A 65-year old man has been returned for trial to the circuit criminal court in Cork charged with possession of stolen parts from BMW, Audi and Volkswagen cars, and with handling stolen property, including eight tractors.

Gerard Holland, a marine diesel fitter with an address at Tir na Nean, Lislevane, Bandon, Co Cork, was before Judge James McNulty at the district court in Bandon.

He faces 42 separate counts brought under the 2001 Theft and Fraud Offences Act, alleging that he was in possession of, or handled, the stolen car parts and tractors.

The charges relate to a period of more than six years, between June 2010, and October 2016.

The tractors involved were mainly New Holland.

The engines and car parts are alleged to have come from BMW 520, 320 and 318 models, Audi A4 and A4 S-line models, Volkwagen, Land Rover, Hyundai, Opel and Toyota cars.

Mr Holland was not required to indicate today how he would be pleading to the charges, but he was told by Judge McNulty that he will have to give the prosecution notice if he intends to rely on an alibi.

Mr Holland was assigned free legal aid, after his solicitor, Daithí Ó Donnabháin, told the court his client lived with his wife, owned his property and was in receipt of social welfare.

He said Mr Holland's work as a marine diesel fitter was seasonal.

Detective Garda David Barrett gave evidence of serving Mr Holland with the book of evidence and Sergeant Paul Kelly applied for Mr Holland to be returned for trial to the next sittings of the cirrcuit criminal court in Cork, beginning on 23 October.

The charges against Mr Holland follow an extensive garda investigation into the theft of cars, many of them high-value vehicles.