Cases in 2004

Hunters kill protected deer and calf.

Evening Herald, 7/1/2004

A deer and its calf were butchered by two English hunters armed with high powered rifles. Simon Everett (43) and Nicholas Pancisi (44) were caught by Kerry gardai. “They had shot the deer, gutted it and then shot its young and removed the hind quarters,” Inspector Michael O’Donovan said. The Red Deer were a protected species in this area “and should not have been shot” said the garda.  Both men pleaded guilty to the charge of hunting a protected species at Kilgarvan, south Kerry, were fined €800 each and their two rifles worth stg£2,500 each confiscated.  

Horses won’t be returned.

Evening Herald, 24/3/2004

Two racing horses will not be returned to their trainer until charges of animal cruelty are dealt with, a District Court Judge ordered. John Carr (43) Killeaney, Maynooth is charged with seven counts of cruelty to seven thorouhgtbred horses at Knocknatulla, Kilcock on February 7th. Ms Miriam Regan, solicitore, made application for the restoration to her client of two of the horses which had been seized by the State. Judge John Brophy at Kilcock Court refused the applicataion stating that the horses will remain in the care of the State until the charge are disposed of. The case was adjourned to April 27th for hearing.

104 dogs rescued from puppy farm.

Irish Independent, 29/3/2004

ISPCA Officials removed 104 dogs from a puppy farm that were being kept in “appalling” conditions, many in small, steel boxes with little ventilation. Most of the puppies were Cavalier King Charles and terriers that were being held in ‘absolutely unbelievable’ conditions in the Ballieboro area of Co Cavan, ISPCA inspector Brendan Hughes said last night. The kennels were made of steel cladding-type materials with virtually no ventilation, except for two or three holes the size of one euro coins, he said. “The cleaning regime was non-existent”. There was also evidence of cross and in breeding among the dogs. Officials visited the breeder over three days and removed 104 out of 112 dogs on the premises. One terrier was taken from the back of an old van on the property. It had been wired in and kept in excrement that was six or seven weeks old, Mr Hughes said.

Hunter fined €500 over shotgun blast at rabbit.

Irish Independent, 10/7/2004

A Hunter who blew a hole in a family home while hunting rabbits with a shotgun in a town centre at 3am when intoxicated has been fined €500. Timothy Coakley from Inchigeelagh, who appeared before Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday pleaded guilty to a charge of reckless endangerment with a firearm. Coakley admitted that he had been trying to shoot rabbits along the main street of Dunmanway when he accidently blasted the family home on August 7th. Council for the hunter insisted that the incident was a case of ‘drunken bravado’.

Dog Fighting case adjourned

Irish Times, 8/10/2004

The case against 12 men charged with running an illegal dog fight was adjourned at Nass District Court yesterday. Solicitor Mr.Eoin O'Connor, who is representing some of the defendants, said he needed more time to get legal advice considering the number of clients and the amount of evidence involved. Judge Murrough Connellan adjourned the case to November 17th. The alleged offences are said to have occurred on October 31st 2003, at Broclagh, Roberstown, Co.Kildare. The men have all been charged under the Cruelty to Animals Act 1911. The defendants are: Mr.Anthony Burke, Corstown, Oldcastle Co.Meath, Mr.Richard Bernard, Dark Road, Castletown Carlow, Mr.Troy Jordan, River Road, Allenwood Co.Kildare, Mr.James Ferris, Allenwood South, Co.Kildare, Mr.Richard Somerville, Dunard Drive, Navan Road Carlow, Mr.Paul Malone, Dunmore Lawn, Tallaght, Co.Dublin, Mr.Karl Bree, Nangor Crescent, Clondalkin, Co.Dublin, Mr.John Moody, Coolamber Crescent, Templogue, Co.Dublin, Mr.Thomas Codd, Cloonmore Crescent, Tallaght, Co.Dublin, Mr.David Deegan, Maplewood Park, Springfield, Tallaght, Co.Dublin, Mr.Michael Quinn, Slieve Bloom Road, Drimagh, Co.Dublin, Mr.Joseph Blake, Loreto Avenue, Rathfarnham,Co.Dublin.


