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Man facing drug charges takes Revenue to court to try and get his hire-purchase truck back

Aidan Conroy’s truck and trailer were seized at Dublin Port in August 2015.

port File Photo Source: Rollingnews.ie

A MAN FACING drugs charges has launched a High Court action in an attempt to reclaim the truck the drugs were allegedly found in back from the Revenue Commissioners.

Aidan Conroy was driving a truck and trailer at Dublin Port in August 2015 when he was stopped by customs, whereupon a quantity of drugs was allegedly found in the vehicle.

Conroy is currently awaiting trial on criminal charges regarding that incident.

“This relates to what happened to the truck thereafter,” counsel for Conroy, Feichín McDonagh SC, told the court last week.

The plaintiff was applying for a judicial review, via an ex parte application (where only one side is heard) of Revenue’s decision to seize the truck and trailer.

A judicial review is a function which allows the High Court to scrutinise the decisions of lower courts and State bodies, to ensure that those decisions are procedurally correct and lawful.

McDonagh explained that, in the wake of the initial drugs seizure, Conroy was served with a notice by Revenue of its wish that he forfeit the truck and trailer.

Hire purchase

The truck was however still subject to a hire purchase agreement that had not been completed, McDonagh said.

Two-and-a-half years of correspondence then ensued between Conroy’s solicitors and Revenue, he explained.

McDonagh said that a dispute had arisen as to whether or not Conroy had requested that the truck be returned to him within the official one-month period required after the seizure had taken place.

He said that was not in fact the case, that his client had written to Revenue on 11 September 2015 requesting that the truck “kindly be returned to Conroy Transport Services”.

“It could be said that letter didn’t provide an address, but the address of my client was known to Revenue,” said McDonagh.

It had never been suggested that the vehicle and trailer had been forfeited. Now, as of last week, they’re saying it has. The judicial review will attack that decision.

Justice Seamus Noonan, presiding, agreed that a substantive case for securing a hearing (the criteria for obtaining a judicial review has a relatively low bar) had been made, and adjourned the matter to a date in June.

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