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Knock Airport fined for use of green diesel


The company that manages Ireland West Airport Knock has been fined a total of €10,000 for  illegally using green diesel.
Connaught Airport Development Co Ltd (CADCO) pleaded guilty to four counts of the illegal use of green diesel in vehicles, including a de-icer, a snow plough, a small bus for transporting passengers and a fuel tanker.
Tubbercurry District Court heard that airport management had fully cooperated with officers employed by the Office of the Revenue Commissioner after the detections in 14 vehicles at the airport on November 11, 2017.
Airport management fully accepted that green diesel was being used in the vehicles.
Evidence given outlined that airport officials claimed they were not aware that the practice of using green diesel was illegal and that they had ‘always’ used the fuel.
Solicitor Thomas Walsh, representing CADCO, told the court there was no attempt to conceal the use of the fuel at the airport. He added that the management were of the belief that as vehicles in question were not in operation on public roads, the fuel was permitted to for use. Since the detection, all use of green diesel has ceased at the airport.
Mr Walsh said he had researched the provision under the Finance Act and found that although  exemptions existed for the use of the fuel in vehicles like agricultural machinery and dumpers, these exemptions did not extend to vehicles such as those at the airport.
Commenting on matters, Judge Kevin Kilrane said that as the airport had probably been using green diesel for 30 years, the loss to Revenue would be ‘absolutely massive’.
“There was no intention to defraud; it is a negligence matter more than intent to defraud,” said Judge Kilrane.
“The airport is an important infrastructure for the west. It is a vital link in the west. Nonetheless, it must comply with the rules,” he added.
The court was informed by prosecuting State solicitor for Donegal, Ciarán Liddy, that the maximum fine for each count was €5,000.
Judge Kilrane convicted CADCO on all four counts, fining the company €2,500 in each matter.