Cat’s feet tied together with butcher’s twine

Irish Examiner, 31/3/2004
 A pet cat is fighting for his life after thugs used butcher’s twine to tie its back legs together. The fully grown cat with twine embedded in its skin was discovered by a family in a disused shed in the garden of their home late on Monday. The cat’s legs had swelled severely. The vet who treated the cat said the swelling will have to reside before he knows if it will survive. It took at least two people, one to hold the cat down and the other to put on the string, to inflict such hardship on the animal, Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) inspector Conor Dowling said. “This cat was in considerable distress. His feet are swollen to over twice their normal size and the inside of its legs were rubbing together so much that the smell from them is terrible. The vet who examined him thinks this injury is a few days old,” he said. The maximum penalty which can be imposed against anyone convicted of such cruelty is a fine of less than €2,000, and/or six months imprisonment.

Lamb was tied to tree beside ram’s head and trays of meat

The Nationalist, 19/5/2004
A lamb was found in Hanover Park, Carlow Town on Wednesday tied to a tree beside a skinless ram’s head and two trays of meat. The skull and meat were left in perfect symmetry facing towards Killeshin in what appeared to be a ritualistic set-up. The lamb was barely alive as its legs had been tied together so tight that circulation was cut off. Inspector Gerry Redmond said their immediate concern was the lamb. “There was no evidence of cruelty apart from the lamb and that was our major concern. It is being cared for now in a safe place. We are making inquiries to the abattoirs about the skull to see where it originated from but as yet we have received no complaints on the night of suspicious activity in the area.” The find came a day after two lights and a wooden cross were taken from the grounds of Levitstown Church. They were recovered in an adjacent car-park with four sheep’s skulls surrounding them. Brian took the animal home and the recovery has been slow but sure. The swelling has gone down but the lamb still has a limp. He reckons the lamb may never recover properly. The ISPCA are considering a move which could unite the mistreated lamb with another unfortunate creature. Bertie, a lamb from Sligo, was found being used as a football by youths and the ISPCA are now considering uniting the two lambs. Mr. Keating has encouraged local children to come up with a name for Bertie’s new Carlow playmate.

Ordered not to keep animals

Tipperary Star, 27/3/2004

A dog housed in ‘horrific conditions’ was said by Judge O’Neill at Thurles District court to have been ‘literally skin and bone’. The judge made his comment after looking at photographic evidence of the dog found on the premises of Francis Maguire at 43 Butler Avenue, Thurles. Maguire was prosecuted that he did ill-treat the dog and her litter of pups. A witness said the dog was malnourished and thin with her stomach in a sunken state. The judge imposed a fine of €150 and ordered the defendant not have custody of an animal again.

Roscommon AI man fined

Irish Farmers Journal, 04/12/2004

A Roscommon man has been fined €250 and ordered to pay €3,200 in costs and expenses after admitting to Roscommon District court for operating an unlicensed AI business with 300 farmer clients.

Richard Kenny of Mount Talbot, Roscommon also received three separate fines of €250 each for possession of two fertility drugs and carrying out unauthorised trading in bovine semen.

The case arose following a raid on the defendant’s farm by the Department of Agriculture in October, 2002.

Farmer fined for ill-treating sheep

Irish Independent, 13/02/2004

A farmer with 35 years experience was fined €200 in Mountbellew District Court yesterday for ill-treating animals.  Inspectors had found poorly fed, malnourished and distressed sheep on the farm of Joseph Raftery, from Alloonbawn, Ballymacward, Ballinasloe, in Co Galway.

Man fined €350 for digging out setts

Irish Independent, 04/06/2004

A man who pleaded guilty to interfering with badger setts in a nature reserve was fined €350 yesterday.

  Michael O’Dowd (45), Grange Crescent, Mullingar, pleaded guilty to two counts of interfering with a breeding area of a protected wild animal and of failure to comply with a request of a ranger.

  Mr O’Dowd admitted in Mullingar District Court he dug out a badger sett, but only after a terrier he had with him got stuck in the hole. His solicitor said he had been hunting foxes.

  National Parks and Wildlife Service rangers heard a report that two men and dogs were seen entering Richfort Demense near Lough Ennel in Co Westmeath on May 26, 2003. They found freshly dug out badger setts and bait.

  When they called to Mr O’Dowd’ house he refused them permission to see his dogs or shovel.

Charges of badger hunting dismissed

Irish Times, 04/06/2004

A man had charges of illegally hunting badgers dismissed against him, but was convicted and fined €350 for other offences under the Wildlife Act at Mullingar District Court yesterday.

  Michael O’Dowd (45), of Grange Crescent, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, was before Judge David Anderson on five charges under the Act. He pleaded guilty to charges of interfering with the breeding place of a protected wild animal (badger) and failure to comply with a requirement to show the instruments and dogs used for hunting. However, three other charges were struck out.

