Man given chance to come to court over green diesel charge

September 10, 2023

A man found driving a vehicle with marked diesel and who gave false details to revenue officers at a checkpoint will be sentenced next month.

Martin Gerard Harty has been given one last chance to come before Letterkenny District Court having failed to show this week when the case was mentioned.

Harty, a 32-year-old of Woodlands Park, Portarlington, County Laois, was stopped at a multi-agency checkpoint at 2.55pm on March 15, 2019 at Lawnsdale, Ballybofey.

Under section 134 of the Finance Act, 2001, Harty was asked to pull into the side as Revenue officers wished to conduct a fuel check.

A Revenue officer told the court that he identified himself to Harty using his Revenue ID. A sample of fuel was taken which the office said was ‘very green in colour’.

Two samples were drawn from the fuel tank and sealed in tamper-proof tins. Harty took a sample while the other was sent to the State laboratory.

In August 2019, Harty was issued with notice of a detection of fuel irregularity. The State lab confirmed the presence of prescribed markers in the fuel, meaning that the fuel was illegal for the vehicle in question.

When stopped at the checkpoint, the defendant gave his name as Gerard Harty while the name on the Revenue system is Martin Gerard Harty. He also gave an incorrect house number and a date of birth that was out by one year, the Revenue officer told the court.

In the absence of Harty, Judge Éiteáin Cunningham said she found the facts proven. Judge Cunningham said she was affording the accused one opportunity to come to court and adjourned the matter until October 3 for sentencing.