Unpaid farm worker lived in a steel container with no toilet or running water, court hears
A North Galway farmer, who employed a Brazilian national to work on his land 16 hours a day, failed to pay the 47-year-old man, Tuam District Court was told this week.
The Brazilian worked on the farm for three months and during this time, he lived in squalor inside a steel container where there were no basic facilities like a toilet or even running water.
Farmer Thomas Killarney from Knockauncarragh, Ryehill, Monivea was before the court charged with employing a non-national without a permit. Killarney admitted the offence.
Prosecuting Sergeant Daithi Cronin told the court that the Brazilian national had called to the Garda Station in Tuam and complained that he had worked on the farm for three months and hadn’t got paid.
He told the Gardai that he would work 16 hours a day, seven days a week and during this time he lived in the steel container with no toilet facilities.
The Gardai became concerned about the complaint and Garda Frank Fahy carried out an investigation during when he spoke to farmer Thomas Killarney to said that he was not aware that he needed a permit to employ the particular individual.
The court was told that the Brazilian man was spoken to on a number of occasions by the Gardai and informed them that the arrangement with the farmer was to work for 16 hours and he was told that he would receive €60 payment per day.
“Even that’s below the minimum wage”, remarked Judge John King who said that he found it unacceptable that this man, who declined to come to court, was asked to work such hours.