Kerry County Council is sending out the wrong message to litter offenders, by waiving a number of on-the-spot litter fines.
That’s according to Cllr Mike Kennelly, who was reacting to the news that nine people had their fines waived by the council, in the Listowel Municipal Area last year.
The council so far has not explained why the nine fines were waived.
At this month’s meeting of the Listowel Municipal District, Cllr Jimmy Moloney asked for details on how many people were fined for littering in the area during 2014.
He was told that 110 complaints were received; 13 on-the-spot fines were issued and three of these were paid, with one resulting in a court conviction and nine fines being waived.
Councillor Moloney asked why the nine fines were waived, but was told by officials that they’d get back to him with an explanation.
Councillor Mike Kennelly said he felt the waiving of fines sent out the wrong message to the public about littering, giving offenders the impression they’d get away with it.
Councillor John Brassil told the meeting he personally witnessed a person dumping on a Kerry beach, and took photographs of the incident.
But the case was thrown out of court by the judge, on the grounds that the evidence was not strong enough.
He said the justice system was set up in such a way, that it was extremely difficult to get a conviction for such offences.