Cases in 1997

Owner traced in dog drown hunt

Star, 5/3/1997

Gardai have identified the owner and breeder of two greyhounds found drowned – with concrete blocks tied to their necks – two weeks ago. Shocking pictures in the Star showed how the dogs were weighed down and dumped in a Co. Cork river. Gardai have been able to pinpoint the owner from ID numbers tattooed on the hounds’ inner ears. The dogs were found washed up on the banks of the river Ilen near Skibbereen. Each was thought to be aged about two.



Raid netted biggest ever seizure of animal drugs.
Irish Independent, 30/04/1997.

A 62-year-old Kildare man has been sentenced to eight months in jail and fined a total of £22,000 for importing and selling "Angel Dust" and other illegal substances. Newbridge District Court heard the raid which led to yesterday's prosecution netted the biggest seizure of prohibited substances in the history of the State.  see more



Truck driver denies starving great danes for four weeks.

Irish Independent, 25/9/1997

Eight Great Dane dogs were found in an emaciated condition in a truck drivers yard a court heard yesterday. see more


Dunboyne Vet to be struck off.

Meath Chronicle, 18/1/1997

Maurice Regan, Kilcloon, Dunboyne had his name struck from the Irish Veterinary Councils Register after being convicted of illegal animal drugs offences in December 1996. Regan will start a 6 month jail term. The vet had pleaded guilty at Kilcock District Court on 9th December to keeping illegal animal drugs for sale. He was fined a total of 13000 pounds on 13 charges relating to possessing and keeping for sale the growth promoters in March 1992.



Raid netted biggest ever seizure of animal drugs

Irish Independent, 30/04/1997

A 62-year-old Kildare man has been sentenced to eight months in jail and fined a total of £22,000 for importing and selling “Angel Dust” and other illegal substances. Newbridge District Court heard the raid which led to yesterday’s prosecution netted the biggest seizure of prohibited substances in the history of the State. Former businessman, Diarmuid O’keeffe, of Cutbush, The Curragh, pleaded guilty to a total of 22 charges involving the illegal import, sale and possession of Clenbuterol (Angel Dust), antibiotics and hormones in two separate locations in Kildare and Newbridge on a number of dates in September 1991. Senior Department of Agriculture officials told the court that the substances seized were used to increase the value of cattle but posed serious risks to human health. The raid netted 771 litres of Clenbuterol and 26 kilos of the same drug in powder form. There were also 500 bottles of hormone cocktails and 6,500 doses of hormone pellets. The quantity seized was enough to dose 20,000 animals. That figure didn’t include other substances found in the mixing plant. The value of the substances, which were the subject of the charges, was £230,000 on the black market. The value of the other substances seized, but not the subject of the charges, was £196,000.



Farmer raided for angel dust fined £5,000

Irish Independent, 30/05/1997

A farmer convicted of possessing the illegal growth promoter Clembuterol – commonly known as angel dust – was fined a total of £5,000 yesterday.

  Eamon Heagney (32) of Tully House, Eyrecourt, Co Galway, was also convicted by Judge Mary Fahy of possessing a hormone implant gun, sheep sponges and other prohibited substances at Eyrecourt on October 23 1991.

  Athlone court heard Heagney was joint owner of a farm of 2,000 sheep and 100 cattle and ran a fattening operation with his brother Con.

  A team of Department of Agriculture veterinary officers who searched the farm on foot af [sic] a warrant discovered a box of Clembuterol hidden in a shed wall recess.

  The hormone implant gun and other items were found in other sheds.

  Defending barrister Brendan Grehan said a large sheep fattening operation was going on at the farm. Heagney had developed a lucrative contract with a Spanish importer for supply of meat involving a huge capital investment but the entire contract was wiped out as a result of “what happened.”

  Paying tribute to the media’s role in highlighting “cases of this nature,” the judge fined Heagney £1,000 on each of five summonses.

  A number of similar summonses against Con Heagney of the same address were adjourned to July 28 for a hearing date.



Three accused of Badger baiting at Kinnegad

Meath Chronicle, 08/03/1997

Three Kildare defendants summonsed with a number of alleged offences, including assisting in the baiting of a badger and a fox, had their cases adjourned to 11th April next at Trim Court next week.

