Saturday 24 February 2018

Man named Thomas Murphy traded cattle worth over €150,000, trial of prominent republican told

PROBE: Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy
PROBE: Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy

Daniel Hickey

The trial at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin of prominent republican Thomas "Slab" Murphy for alleged tax evasion has heard that over a period of five years a man named Thomas Murphy traded cattle worth over €150,000.

The trial also heard today that a man named Thomas Murphy received farming grants from the Department of Agriculture worth over €100,000 over an eight year period.

It is the prosecution's case that, although Mr Murphy conducted significant dealings in relation to cattle and land, and received grants from the Department of Agriculture, 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.

Micheal Naughton, who was manager of Roscommon Livestock Mart from 2002 to 2012, gave evidence to the three-judge, non-jury court today in relation to business conducted at the mart by a man named Thomas Murphy.

Documents which recorded transactions at the mart were shown to the court, which heard that, from 1999 to 2004, a man named Thomas Murphy traded cattle with a total value of over €150,000.

Earlier, the court heard from Patrick O'Hara, retired employee with the Department of Agriculture, who gave evidence in relation to records of farming grants paid by the department to a man named Thomas Murphy, with an address at Ballybinaby, Hackballscross, Co Louth.

The court heard that, from 1996 to 2004, payments totalled over €100,000.

The payments were made for farming grant schemes including the Slaughter Premium Scheme and the Special Beef Premium, the court heard.

The court also heard today from Patrick Flanagan, a veterinary surgeon based in Dundalk.

 Mr Flanagan told Paul Burns SC, prosecuting, that the Murphy brothers have been his clients since the early 1990s.

When asked by Mr Burns if he witnessed Thomas Murphy signing Department of Agriculture forms for TB testing of cattle, Mr Flanagan said, "I can't recollect anyone specific signing the forms."

The trial continues.

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