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Tax evasion trial hears Slab Murphy sold €160k worth of cattle

Thomas "Slab" Murphy
Thomas "Slab" Murphy

The trial at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin of prominent republican Thomas "Slab" Murphy for alleged tax evasion has heard that over a period of four years a man of the same name sold cattle worth over €160,000 for slaughter.

It is the prosecution's case that, although Mr Murphy conducted significant dealings in relation to cattle and land, and received farming grants from the Department of Agriculture, he failed to make any returns to revenue. 

Mr Murphy (66), of Ballybinaby, Hackballscross, Co Louth, has pleaded not guilty to nine charges alleging that he failed to furnish a return of his income, profits or gains or the source of his income, profits or gains to the Collector General or the Inspector of Taxes for the years 1996/97 to 2004.

Mr Murphy is being prosecuted on foot of an investigation by the Criminal Assets Bureau.

Liam Connolly, financial controller at Donegal Meat Processors, gave evidence to the non-jury court today regarding the records of cattle purchased from and cheques made payable to Thomas Murphy, with an address at Ballybinaby, Hackballscross, Co Louth.

Donegal Meat Processors is a meat factory, where cattle are slaughtered, the court heard.

A series of photocopied cheques were shown to the court, which heard that, from December 2000 until August 2004, cheques with a total value of over €160,000 were made payable by Donegal Meat Processors to Thomas Murphy.

Mr Connolly agreed with prosecuting counsel Paul Burns SC that his evidence recorded "payments made by the meat factory in respect of cattle purchased."

"To whom?" Mr Burns asked.

"Normally the person on the invoice," Mr Connolly said.

"And who's on the invoice?" Mr Burns asked.

Mr Connolly replied, "Thomas Murphy."  

The trial continues.