Silouette graphic representing Tipperary

Circuit court upholds waste management conviction

Nenagh courthouse
Press Release
13 March 2024

At Nenagh Circuit Court on 22 February 2024, Tipperary County Council was successful in securing a conviction, under the Waste Management Act 1996, as amended, against an individual in respect of significant unauthorised waste activities in County Tipperary.

The defendant had previously been convicted by Judge Elizabeth MacGrath at Thurles District Court on 20 June 2023 and, notwithstanding non-appearance at the District Court, had appealed these convictions. The case was fully contested, by the defendant’s legal representatives, in a hearing before Judge Catherine Staines at Nenagh Circuit Court.

Evidence was given on behalf of Tipperary County Council at Nenagh Circuit Court of the significant waste discovered at the specified location. The Court was provided with photographs taken as part of a Council site inspection showing the large-scale extent of the unauthorised operation. There were no controls in place in terms of mitigating any risk of environmental pollution. Evidence was given of an ongoing risk of environmental pollution given the nature of the waste materials involved and the lack of impermeable surfacing and appropriate storage areas.The site creates significant risk to the atmosphere, land, soil and water and has an adverse effect on the countryside. The defendant is the registered land owner of the site in question. 

Judge Staines was satisfied to convict the defendant in respect of the three offences as alleged. She commented that there are strong public policy reasons for the proper enforcement of waste management legislation in the context of such dumping and abandonment of waste. 

The following penalties, imposed by the District Court against the defendant, were upheld by the Circuit Court: offence for the abandonment, dumping or unauthorised management of waste - a fine of €2,000;offence of holding, transporting, recovering or disposal of waste in a manner that causes or is likely to cause environmental pollution – a fine of €2,000; and an offence of disposal or recovery of waste without a licence – a fine of €3,000.

Judge Staines also directed that the defendant discharge costs of €12,300 to Tipperary County Council. Therefore, the total financial penalty imposed was €19,300. 

Mr. Tom Flynn, SC, instructed by Messrs. Mason Hayes Curran, solicitors, appeared for Tipperary County Council.