  The charges were brought against O’Dowd following an incident at Rochfort Demense, Mullingar, on May 26th, 2003.

  The court heard that three wildlife rangers were investigating a complaint that O’Dowd had been hunting badgers on Westmeath County Council land on the eastern shore of Lough Ennel.

  Sgt Terry Quinn told the judge that the rangers discovered that a badger set had been freshly dug out and filled. They called to the home of O’Dowd, and questioned him.

  The court was told O’Dowd admitted he was hunting with his dogs that morning, but said he was hunting foxes. Sgt Quinn said O’Dowd refused to show the rangers his dogs or the spade used. Following this, the rangers made a complaint to the Garda.

  In a statement to the Garda, O’Dows said he had gone hunting foxes with a 14-year-old and two dogs, one a terrier. The terrier had gone into the set, and he had had to dig him out.

  Mr Bob Marren, defending, said O’Dowd had no previous convictions. He had only disturbed the set to dig out his dog, and was pleading guilty to this offence.

  Judge Anderson imposed a €250 fine for interfering with the set. O’Dowd was fined a further €100 for failing to comply with the request of the rangers to show the dogs and equipment used for hunting.

110 dogs rescued in farm seizure

The star, 23/01/2004

Gardai and ISPCA inspectors removed 110 Dachshund dogs from a puppy farm yesterday because of poor conditions.

  Twenty-one of the dogs were found in dark and cold conditions in boxes in an old North Tipperary cottage, while 17 puppies were found in cases in an old van.

  Seventy-two other dogs were kept in an open yard in pens.

  The discovery came after the ISPCA received a number of complaints about the North Tipperary puppy farm on their national telephone contact line.


ISPCA inspectors visited the farm on Wednesday afternoon and discovered that animals there were being kept in inadequate conditions.

  Yesterday, four ISPCA inspectors – accompanied by gardai – visited the farm and discovered the 100 dogs living in cramped conditions without access to fresh bedding, water or food.

  The owner of the farm agreed to let the ISPCA remove the animals from the premises.

  Mr Mark Beazley, the ISPCA inspector leading the investigation, said the dogs were of a pedigree breed.

  The pedigree Dachshunds – more commonly known as sausage dogs – can see for €200 per pup.

  On average the ISPCA raid one to two puppy farms each month throughout the country.

  These farms can house between 10 and 500 animals

  “Puppy farming is not illegal, but certain conditions need to be adhered to.

  “A farm can become illegal if the living conditions are not up to standard,” said Mr Beazley.

  “In a puppy farm we would want well ventilated areas with access for the dogs to heat, shelter, food and bedding.”

Dog killer stalks northside estate

North People, 02/06/2004

A person who is attempting to kill dogs by dropping poison in back gardens of an Artane housing estate could be endangering the lives of children, it was feared this week.

  Ann McDonnell, a resident on Ardbeg Drive, contacted The Northside People expressing deep concern after her dog, ‘Fifi’ died from “deliberate” poisoning.   She claimed that it was the second attempt to kill her dog in this cold-hearted manner.

  Her neighbour Shay Kenny told this newspaper that four attempts have been made over the last 18 months to poison his collie ‘Lady’.

  Also it’s understood that a dog belonging to another woman in the area died after being poisoned.

  Residents believe that the poison is being thrown into back gardens from a lane to the rear of the houses. Sometimes the poison is disguised in cakes while on one occasion it was concealed in an opened envelope.

  Residents fear that a child playing in a back garden might pick up the poison meant for dogs and innocently eat it. Coolock gardai have been alerted to the spate of incidents troubling the neighbourhood.

Women tell trial of horse attack

Irish Independent, 02/11/2004

Two women said they were “shocked and sickened” after witnessing a horse being savagely beaten with ropes and a heavy iron gate because it wouldn’t enter a horse box.

The women were giving evidence in Cork Circuit Court yesterday at the trial of Maurice Stokes of Bay 3, The Halting Site, Knocknaheeny, Cork, who has denied a charge of cruelty to an animal.

Horse dealer fined €600 in cruelty case

Irish Times, 10/12/2004

A horse dealer who allowed horses to die lingering deaths from a condition known as “strangles” as convicted of cruelty to horses on his farm and fined €600 at Galway District Court yesterday. Padraic Melia, of Clonboo, Corrandulla, pleaded guilty to four charges of cruelty under the Control of Horses Act, 1996, and the Control of Dogs Act, 1992.

