West Donegal man operating illegal car-breaker’s yard is fined

May 18, 2023

A man has appeared in court after an illegal car breakers yard was discovered in Gortahork.

Joe Woods appeared at Falcarragh District Court under the Waste Management Act following a prosecution brought by Donegal County Council.

Mr Woods was charged with ten counts of waste abandonment.

The charge relates to the unauthorised development at Keeldrum, Gortahork on March 12th, 2021.

Waste Enforcement Officers from the council visited the site and found a vehicle on its side held up by a bucket and digger.

As well as other ‘roll on, roll off’ machinery’, there were a number of other car shells on the site.

The enforcement officers asked for Joe Woods but were told by his mother and father that he was not present.

The officers took a number of pictures at the scene and left.

Solicitor for Donegal County Council, Mr Kevin McElhinney told the court that Mr Woods had worked with the council on the issue and had undertaken works at his site since the visit of the enforcement officers.

He added that the council were now satisfied that the site had been brought into compliance with legislation.

In response, solicitor for the accused Mr Frank Dorrian, said this had been an “improvised operation” but had grown to a certain level without any knowledge or regard for legislation referring to it as “a cottage industry.”

However, he added that as soon as Mr Woods, who has no previous convictions, was approached he responded appropriately and that he was now in the process of applying for a Waste Management License.

“They were a little naive in their approach but that has stopped and they will do it in a methodical way,” added Mr Dorrian.

Judge Éiteáin Cunningham replied by saying it appeared that the issue had been “somewhat resolved and work has been conducted.”

Solicitor for Donegal County Council, Mr McElhinney said there had been high costs in the case, €3,569, which were due in part to the number of visit from enforcement officers.

Judge Cunningham noted the accused was now complying.

She ordered him to pay the costs and also fined him a total of €350 and allowed him six months to pay.



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