Four convictions were recorded in Claremorris District Court this week for illegal dumping at a site in Claremorris which cost Mayo County Council over €10,000 to clean up. One person pleaded guilty to the charges in court, while one other person was convicted in her absence and two others who pleaded not guilty were also convicted by Judge Mary Devins.
Des Hannick, an environmental enforcement officer for Mayo County Council, told the court that on April 2 2009 he carried out an inspection at an illegal dumping site in Clare, Claremorris, close to the intersection of the N17 and the railway line. Where there was wide scale illegal dumping at one location there were 12 bags of rubbish. When a total clean up of the site, which was owned by Mayo County Council, happened in June of this year 70 tonnes of rubbish was taken off the site at the cost of €10,650. After initially denying the charge in court Mary Collins, 35 Luí na Gréine, Claremorris, pleaded guilty to the charge after being shown photographic evidence of the dumping at a site where a letter addressed to herself had been found.
Mr Hannick also told the court that at another site he found a letter addressed to Paddy and Mary McDonnagh, 56 An Sruthán, Turlough Road, Castlebar, from Castlebar Town Council. McDonnagh denied the charge and told the court that he was a client of McGrath Industrial Waste and his children used his address as a postal address and somebody else could have taken the letter by mistake and it ended up in the rubbish because he knew nothing about it or the dumping. The fourth person charged and convicted was Margaret O’Connor of Knock Road, Claremorris. Mr Hannick told the court that a torn up envelope with her address on it was found, and following on from investigations on the electoral register, the land registry, and with the local Garda station he was happy that the envelope was addressed to the accused person.
Margaret O’Connor was convicted and fined €2,000 plus €500 towards the council’s costs. She had a similar conviction in 2002. Mary Collins was convicted and fined €500 plus €300 towards the council’s costs, Paddy and Mary McDonnagh were jointly fined €500 and €500 towards the council’s costs.