  Peter Maher, Grangeclare, Knockcor, Carbury, is summonsed with wilfully interfering with and for destroying the breeding place of a protected wild animal, at Colehill, Kinnegad, on 25th February last; entering on the lands of Laurence Finn for the purposes of hunting wild birds or animals without the permission of the owner; causing, procuring or assisting in the baiting of a badger and a fox; carrying a spade and shovel capable of being used for the hunting of a wild bird or animal, on the lands of Laurence Finn without his permission; giving a false name and address contrary to section 69 of the Wildlife Act, 1976, and failing to give a correct name and address on a demand made pursuant to section 72 of the Wildlife Act, 1976.

  John Casey, Coolcarrigan, and Patrick Mulligan, Knockcor, Carbury, were summonsed also, with the first four charges.



Men admit to interfering with badger set

Examiner, 26/04/1997

Three men who admitted interfering with the set of a badger were described as blackguards by a Judge yesterday.

  Judge John Brophy also threatened to remand them in custody for a week when they appeared before Trim District Court. One of the men, Peter Maher, Grangeclare, Robenstown, was remanded in custody for a week.

  The court heard he had given a false name and address to a wildlife ranger.

  Maher along with John Casey (32), Coolcarrigan and Patrick Mulligan Jnr (28, Knockmore, Carbury was charged with entering lands without the owner’s permission on February 25, 1996 at Colehill, Kinnegad. The three also admitted interfering/destroying the breeding place of a protected wild animal and carrying a spade and shovel capable of being used for the hunting of a wild bird or animal.

  Solicitor Cora Higgins said the men had been given permission to hunt on lands belonging to a particular person and were doing that when a fox moved across onto other land. Judge Brophy said that there was no fox and if any part of a badger had been found in the set Ms Higgins clients would be going to jail for 3 months.

  He said they had dug 1.3 metres deep into the set.

  “The badger is a protected animal, this is a well known set in the area and they deliberately had two dogs and another dog in the boot. If a badger catches you he won’t let go, it is his only defence, it is disgusting,” said the Judge. The Judge added that if the Wilidlife Act permitted it, the defendants would be going to jail.

  A photograph of Maher had to be circulated to garda stations to get him identified and the other defendants allowed him to give false information to the ranger, they went along with the charade, Judge Brophy added.

  He remanded Maher in custody for a week to appear again in Trim Court next Friday.

  He imposed fines on the other defendants and in relation to Casey disqualified him from driving for 12 months using his car in connection with the offence.



Security chief fined £500 for dog cruelty

Irish Independent, 03/10/1997

An award winning dog owner was fined £500 and banned from using the animals for commercial security after a court heard how he kept a Cerman Shepherd in a filthy burnt-out building without proper food or water.

  Security firm owner Paul Bracken, of Avondale, Leixlip, Co Kildare, was convicted of cruelly treating a 13-year-old bitch named Cresta. A further charge of cruelly ill-treating a five-year-old make called Prince was dismissed.

  Dublin District Court heard the animals were found guarding the burnt-out nightclub section of the Embankment pub in Tallaght on October 16 last by DSPCA inspector Robert Kenny.

  The DSPCA claimed Cresta was grossly undernourished, sleeping on urine and faeces soaked carpet and Prince was slightly undernourished and kept in a diesel soaked boilerhouse.

  Judge Desmond Hogan said he accepted the prosecution evidence.

  Mr Bracken told the court the dogs were fed every day by himself or one of the security guards he employed on the premises. He said the dogs were there to keel “the lads company”.

  “I have had German Shepherds all my life and I am madly in love with them. I have showed them and trained them,” he said.

Judge Hogan said he accepted Embankment manager Mark Fay’s evidence that there had not been proper feeding.

  He ordered that Cresta, who has since regainedfull health, should remain in a foster home and that Prince should stay with Mr Bracken providing he was only used as a family pet.



Banned from keeping dogs for thirty years

Irish Independent, 29/10/1997

A truck driver who ill-treated eight Great Danes was yesterday given a three month suspended jail sentence and banned from owning dogs for 30 years.

  David Traynor (47) of Newtown Upper, Rathcoole, Co Dublin, was also bound to the peace for two years for what Judge Desmond Windle described as as case of “extreme and deliberate cruelty”.

  Dublin District Court heard last month how DSPCA Inspector Maurice Byrne found the dogs in an emaciated condition among scrap cars in Mr Traynor’s yard on September 16, 1996. They were underweight, some with protruding ribs, suffering from hair loss and had pressure wounds. Four of them had to be put down on humane grounds and the others were found new homes.

  Traynor denied he neglected the dogs and claimed he gave them four to five pounds of meat per day along with dog meal. The conditions of their coats was the result of a recurrent mange problem which he was treating at the time.

  Judge Windle did not accept his evidenc6e and described it as “disgraceful treatment”.

