Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy awaits sentencing after conviction

Former IRA chief to know fate next year after guilty verdict on nine charges of tax evasion

Thomas “Slab” Murphy, who was once the head of the IRA’s so-called army council, will be sentenced next year by the Special Criminal Court following his conviction yesterday on nine charges of tax evasion.

After a 32-day trial, Murphy (66), Hackballscross, Co Louth, was found guilty by the three judges in the non-jury court of failing to furnish tax returns for nearly a decade from 1996.

The trial came nearly a decade after files were seized in sheds on his farm that straddles the Border during a raid led by the Criminal Assets Bureau (Cab), backed up by 400 British and Irish soldiers, PSNI members and gardaí.

Delivering the verdict, Mr Justice Paul Butler said the court was “satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that in each of the individual counts on the indictment the accused is guilty”.


State subsidies

The court heard Murphy received €100,000 in State and EU subsidies and had been involved in cattle sales worth hundreds of thousands of euro at a number of marts.

The 2006 raid led to the seizure of €625,000 in cash and cheques. Following the raid a €1 million settlement was made with Cab and the UK’s Serious and Organised Crime Agency.

“I am aware of the reports of this morning’s judgment and that Tom Murphy has been released on bail,” Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said. “He has strongly contested the accusations. I have no comment to make until the legal process has been concluded.”