'Slab' Murphy in court on tax evasion charges

Thu, Nov 8, 2007, 00:00

Alleged IRA leader Thomas "Slab" Murphy has appeared in court today charged with tax evasion.

Mr Murphy, allegedly a former IRA chief of staff, faced nine charges of failing to file tax returns when he appeared at Ardee District Court, Co Louth.

His address was given as Castletown Road, Dundalk, Co Louth.

Thomas 'Slab' Murphy arriving at Ardee District Court this morning. PA
Thomas 'Slab' Murphy arriving at Ardee District Court this morning. PA

He stood in court as Det Insp Kevin Ring, of the Criminal Assets Bureau, told Judge Flann Brennan that the arrest was made at 9.25pm yesterday at the Dundalk address.

Det Insp Ring said Mr Murphy was transported to Drogheda Garda station and charged under the Tax Consolidation Act at 4.25am today. The garda said that after each of the nine charges, Mr Murphy replied: "I want my solicitor here."

Det Insp Ring requested that Mr Murphy be remanded with substantial surety. He asked that the defendant hand over his passport and agree to sign on at Dundalk Garda station three days a week.

Defence solicitor Paul Tiernan described his client as a 58-year-old bachelor with no previous convictions. He said Mr Murphy made a full statement of denial last night. Mr Tiernan put it to Det Insp Ring that his client suffered ill health when in custody and had to be taken to hospital.

The senior Garda said a doctor had been called to the station and believed Mr Murphy was feigning injury, but that Murphy was referred to hospital in Drogheda for a second opinion.

Det Insp Ring said Mr Murphy had complained of a headache and sore neck. "He was examined by the senior neurologist on call. . . . and he was also of the opinion that he [Murphy] was feigning injury," Mr Ring said.

Mr Murphy signed himself out of hospital against doctors' orders, his solicitor said, and he returned to Drogheda Garda station under Garda escort.

Mr Tiernan said his client would agree to reside with his brother-in-law at a farm in Monaghan if bail was granted.

Judge Brennan remanded Mr Murphy on his own bail of €20,000 with an independent surety of €50,000. He accepted as surety two plots of land put forward by Murphy's brother-in-law, John Kirk, and sister, Anne-Marie Kirk.

Judge Brennan said that as part of Murphy's bail conditions he must report daily to Dundalk Garda station, surrender his passport and reside at an address in Inniskeen, Co Monaghan.

Mr Murphy is to appear before Dundalk District Court at 10.30am on Wednesday November 14th.