Top stories in the papers this month 6 – 12 March 2012

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Food importer jailed for not paying €1.6m in garlic taxes; Tesco must pay defamed lawyer; Revenue to fight illegal imports with new X-ray van



12 March 2012

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1. Food importer jailed for not paying €1.6m in garlic taxes

A Dublin food importer has been jailed for six years for failing to pay €1.6 million in tax due on Chinese garlic, which attracts an import duty 24 times higher than other fruit and veg. The Irish Times reports Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard Paul Begley (46), of Begley Brothers in Blanchardstown, evaded paying duty on over 1,000 tonnes of garlic from China by having it mislabelled as apples, which have a duty of just over 9%, compared to up to 232% for garlic.

2. Tesco must pay defamed lawyer

A judge has ordered Tesco to pay a former All-Ireland winning hurler €7,500 in damages after finding the retailer defamed the man. The Irish Times reports that at Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Donagh McDonagh awarded the damages and costs to solicitor Patrick Moroney (33) arising from an incident where he was accused by a Tesco employee of trying to buy a bottle of wine for a minor, when purchasing wine for his girlfriend (then 25). 

3. Revenue to fight illegal imports with new X-ray van

The Revenue Commissioners has confirmed plans to buy the latest airport detection kit in its ongoing battle against cigarette and drug smugglers. The Irish Independent reports it has begun seeking providers of mobile scan vans – specially adapted vehicles that carry X-ray and radiation-detection scanning equipment. A tender released recently by Revenue said it initially intended to buy one vehicle but hopes to purchase three more. 

4. Shops face €10m cost for accepting credit, debit cards

Irish retailers are facing potential costs of around €10m this year for accepting payments via credit and debit cards. The Irish Examiner reports the issue of "interchange fees", paid by the merchant to the cardholder’s issuing bank, topped the agenda at a seminar in Dublin last week, hosted by payment consultancy, CMS Payments Intelligence. CMS chief executive Brendan Doyle described the rising fees as “a serious addional cost” for retailers. 

5. State pays out €130m in pigmeat dioxin scare

More than €130 million has been paid by the State to the pigmeat industry in compensation for the dioxin contamination scare of 2008. The Irish Times reports that one-third of the cost of garda compensation cases in the past two years allegedly went on legal fees. It was also revealed that two major retailers destroyed 637 tonnes of product before it could be examined and in these cases the government said it had no alternative but to pay out.


Irish small firms being charged more than euro zone average for loans (Irish Times)

Saving is killing jobs, says retail body (Irish Examiner)

Call to ‘tax sugar like alcohol’ (Mid Ulster Mail)? 

Irish food writers hold awards (Irish Times) 


Online grocer Ocado puts focus on sales growth for 2012 (Belfast Telegraph) 


Investment in store with Tesco’s huge jobs boost (Irish Times) 


Public concern over GM food has lessened, survey shows (Guardian, UK) 


Is the worst finally over for the UK economy? (Guardian, UK) 


Food Safety Authority Annual Report 2010 (Oireachtas Committee) 


University urges drink retailers to call time on booze deals for students (Belfast Telegraph)


Retailers fear impact of race event on trade (Dublin People)


30% of exporters planning to hire in next three months (IBEC)





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