Recluse had 108 dogs in bungalow

Irish Times, 10/12/2004

An elderly recluse who had 108 dogs seized from his home because they were malnourished and neglected was allowed to keep one of the animals at Cork Circuit Court yesterday.

  Veterinary officials found John O’Sullivan to be in possession of 108 dogs at his three-bedroom bungalow in Lus na Meala, Banduff, Co Cork, two weeks ago.   The dogs were seized by Cork County Council following a court order. Most of them had to be put down.

Ordered not to keep animals

Tipperary Star, 27/03/2004

A dog housed in what was described as “horrific conditions” was said by Judge O’Neil, in a case at Thurles District Court, to have been “literally skin and bone.”

  Judge O’Neil made his comment after looking at photographic evidence of the condition of the dog found on the property of Francis Maguire, 43 Butler Avenue, Thurles. Maguire was prosecuted that he did cruelly ill-treat the dog and her litter of pups.

  Hannah Fitzgerald, Tipperary Friends of Animals Society, said she went to 44 Butler Avenue having received a report from a concerned member of the public.   She observed the dog run away and her litter of pups were being kept in “bad conditions.” Gardai who accompanied witness later located the dog near Stakelums premises.

  Witness said the dog was “malnourished and thin, with her stomach in a sunken state.” Witness said the animal was underweight and had to be put on a special diet. The dog had been housed in “horrific conditions.” Ms Fitzgerald submitted a photograph of the dog in its condition at that time.

  In reply to Mr Brian Hughes, solicitor for defendant, witness said the bitch was feeding the pups.

  Mr Hughes – If the bitch’s health was not good shape she would not have been able to feed the pups.

  Witness – Yes, she was feeding the pups at that time, but, she was getting to the stage where she would not be able to do so.

  Witness agreed with Mr Hughes that the state of the dog was not due to violence having been inflicted on the animal.

  Mr Hughes said that his client had never been in trouble of this nature in the past. He had experienced some problems in his life, alcohol-related problems.   His client accepted that the dog was undernourished.

  Judge O’Neil submitted that the pups were in good health and the mother was feeding them.

  Judge – Notwithstanding her own condition the (dog) did look after the pups.

Judge O’Neil said he would have to convict defendant on the basis of the evidence before him. However, he would be as lenient as possible taking into account what Mr Hughes had stated about defendant.

  The Judge imposed a fined of €150 and ordered that defendant should hot have custody of or keep animals in the future.

Pet owner who just didn’t give a shih tzu

The Star, 13/01/2004

These are the pitiful pups found by animal workers in the “worst case of neglect” the ISPCA has ever seen.

  The cocker spaniel and shih tzu were discovered by ISPCA Inspector Brendan Hughes on the grounds of Joseph Murphy’s house in Killenane, Bagenalstown, Co Carlow last May.

  Murphy (60) was yesterday convicted of two counts of animal cruelty and fined a total of more than €3,000.

  The court was told that Murphy kept both dogs in such bad condition that the barely alive shih tzu had to be destroyed.

  And the cocker spaniel’s coat was so matted with hair that it took animal workers more than three hours to groom the animal.

  The court heard that gardai were called to Murphy’s house by an ISPCA inspector.

  The emaciated shih tzu was in such a bad way the inspector did not know whether it was alive or dead.

  The pooch had gone completely blind due to the amount of hair growing into its eyes, while its paws had become gangrenous from the amount of excrement in the yard, the court heard.

  Judge Donnchadh O’Buachalla fined Murphy €750 and banned him from ever owning or having responsibility for a dog in the future.

  He ordered Murphy to pay €1,000 to the Carlow branch of the ISPCA.


The judge also ordered Murphy to fork out a further €1,400 to the ISPCA to cover the cost of boarding and grooming the dogs.

  ISPCA chief Alastair Keen yesterday welcomed the ruling – but described Murphy’s as the “worst case of neglect” he’d ever seen.

  “The shih tzu wasn’t even recognisable as a dog when we found it,” Mr Keen told The Star last night.

Farmer charged over cruel treatment of cattle

Evening Herald, 20/02/2004

A county Cavan farmer has appeared in court on charges of allegedly causing cruelty to a number of cattle at Redhills on May 13 last year.

  John Emmo, Earlsvale Road, Cavan, faced a charge of cruelly ill-treating 13 cattle and allowing dead livestock to remain unburied.

The case was adjourned to April 20 after the accused’s brother Shay Emmo gave an undertaking that he would assist in looking after animals on the farm in the future.