  He ordered Traynor to come up with £1,800 expenses for the DSPCA and adjourned the case for sentencing to today. The court was also told that Traynor had paid over the money in full.

Judge Windle imposed the three month suspended sentence, banned him from keeping dogs for 30 years and bound him to the peace for two years.



Cruelty staff uncover dogs’ Auschwitz at remote country house

Truck driver denies starving Great Danes for four weeks

Irish Independent, 25/09/1997

Eight Great Dane dogs were found in an emaciated condition in a truck driver’s yard, a court heard yesterday.

  Three had to be put down, one died later and the rest were treated and found new homes, Judge Desmond Windle was told.

  Their owner, truck driver David Traynor of Newtown Upper, Rathcoole, Co. Dublin, was convicted of cruelly ill-treating the animals at his home on September 16, 1996. Judge Windle adjourned sentencing to October 28 to allow him come up with £1,800 in costs and veterinary expenses.

  Mr Traynor denied not feeding the dogs, and claimed they were suffering from demodecitic mange which made them look emaciated and neglected.

  DSPCA inspector Maurice Byrne told Dublin District Court that as a result of a call, he and colleague Robert Kenny went to Mr Traynor’s bungalow in the middle of the countryside. There were a number of dogs which appeared to be running wild among scrap cars in the garden of the house. There was an electric fence on the premises to keep the dogs from getting out.

  Mr Traynor initially denied there was anything wrong with the animals, but after closer examination by the inspectors, he agreed to put them into the care of the DSPCA.

  “The dogs had suffered a large amount of hair loss, their ribs and hips were protruding and you could see pressure wounds on their sides.”

When examined at the DSPCA premises by vet Peter McMahon, he found some of the dogs had lost up to half their body weight. One dog had swollen feet and abscesses between its paw digits, another had a painful ulcer on its hip and pressure sores on its knees while a bitch had broken teeth and swollen mammaries.

  Another bitch, which had recently had a litter or else was going through a false pregnancy, had teeth problems and when the vet examined them one of them came out without exerting pressure. Another animal was so emaciated that its eyes had sunken into its head while most of the dogs appeared nervous of human contact.

  Mr McMahon estimated the dogs had not been fed for three to four weeks.

  Mr Traynor told the court he fed the dogs 4lbs to 5lbs of meat every day along with three to four bags of meal. They had previously suffered from demodectic mange and appeared to have contracted it again. He was in the third week of treating them when the DSPCA arrived.

  He denied wilfully neglecting them. “I love my dogs,” said Mr Traynor who has been breeding Great Danes since 1980.

  “In retrospect, I should have brought them to the vet but I was following the pattern that was there before (when they last had mange).”

Convicting him, Judge Windle said it was “disgraceful treatment.” Referring to photos of the dogs produced in court, he said: “I tried to not look because they might inflame me – but from just glimpsing them it would appear to any man there was something substantially wrong with the dogs.”

  Adjourning sentence, he said he was “making no promises” but he wanted to ensure the DSPCA was not out of pocket first before deciding what to do in the case. He ordered the defendant to have £1,800 in court on October 28th to cover vet and court costs.



Kicked kitten against wall

Killkenny People, 18/07/1997

A psychiatrist’s letter about a man who kicked a kitten against a wall was described as “extraordinary” at Kilkenny Court.  And Judge William Harnett also highlighted the fact that the law did not allow him to impose a jail sentence on the defendant.

  “This is a very worrying offence but it only carries a fine,” the Judge pointed out.

The case against Billy Hanlon of 62 Bishop Birch Place, Kilkenny, had been repeatedly adjourned for psychiatric and social enquiry reports.

  Defending solicitor Mr Michael Lanigan noted that, according to the latest letter from a consultant psychiatrist at St Canice’s Hospital, Hanlon had maintained control of himself for some time. But the psychiatrist felt that the family’s case should be taken up with the Health Board.

  Judge Harmett described the psychiatrist’s letter as “extraordinary”, noting that it had a South Eastern Health Board letterhead yet referred to the need for the support from statutory services.

  “The liaison between the various sections of the Health Board leaves a lot to be desired,” the solicitor agreed.

Hanlon was fined £300 for unlawfully and cruelly beating a kitten at Bishop Birch Place on August 23, 1996.

  For trespassing near a building on the Dublin road on June 1, 1996, he was given three months in prison, suspended on condition that he enter a probation bond for two years in the sum of £400.

  He was also fined £50 for being so drunk that he might endanger himself or others at the Hebron road on August 21, 1996.