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Judge tells waste collector he has a case to answer over illegal dumping

Letterkenny-courthouse

A JUDGE has told one of Donegal’s largest refuse collectors that he has a case to answer in relation to charges of illegally dumping hundreds of tonnes of waste in a field he owns in front of his mother’s home near Falcarragh.

Judge Paul Kelly made the comment at Letterkenny District Court today (Tuesday) where Jim Ferry of Rossbracken, Manorcunningham, was facing nine charges relating to the illegal disposal of household waste at Doire Uí Fríll, Falcarragh, on June 10, 2010.

Judge Kelly dismissed one of the charges after the prosecutor, Donegal County Council, admitted that a notice was not served correctly on Ferry.

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Ferry’s barrister, Mr Sean Gillane SC, asked that all charges be dismissed, however, the judge refused the application after almost two hours of deliberation.

Most of the day was taken up with legal argument in the absence of the council’s key witness, Waste Enforcement Officer, Mr Dearn McClintock.

The court also heard about a bizarre development which took place at the end of the first day of the hearing when one of Ferry’s employees approached his solicitor with a hand written letter claiming it was he who was responsible for the dumping.

The employee also stated that it was carried out without Ferry’s knowledge.

The case will resume tomorrow (Wednesday) when the defence will go into evidence and is expected to conclude by lunch time.

At yesterday’s sitting, Judge Kelly was shown covert video recordings showing two of Ferry’s distinctive green and yellow bin lorries dumping waste in holes in the field before it was buried using a track digger at around 5 am on the morning in question.

One of the men was wearing a hi-viz jacket with the name ‘Ferry Refuse’ emblazoned across the back of it.

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The recordings were made by Mr McClintock, who was taken to the isolated location by an anonymous member of the public.

The council’s barrister, Richard Lyons SC, told the court that Mr McClintock arrived back at the site six days later, on June 16, in the company of a local garda sergeant and, again, one of Ferry’s lorries was dumping waste.

However, when he and his colleague identified themselves to the lorry and digger drivers, they made off on foot and gardai could not catch them.

A geophysical survey revealed that more than 1,000 cubic metres of waste had been buried there.

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