New raids on puppy farms free animals in distress

A dog’s life…but is was never meant to be like this, full of cruelty and neglect

Irish Independent, 07/02/2004

An animal welfare group’s war against people running puppy farms continued in Laois and Offaly yesterday as 73 dogs, many in distress, were found during a two-day raid.  ISPCA officers, gardai and veterinary inspectors found 58 of the dogs at one particular location in Laois.  The dogs included newborn puppies, terriers, German Shepherds, collies, Labradors and Poms. Many were malnourished, mange-ridden and ulcerated.

  Ireland is the chief puppy farm location in Europe, and has no regulations governing the industry. Irish dogs are regularly sent to the UK or to the US.

  ISPCA officials hope the latest swoop in a nationwide clampdown on unregulated puppy farms will spur punters not to buy dogs from such dealers. On average each month the ISPCA raids one or two puppy farms which can house 10 to 500 animals.

  The ISPCA wants punishment for those who keep dogs in such conditions to be dealt with by the courts. Alastair Keen, ISPCA operations director, said many of the dogs were held in small cages with no real shelter or bedding.

  “We now want to see more consistency when these cases are brought to court and want (these) people to be banned from keeping dogs for life. Fines and even jail terms will not suffice,” he said.

Those involved in one raid waded through up to 12 inches of mud, fac6es and urine to locate the puppies. All the dogs are being catalogued and transported to the Ulster SPCA, as all the ISPCA’s facilities are full.  Officials are hoping all the dogs found in Co Laois will survive.

  Last week, gardai and animal cruelty inspectors removed 110 Dachshunds from a farm in north Co Tipperary where they were kept in freezing conditions without running water.  Twenty-one of the dogs were found in dark and cold conditions in boxes in an old cottage, while 17 puppies were found in cages in an old van used specifically for storage of animals.  Seventy-two other dogs were kept in an open yard in pens – some of which were made from old wooden pallets and rope. Brendan Hughes, another ISPCA inspector, said Ireland was infamous for being the “puppy farm capital” of Europe, and was home to cruel and barbaric breeders who sold the young dogs for massive profits.

  “It can be very, very lucrative when you realise that these people spend virtually no money on premises and they spend little or no money on veterinary care,” he told RTE radio.

He said a Cavalier Kind Charles Spaniel could sell for €300 to €350, and puppy farms were selling up to 700 dogs per year in the UK and the US.

  Mr Hughes said the ISPCA depended on tip-offs from the public. “Without those people contacting us directly we would never know about these things because most of these puppy farms are in out-of-the-way places,” he said.

  “They are very secretive because the conditions are so bad and people don’t want anybody to know what kind of conditions they are keeping these animals in.”

Judge sends battered horse case to higher court

Irish Independent, 15/07/2004

A District Court judge yesterday refused jurisdiction on an animal cruelty ease in which a horse had to be humanely put down after it was allegedly beaten until its back broke when it refused to enter a horse box.

  Judge Michael Pattwell heard that Stokes vehemently denies beating the horse at Carraignafoy, Cobh on September 23 last.

  Garda Inspector Senan Ryan said that the horse had to be humanely put down by a vet who was called to the c6ene and who believed that the horse’s back was broken.

  Judge Pattwell ruled that the matter was more suited to a higher court.

The matter was adjourned to Cobh District Court on September be next and will then be referred to Cork Circuit Court.

Men denies charge of cruelly ill-treating horse

Irish Times, 02/11/2004

A young horse, which was scared of being loaded into a horsebox, was allegedly cruelly beaten and dragged that it fell and sustained injuries that led to it being put down, a court heard yesterday.

  Mr Maurice Stokes, the halting site, Knocknaheeny, Cork, yesterday denied cruelly beating and ill-treating a three-year-old bay horse on September 23rd, 2003, at Carrignafoy in Cork.  Ms Lea Downing and her mother Deidre told Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday of their shock and horror at witnessing the cruel manner in which the accused and the owner of the horse Mr John Kiely attempted to load the young filly into a horse-box.

  Ms Downing said she, her mother and a younger sister noticed a young horse “obviously distressed, bucking and rearing” as it was being led by two men out of a field towards a horse box. In her testimony she said Mr Stokes was pulling the horse by a rope around its neck, while Mr Kiely was pushing the animal from the rear.  She said she saw Mr Kiely catch lift the gate of the filed and violently ram it into the terrified horse’s hindquarters.

