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‘Embarrassed’ Louth businessman says he ‘was set up’ as dumping video goes viral

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Images and video of the illegal dumping at Moneymore were shared widely via social media channels.

Images and video of the illegal dumping at Moneymore were shared widely via social media channels.

Images and video of the illegal dumping at Moneymore were shared widely via social media channels.

droghedaindependent

A Drogheda businessman says he is ‘incredibly embarrassed by a stupid mistake’ he made in agreeing to deliver items for a bonfire in Moneymore, which was videoed and he claims was then used in an attempt to extort him of €3,000.

Austin Clarke (70) of “Austin’s Furniture Store & More” on the North Quay, Drogheda, says a video was taken of the dumping of mattresses from the back of the truck, and was then used by a failed blackmailer, whom he had refused to pay.

Cllr Kevin Callan was then sent the video and shared it on his social media account, stating: “My thanks to a responsible citizen who spotted and called out illegal dumping in our town, where this happened in Moneymore,” said the former Mayor. “I have forwarded footage and details to litter warden...when people come forward and report, we can act.”

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“I am very embarrassed and I hold my hands up that I have been very stupid and am guilty of doing something I shouldn’t have done,” said Mr Clarke, who has run a furniture shop at the location for 14 years,

“A few days ago, two young lads came into the store and asked for some bits and pieces for a Halloween bonfire, and they persuaded me to drop it down”., 

Austin says an hour after being videoed dumping the items from the lorry, he got a phone call from a blackmailer demanding €3,000 or the video would be released the video on social media.

“I said I wasn’t paying and that’s where I am now, and I am dealing with the consequences,” he says sheepishly. “I know I done (sic) wrong, and I am sorry, but I didn’t know and I didn’t go down in the middle of the night, trying to hide anything; it was 8.30am, on my way to work.”

He admits all the items were from his shop, and says he wants to apologise to the residents of Moneymore.

“I use recycling centres for my waste and I thought I was doing something for kids, but I know now I was stupid,” he adds. “I made a huge mistake and I hope that my customers will understand.”


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