‘Thomas Murphy’ applied for herd number, trial hears

Numbers are issued by Department of Agriculture to farmers for registering cattle

Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy, who  has pleaded not guilty to tax offences. Photograph: Court Collins.

Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy, who has pleaded not guilty to tax offences. Photograph: Court Collins.

 

The trial at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin of prominent republican Thomas “Slab” Murphy for alleged tax evasion has heard a man named Thomas Murphy applied for a herd number in 1991.

A herd number is issued by the Department of Agriculture to farmers for the purpose of registering cattle.

It is the prosecution’s case that, although Mr Murphy received grants from the Department of Agriculture and also conducted significant dealings in relation to cattle and land, 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.

Pat Rafferty, a retired Department of Agriculture employee, told Paul Burns SC, prosecuting, that in 1991 he received an application form for a herd number from a man named Thomas Murphy, with an address at Ballybinaby, Hackballscross, Co Louth.

Mr Rafferty told the court the application form was signed by Thomas Murphy.

The trial has previously heard applications using the same herd number were made to the Department of Agriculture for various grants, totalling over €100,000, over a period of eight years.

Mr Rafferty visited the farm at Ballybinaby to carry out an inspection before issuing the herd number, the court heard.

When asked by Mr Burns who he met during the farm inspection, Mr Rafferty said: “I honestly don’t know who I met that day. More than likely I met the applicant.”

The trial continues.