County coun­cil se­cures its first dog foul­ing con­vic­tion

Fingal Independent - - NEWS - By NI­COLA DON­NELLY

FIN­GAL COUNTY Coun­cil has se­cured its first court con­vic­tion re­lat­ing to dog foul­ing.

A dog owner was suc­cess­fully pros­e­cuted be­fore Swords District Court re­lat­ing to an in­ci­dent on a green area in a hous­ing es­tate in Swords. Sarah Noone, of Mount Dri­nan Av­enue in Swords, failed to ap­pear be­fore the court to an­swer the sum­mons and was con­victed and fined in her ab­sence af­ter Judge John Chea­tle heard the ev­i­dence against her.

Ms Noone was ini­tially is­sued with an on-the-spot fine af­ter her dog was seen by a neigh­bour foul­ing on a green area where chil­dren were play­ing. How­ever, the court heard the fine was not paid.

Wit­ness Kerry Gibbs, of Kin­sealy Downs, gave ev­i­dence that on May 5th she ob­served Ms Noone’s dog foul­ing on a green area in the es­tate where her chil­dren and other chil­dren from the es­tate play.

‘The poop wasn’t picked up,’ said Ms Gibbs, who was in her gar­den when she saw the dog foul­ing the area.

‘She (Ms Noone) wasn’t with the dog,’ Ms Gibbs added.

Ms Gibbs then told her chil­dren to move to an­other area of the green to play and she phoned Fin­gal County Coun­cil to lodge the com­plaint.

‘It’s an on­go­ing thing,’ she said, adding it has hap­pened a cou­ple of times a week.

Un­der the Lit­ter Pol­lu­tion Act, it is an of­fence for a per­son to al­low a dog un­der their con­trol to foul a pub­lic place. Own­ers can be is­sued with an on-the-spot fine of €150 or a max­i­mum fine of €3,000 on con­vic­tion.

The re­spon­si­bil­ity of clean­ing up af­ter a pet is not re­stricted to sim­ply putting the waste in a bag - it also in­cludes tak­ing it away and dis­pos­ing of it in a san­i­tary way and not ty­ing a knot in the bag and leav­ing it be­hind.

A so­lic­i­tor for Fin­gal County Coun­cil said a Fixed Charge Penalty No­tice or on the spot fine for €150 was is­sued to Ms Noone, who had then re­quested an ap­peal form but never re­turned it to the coun­cil. On hear­ing the ev­i­dence Judge John Chea­tle con­victed Ms Noone and hand­ing down a fine, he said he will ‘leave it at €150.’

‘This may solve the prob­lem with­out go­ing too far,’ said Judge Chea­tle.

He also or­dered Ms Noone to pay Fin­gal County Coun­cil costs of €150 and fixed recog­ni­sances in the event of an ap­peal.

‘This is the first suc­cess­ful court pros­e­cu­tion by Fin­gal County Coun­cil for this is­sue, which is an of­fence un­der Sec­tion 22 of the Lit­ter Pol­lu­tion Act 2007-2009,’ Fin­gal County Coun­cil con­firmed af­ter the case.

Dog own­ers are obliged to clean up af­ter their dogs.

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