A WOMAN was told she could have faced a prison sentence and a €1,000 fine for littering after rubbish she allowed to be taken away by a person she did not know ended up being dumped in an area in Borris-in-Ossory.
Cathy McEvoy, 16 Glenall, Borris-in-Ossory was charged with disposing of waste likely to cause pollution on November 26 last at Glenall, when she appeared before Portlaoise District Court on February 21.
Laois County Council litter warden John Rogers told the court that the waste was found dumped in a derelict site close to the defendant’s property.
He said they had received reports of the rubbish there and when they called to the scene they were unable to remove it as the amount was too large for their jeep to take away. When they called back the next morning the rubbish had been burnt. Documents with the defendant’s name were recovered from the rubbish.
The defendant told the court that she had two or three bags on her property which a man had agreed to remove for her, when he called to her house. She said she normally disposes of her rubbish in her parents bin.
“This is what happens when people give their waste to complete strangers. You have to take responsibility for your own waste,” Judge Catherine Staines said. “The country is blighted,” she said, by rubbish being disposed of in this manner.
The court heard the cost of cleaning up the rubbish was €934.10. Judge Staines accepted that the defendant was not responsible for all of the rubbish that was dumped at the location.
Judge Staines imposed a fine of €50 and costs of €300 on the basis that the defendant is a single mother. “It could have been worse, you can be fined up to €1,000 and could go to prison,” she said.
Judge Staines said she did not have the power to direct the defendant to clean the site, as requested by the legal representative of Laois County Council.