A former county secretary of Mayo County Council along with three waste companies have been found not guilty of sharing markets and customers in 2005 under the Competition Act.
The charges related to a tender for waste disposal for Mayo County Council who were privatising the service at the time.
Padraig Hughes, who retired as Mayo county secretary in 2000, denied three counts of aiding, abetting, counselling, or procuring three waste disposal companies to commit an offence by entering into an agreement with each other to prevent, restrict, or distort competition by sharing the market of the provision of waste collection services in Mayo. He also denied three further charges of aiding, abetting, counselling, or procuring the three companies to enter into an agreement with each other to share customers in Mayo, thus preventing competition.
The directors of three waste companies: Stanley Bourke of Bourke Waste Removal Ltd, Clogher, Westport; Patrick and Declan McGrath of McGrath Industrial Waste Ltd, Turlough, Castlebar; and Paul Gleeson of Wheeley Environmental Refuse Services Ltd T/A Wers Waste, Weir Road, Tuam, all denied two charges each of entering into an agreement which would see them sharing customers and sharing the market for the provision of waste collection services.
A jury at the trial at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Galway returned a verdict of not guilty on all counts yesterday (Thursday ) afternoon.