A JUDGE has given a Donegal waste collection company a final warning over an astonishing unpaid €319,614 bill to Donegal County Council.
The cash-strapped local authority is taking legal action against Ferry’s Refuse and its owner Jim Ferry for failing to pay landfill fees.
The county council has been pursuing Ferry’s for the monies since 2010, Letterkenny District Court was told.
Solicitor Lisa Finnegan, acting for Donegal County Council, said the authority hadn’t been paid any monies towards the debt.
Kevin McElhinney, solicitor for Mr Ferry, said he had just received instructions for the case as it had been dealt with by a Dublin legal firm up until now and they didn’t want to incur the costs of travelling to Letterkenny.
He said Jim Ferry had told him that he had paid monies to the council but “there appears to be an element of confusion” as these monies had been taken off other landfill charges and not the debt.
Judge Paul Kelly commented that there had been a “substantial number of adjournments from March 2010 and every month since then”.
The judge said that there was “scant respect being shown to the creditor or the court” in the case by Mr Ferry.
On the explanation that Ferry’s monies to the council had come off the ‘wrong’ county council account, Judge Kelly commented: “He would have to pay that other bill anyway.”
Mr McElhinney responded: “Yes and I have explained that to him (Jim Ferry).”
Judge Kelly said that despite the outstanding debt since March 2010 no statement had been entered into the court on behalf of Ferry’s.
He said he was adjourning the case for a month to give Ferry’s “one last opportunity” to respond.
He ordered that Jim Ferry appear at Letterkenny District Court on February 4, that his solicitor file a statement of his means and income and a full schedule of payments and non-payments be filed to the court and to council solicitor Ms Finnegan.
“Mr Ferry must be present,” added the judge.
Earlier this week the refuse company was fined €2,000 for failing to tax two of its bin lorries.
Last year the company faced fines and charges of €42,000 for illegally dumping outside Falcarragh.
The company has been given until later this year to pay those fines.