A courier who failed to pay nearly €300,000 in taxes has been ordered to carry out 220 hours' community service in lieu of a two-year jail term.
Mark Tierney (43) was prosecuted for failing to pay income tax for five years. He was also charging VAT to his clients but failing to pass it on to the Revenue.
Tierney, of Cardonagh Drive, Donaghmede, Dublin 13, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of not paying VAT between 2006 and 2010 and two counts of filing incorrect tax returns.
Tierney repaid none of the money. He is now on social welfare and the Revenue has obtained a judgement against his home.
Revenue Officer John O'Reilly told the prosecution that Tierney entered into a contract with transportation company TNT in 2004 to provide courier services for them.
He would issue the company invoices which included 21pc VAT but would not pass this on to the authorities.
He also filed incorrect income tax returns.
He currently owes the Revenue €147,797 in income tax and €135,844 in VAT, inclusive of penalties and interest.
The defence told Judge Mary Ellen Ring when evidence was first heard last May, that there was no "hard and fast rule" that she had to impose an immediate jail sentence. However, she remanded Tierney in custody.
The defence said his client has been distraught during his five-month stay in prison and that his children have been inconsolable.
He submitted that a probation report concluding that Tierney is at a low risk of re-offending and is suitable for community service.
Judge Ring said Tierney had "put his head in the sand".