Business Irish

Saturday 24 August 2019

Swissport fined €24,000 for green diesel breaches that cost taxpayer

At Ennis District Court, Judge Patrick Durcan said that Swissport Ireland Ltd was engaged
At Ennis District Court, Judge Patrick Durcan said that Swissport Ireland Ltd was engaged "in a practice that was costing the Irish taxpayer a considerable amount of money - there would be a huge loss of revenue to the Irish Exchequer" (stock photo)

Gordon Deegan

The Irish arm of international airport ground handler Swissport has been hit with a €24,000 fine after it pleaded guilty to using 'green diesel' at its Shannon Airport operation.

At Ennis District Court, Judge Patrick Durcan said that Swissport Ireland Ltd was engaged "in a practice that was costing the Irish taxpayer a considerable amount of money - there would be a huge loss of revenue to the Irish Exchequer".

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Judge Durcan said that the practice by Swissport Ireland in using marked gas oil (MGO) could have been going on for years and the loss to the Irish State "must run into very considerable sums of money".

Solicitor for Swissport Ireland John Casey said that the use of the green diesel on November 2, 2017 "was not intentional" and the company has taken steps to make it impossible that the fuel would be used again.

Judge Durcan said: "It is all very well to say to that this arose because of a lack of knowledge, lack of training and lack of supervision. I don't accept any of that quite frankly."

He made his comments after Swissport Ireland Ltd pleaded guilty to six separate summons concerning the use of MGO in its vehicles on November 2.

Judge Durcan imposed a fine of €4,000 for each of the six summons before the court.

Mr Casey said that the use of the green diesel arose as "the employees, through complacency or laziness or lack of direction, didn't operate the fuel nozzles in question as they should have been operated and maybe took the easiest way out and they weren't careful about this at all".

Irish Independent

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