Farmer didn’t know ring fort was a registered monument

January 20th, 2023 11:45 AM

By Southern Star Team

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A TIMOLEAGUE farmer who dumped  construction waste near a protected ring fort on his land has had his case dismissed under the Probation Act.

The waste enforcement section of Cork County Council took out the prosecution against Peter Fleming of Barryshall, Timoleague.

The matter came before Judge James McNulty at a recent sitting of Clonakilty District Court who was told that the issue stemmed from a report from the National Monuments Service from September 23rd 2021 in relation to construction waste being dumped near a ring fort.

FX O’Dwyer from the Council’s waste enforcement section said on inspection of the site they found waste including timber, concrete and scrap metal.

He said a ringfort next to Mr Fleming’s land is a protected national monument, while Mr Fleming’s solicitor, Kate Hallissey, said her client didn’t know it was a registered national monument.

‘In his defence, you can get a licence for this but it does involve time and also involves supervision and a third party,’ said Mr O’Dwyer.

He told Judge McNulty that he visited the site earlier that morning and that it has been remediated and the Council are satisfied Mr Fleming has done his best to rectify the problem.

Cork County Council solicitor Lisa Kenny said they would only be seeking waste enforcement costs of €925 and there was no claim for legal costs.

Ms Hallissey  said her client is a farmer and that there was no imported or toxic waste, as it was mostly timber, concrete and soil. ‘He has been farming for 48 years and he doesn’t pollute. He had used this area to store the waste and didn’t realise the ringfort was a national monument,’ said Ms Hallissey.

She added he farms with his son and has no previous convictions.

‘He has dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s and it has cost him in excess of €6,000. Now he’s faced with another €1,000,’ she said. On examining photos of the site, Judge McNulty said the ‘manner of disposal looked haphazard and unsightly’.

He asked if Mr Fleming knew that he had a ringfort on his land and was told he did, but wasn’t aware of the status of it.

Judge McNulty said the court will give him credit and directed him to pay €925 to Cork County Council. He  dismissed the charge under the Probation Act.

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