Thomas Slab Murphy to be sentenced for tax evasion on polling day

The 66-year-old faces up to five years in jail

The sentence hearing for Thomas 'Slab' Murphy has heard the prominent Republican owes Revenue just under €190,000 for eight years of tax evasion.

The 66-year-old - who lives at Ballybinaby, Hackballscross, Co Louth - could be jailed for up to five years.

Thomas 'Slab' Murphy was greeted by popping flashbulbs on his way into the Special Criminal Court this morning, and anyone looking to gain entry was patted down by gardaí and had their bags searched.

Just a week before Christmas, the prominent Republican was found guilty of failing to file returns for his farming activities between 1996 and 2004.

He claimed they got the wrong man, and tried to blame his brother.

Today, the court has been given examples of other Revenue cases to assist in the construction of an appropriate sentence.

They include the infamous case of Dublin businessman Paul Begley - who was jailed for a €1.6m fraud involving the importation of garlic from China.

The three-judge panel has also heard the total tax bill owed by Mr Murphy, including interest and penalties, is just under €190,000.

A sentence will be handed down on February 26th, the day the country goes to the polls.