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04 Dec 2021

Driving ban for Limerick cousins over illegal dumping during lockdown

Driving ban for Limerick cousins over illegal dumping during lockdown

A still image from the CCTV footage which was played in court

TWO cousins who were convicted of dumping waste illegally during last year’s Covid lockdown have each been fined and disqualified from driving.

After convicting Daniel and Patrick McNamara of several offences under the Waste Management Act, Judge Mary Cashin said they had polluted the countryside and that their behaviour was outrageous and cannot be tolerated.

Both defendants, aged in their 40s, were convicted, in their absence, last year in relation to an incident at Bushy Island, Drombanna on May 11, 2020.

Daniel McNamara, who has an address at Windmill Street, Limerick and Patrick McNamara, who has an address at Meadowland Avenue, Old Cork Road, were sentenced last week after bench warrants for their arrests were executed.

During last November’s hearing, Environmental Inspector Paul Clancy said the defendants had dumped “a large quantity of waste” on the side of a narrow rural road at 6.30am.

CCTV footage, played to the court, shows the defendants arriving in a red Ford Transit Van and removing the rubbish and dumping at the entrance to a field.

Daniel McNamara was the driver and registered owner of the van while Patrick McNamara was a front seat passenger.

Patrick McNamara was also before the court in relation to an incident at Garryglass Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston on October 17, 2019.

Mr Clancy said he observed the defendant “bringing bucket loads of rubbish from a house and loading it onto the back of a truck”. He did not have a waste collection permit and was not authorised to transport the rubbish.

In a further prosecution, Daniel McNamara was convicted in relation to an incident at Raheen Business Park in the early hours of April 3, 2020.

On that date, emergency services responded to a rubbish fire in the car park outside a business premises shortly before 7am.

CCTV was obtained and it was established a van had arrived in the area and that the occupants had emptied the rubbish from the vehicle and set it alight.

Daniel McNamara was identified as the driver and a woman who was connected to the partially-burnt rubbish told the court she had paid ‘a Daniel McNamara’ €500 to remove rubbish from her late father’s home after finding him on Facebook.

During the sentencing hearing, Joseph McMahon BL, said his clients were apologetic and he urged the court not to impose prison sentences as had been previously indicated.

Solicitor Will Leahy, representing the local authority, said he had no objection to the imposition of a disqualification in lieu of a custodial sentence.

Noting the personal circumstances of the defendants, Judge Cashin said she would not impose prison sentence.

Daniel McNamara was fined a total of €1,500 and banned from driving for nine months. He was also ordered to pay €2,250 towards the council’s costs.

Patrick McNamara was also disqualified from driving for nine months. He was fined €3,000 and must pay €3,750 in costs.

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