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Council withdraws Household Charge prosecutions


Peter Anthony Keegan
?Peter Anthony Keegan.

Household Charge case withdrawn

MAYO County Council withdrew prosecutions against a Westport man who was the first person in the country to be charged for the non-payment of the Household Charge.
Mr Ward McEllin, solicitor for Mayo County Council, told Judge Mary Devins at last week’s sitting of Westport District Court that the council will not be proceeding the charges against Peter Anthony Keegan.
Mr Keegan of Belclare, Westport, was the first person in the state to be prosecuted for the non-payment of the Household Charge in November 2012 when summonses were issued in relation to six units located at Crannog House, The Quay, Westport.
Mr Keegan contested the charges, and a challenge against the controversial household charge was brought before the High Court in 2013. The challenge was struck out by the High Court but appealed to the Supreme Court.
Mr McEllin said the case was ‘languishing in the Supreme Court’, and since legislation had overtaken proceedings it was a matter for Revenue to pursue. The council would be therefore withdrawing the charges, he said.
In 2012, the Government introduced the €100 Household Charge for residential properties  to fund local services. This was later replaced by the Local Property Tax. The household charge was originally collected by local authorities, but Revenue was given the responsibility of collecting arrears in June 2013.
Mr Keegan, who was present in court and who represented himself in the proceedings, did not make any comment to the court.