'Slab' Murphy paid rent to farmer in cash, trial hears
A farmer told members of the Criminal Assets Bureau that a man named Thomas Murphy rented land from him and paid him in cash, the Special Criminal Court in Dublin.
It is the prosecution's case that, although prominent republican Thomas 'Slab' Murphy conducted significant dealings in relation to land and cattle, he failed to make any returns to Revenue.
Mr Murphy (66), of Ballybinaby, Hackballscross, Co Louth, has pleaded not guilty to nine charges alleging that he failed to furnish a return of his income, profits or gains or the source of his income, profits or gains to the Collector General or the Inspector of Taxes for the years 1996/97 to 2004.
Mr Murphy is being prosecuted on foot of an investigation by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).
A statement given by Co Meath farmer Brian Garvey in October, 2005, to CAB was read into evidence in court yesterday by Paul Burns SC, prosecuting.
The court heard that Mr Garvey told CAB members that, in 1996 or 1997, a man named Thomas Murphy began renting land from him. The rent was paid in cash and occasionally in third-party cheques from oil companies.
Thomas Murphy rented 246 acres off Mr Garvey for five or six years, Mr Garvey said in his statement. Mr Garvey told CAB that, from 1999 to 2002, Thomas Murphy paid IR£25,000 per year in cash. The court also heard from Mr Garvey's statement that Thomas Murphy's nephew once gave Mr Garvey €5,000 for rent.
"Other than the €5,000 given by his nephew, all of the other money was given to me by Tom Murphy," Mr Garvey told CAB.
Under cross-examination, Mr Garvey agreed with John Kearney QC, defending, that in 1994, during the initial negotiations about renting the land, a man named Patrick Murphy was the chief negotiator.
He also agreed with Mr Kearney that variations were made to the terms of the rental agreement and the "primary person" who discussed these was Patrick Murphy. The trial continues.