste in manner that could cause pollution at the Coolnamadra site and at Whitestown, Baltinglass over three months in 2001.

Moriarty had made a saving of between €1,000 and €2,250 per lorry load by dumping the waste illegally.

Judge Hunt noted that although Moriarty was only responsible for 14 lorry loads or 350 tonnes of waste from the total of 8,000 tonnes ultimately recovered from Coolnamadra, he had paid over €1.3 million for remediation of the entire site all waste.

There was some hospital waste dumped by Swalcliffe at this site but it was largely non-hazardous.

He said that compared to any commercial benefit gained the cost of the remediation 'was a punishment in itself '.

Judge Hunt noted that Mr Patrick Gageby SC, defence counsel for Moriarty and Swalcliffe, had indicated that Moriarty was also willing to pay for remediation work at Whitestown but this has been held up due to civil proceedings.

Mr Gageby said a sum in excess of one million euro could be made available for the work.

An estimated 8,000 tonnes of waste in 314 lorry loads was deposited at Whitestown by Moriarty's company including mixture of demolition waste and household waste. There are an estimated 90,000 tonnes of waste at Whitestown in two landfills for which prosecutions have been brought against a number of people.

Mr Donal O'Laoire, environmental consultant, gave evidence that remediation of the entire site at Whitestown would cost approximately €3.8 million euro.

Judge Hunt said the risk to the environment had been eliminated at Coolnamadra and he could not see significant actual damage at Whitestown but understood there was the potential for pollution as long as the waste remained.

Detective Garda Declan O'Brien told Mr Paul Murray BL, prosecuting, that the gardai became involved in the case in February 2002 when they received a complaint from Wicklow County Council after a council worker observed a lorry entering the site at Coolnamadra and

investigations were carried out in the area.

Moriarty was interviewed by gardai on a number of occasions and admitted dumping waste from his sorting premises on East Wall at the two sites in Wicklow after the landowners had agreed to accept waste.

Swalcliff has two previous convictions and Moriarty one previous conviction in relation to similar activities

Mr. Gageby said the remediation of Coolnamadra was an example of 'the polluter pays' and submitted that Moriarty had been 'stymied' in his efforts to do similar work at Whitestown by the ongoing civil case.

A number of other people have already been sentenced at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in relation to illegal dumping activities at Whitestown and Coolnamadra sites.

Wicklow People

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