Crossmaglen man convicted at Newry court

Date published: 05 July 2024

Martin Conlon (61) of the Loughross Road, Crossmaglen was sentenced today at Newry Crown Court, sitting in Craigavon for waste offending and matters pertaining to an investigation conducted by a partner agency Her Majesties Revenue and Customs (HMRC).  

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He received an 18 month custodial sentence, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to pay HMRC £2,500.  

Mr Conlon pleaded guilty for keeping controlled waste, namely 3000 litres of fuel laundering waste, on land except under and in accordance with a waste management licence. The offence is pursuant to Article 4(1)(b) of the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997.

On 17 October 2022, officers from Partner Agencies found a laundering plant and the associated waste on Mr Conlon’s premises on the Loughross Road, Crossmaglen. Following the dismantling process, a number of items including the waste were seized by HMRC including; hydrocarbon oils, tanks, pumps, hoses and intermediate bulk containers. The hydrocarbon oils were analysed confirming that they were laundered.

The controlled waste was being stored in intermediate bulk containers Mr Conlon was subsequently interviewed by NIEA officers, under caution; he made no comment other than to state he denied unlawfully keeping controlled waste.

David Reid, NIEA Chief Executive said: “The Northern Ireland Environment Agency investigates and prosecutes waste offenders who inflict long-term damage on the environment. The waste resulting from the laundering process forms a sludge that is either dumped illegally in its raw state, or in intermediate bulk containers that can leak. This sludge is highly toxic and can pollute land and waterways. Fuel laundering is often linked to Organised Crime and we will continue to work with our multi-agency partners to investigate and prosecute those involved”

NIEA often relies on information provided by members of the public to initiate enquiries and investigations surrounding potential waste offences. If any member of the public has information which would help with the detection, prevention and prosecution of environmental waste crime, report the matter to the NIEA’s incident hotline: Telephone 0800 807 060.

Alternatively, you can contact the NIEA’s Environmental Crime Unit by email at: environmentalcrime@daera-ni.gov.uk or Telephone 028 9056 9453.

You may also report environmental crime through CrimeStoppers, 0800 555 111

Notes to editors: 

  1. All media queries concerning the aforementioned waste offences should be directed to the DAERA Press Office: pressoffice.group@daera-ni.gov.uk
  2. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
  3. Follow DAERA on X formerly called Twitter and Facebook

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