Thomas 'Slab' Murphy, a 67-year-old with land that straddles the border at Ballybinaby, Hackballscross, Co Louth, was not a farmer, his lawyers told the Court of Appeal on Wednesday. Mr Murphy, allegedly one-time IRA Chief of Staff, was jailed for 18 months last February on charges of breaking tax laws over an 8-year period from 1996-2004.
His lawyer John Kearney QC told the court that Thomas' brother Patrick ran the farm since before 1991 and that he had paid all the taxes due on it. He said that documents supposedly linking Thomas with the farm had “probably” been forged by Patrick. He added that Patrick had a propensity for using other people's bank accounts and that checks from cattle farming which were lodged into an account associated with Thomas, might never have been linked with him at all.
Murphy's lawyers have submitted 357 pages of evidence having filed 48 grounds for appeal. The case continues.