CONCERNS have been expressed that there is a sizeable market in Limerick for illicit tax discs following the seizure of an “elaborate counterfeit” disc by gardai,
Limerick Court was told a false disc was discovered by Garda Pat Melody of the divisional traffic corps when he stopped a van at Pa Healy, Road, Corbally on August 17, last.
The driver of the van - Niall Griffin of Island Road pleaded guilty to using the false disc and to driving without Motor-Tax when he was stopped.
After the disc was produced in court, Judge Eugene O’Kelly commented that it was a “very elaborate counterfeit” and that it wasn’t “just a scanned document”.
Noting that the disc had perforated edges, similar to genuine tax discs, the judge said: “It has been worked on to add to its appearance”.
Garda Melody agreed that the false disc was of high quality and he told the court the defendant admitted that he been stopped by other gardai who had failed to notice that the disc was false.
When asked by the judge if there is a market for counterfeit tax discs in Limerick, Garda Melody replied there is saying: “I have detected a good few of them”.
Solicitor John Devane said Mr Griffin, who is an unemployed steel fabricator, could not not afford to tax his vehicle at the time.
He added that his client did not tell gardai who supplied him with the false disc “out of fear” for his safety.
After commending Garda Melody for his sharp eye, Judge O’Kelly imposed fined Mr Griffin a total of €700.
He also requested a Community Service report indicating that he considering a 200 hour penalty in lieu of a five month prison sentence.