A Killarney boat owner and his skipper have had cases against them for overloading dismissed.
Judge James O’Connor said it can’t be said to be entrapment, but a trap was set for skipper Eddie McSweeney.
He and the boat owner Tadhg O’Connor were before Tralee District Court on over-loading charges; the cases were being taken by the Department of Transport, under the Merchant Shipping and Maritime Safety Acts.
It’s alleged a boat owned by Tadhg O’Connor, of High St, Killarney but skippered by Eddie McSweeney had 15 passengers on board when it arrived back at Reen Pier at Ross Castle, Killarney on the 8th of July 2014; it’s only permitted to carry 12 passengers.
Solicitor for both accused, Pat F O’Connor, said Mr McSweeney was set up by a rival operator; he said Mr McSweeney set off on the Gap of Dunloe trip with the maximum 12 passengers, and started his return journey with the same number.
However, at the Meeting of the Waters – a point where passengers have to disembark to go through a weir – three passengers were left on the bank after all other boats left.
It’s alleged a rival boatman shouted at him to take them.
The accused skipper Eddie McSweeney said there was no one else to take the three people; they were out in the middle of the lakes, not near a main road, and eight to nine miles from Killarney.
Judge James O’Connor said while the accused’s defence didn’t amount to entrapment, a trap was set; he dismissed both cases on the evidence.