THIRTY black sacks of domestic rubbish were dumped in a cemetery in Cork and a district court judge said it was not fair on families visiting the graves of loved ones.
Judge Olann Kelleher imposed a €500 fine on Michael Keenan of 1 St. Michael’s Close, Mahon, Cork, for the littering offence at St. Michael’s cemetery in Mahon.
Keenan, 36, pleaded guilty at Cork District Court to a charge of depositing 30 large black bags of household waste so as to create litter in a public place.
Donal Daly, solicitor, said that while Michael Keenan was pleading guilty to the offence he claimed that the bags were put into a skip in the graveyard.
“They were not thrown around the road or anything like that,” Mr Daly said.
While the charge referred to 30 black refuse bags of rubbish, Mr Daly said Keenan believed that he put six or seven bags there and that the other bags must have been put there by others.
Garda Paul Lynch who investigated the case testified that at 11.20 p.m. on the night of May 23 last year he saw a van belonging to the accused outside the cemetery.
“Michael Keenan was unloading black refuse bags of rubbish. When asked what was he doing he said, ‘nothing’. Thirty or 40 bags had been dropped in the skip in the cemetery. His name was on rubbish in bags found in the skip. The bags contained household rubbish and the like,” Garda Lynch said.
Sergeant Gearóid Davis said the accused had 72 previous convictions but not for anything similar to the littering matter. Some of his previous were for public order matters and assaults.
Mr Daly outlined some family matters for the defendant and said Keenan was under enormous stress.
Judge Kelleher imposed the €500 fine and said, “You cannot do this. Imagined if it ends up in the cemetery where people are going to the graves of loved ones. It is not fair.”