  The court heard that in an effort to move away the animal slipped and fell, and lay for a few seconds with its body half on, half off the steel ramp leading up to the box.  She said as she watched the young filly get back up on her feet she rang local gardai to alert them to alert them to the incident.

  “The ill-treatment continued after it managed to get up. At that point it was bucking violently now. I could see it sweating, it was getting increasingly upset,” Ms Downing said.

After a few seconds of stumbling on its feet the animal allegedly fell once more, hitting its head and landing awkwardly on its neck on the ground.

  Her mother Deidre said, “It was a horrendous thing to see.” Asked why she didn’t intervene, the mother answered: “I didn’t think it was a safe situation to get involved in.”

Veterinary surgeon Mr Dave Canty said Mr Kiely called him to the scene where he found the horse in a comatose state. “I examined it and as a result decided it wasn’t probably going to get up at that stage. I made some further tests and I decided to put the animal down for humanitarian reasons.”

  Defence counsel Mr Donal Ryan BL, said his client Mr Stokes, along with Mr Kiely, strongly denied ever hitting the animal. “She flipped over and lost her balance and hit her head hard…there was no beating. That’s the truth of it. What happened was an accident,” Mr Stokes said.

The case continues today before a jury of three women and nine men at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

Dogfight case is adjourned

Irish Times, 18/11/2004

The case against 12 men charged in connection with running an illegal dogfight was adjourned until December 16th at Naas District Court yesterday.  The defence requested the adjournment because it said it needed more time to consider the matter.  The alleged offec6es are said to have occurred on October 31st, 2003, at Brockagh, Robertstown, Co Kildare.

Dog burned to death in Tyrone bonfire

Irish Times, 03/11/2004

A spokesperson for the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals yesterday described the deliberate burning to death of a dog in a bonfire in Co Tyrone over the Halloween weekend as “the actions of depraved people”.

  The one-year-old mongrel was tied up and then placed in crates in the centre of the bonfire in the village of Glebe, about six miles from Strabane. Dozens of parents and children who had gathered around the bonfire only became aware that the dog was burning to death when they heard yelping coming from the centre of the fire.

  “We couldn’t believe it at first,” said Mr Sean Elliott, chairperson of the Glebe Community Association.

  “We tried to get at the dog to pull it from the fire but were driven back by the flames. The lighting of a bonfire is a tradition in the village. It normally starts at eight o’clock but a group of boys were seen throwing petrol onto the fire at about half past seven and then running off.”

Everybody started to arrive around the bonfire, parents and children, many of them in fancy dress. Then all of a sudden we heard the cries and yelps from the dog. It was awful. The children started screaming and crying, we tried to get at the dog but we couldn’t and then the parents took the children home.

“I’ll never forget hearing that dog yelping. It went on for over a quarter of an hour but the flames were so high and the fire so hot we just couldn’t get at it. These people who did this are just crazy. The children had just come from a party in the community centre and the bonfire was just outside the grounds of St. Theresa’s Primary School where most of the children go to school. All the talk in the school grounds this morning was about the poor dog,” he said. The dog’s owner Mrs Mary Wilson was too distressed to talk about what happened.

‘Savage horse beating’ left duo sickened

Evening Herald, 02/11/2004

Two women were “shocked and sickened” after witnessing a horse being savagely beaten with ropes and a heavy iron gate because it wouldn’t enter a horse box.  The women were giving evidence in the Circuit Court at the trial of Maurice Stokes who has denied a charge of cruelty to an animal.

  Stokes (47) denies beating the three-year-old filly at Carringnafoy, Cobh, on September 23, 2003.  The horse eventually had to be humanely put down after examination by vet Dr Dave Canty who found that the animal had sustained serious injuries.


However, Mr Stokes – and a friend, John Kiely – insisted that the horse must have injured itself while bucking and kicking.

  Judge Sean O’Donnabhain and the jury heard evidence from two witnesses, Deidre and Leah Downing, who said they saw a horse being viciously abused near their home in Cobh.

  The two women claimed that, at one point, they were only 20 metres away from the horse as it was pulled, dragged and finally struck with a heavy iron gate in a bid to get it into a horse box.  One witness revealed that, at one point, the horse fell to the ground and was then struck from behind when one of the men pushed a heavy iron gate against it. The filly fell twice before finally being unable to rise.  Throughout, the women claimed that the horse was being beaten with ropes in an effort to force it into the trailer.

  The court then heard that one of the two men was seen taking the horse by the mane on its neck, despite it being prone on the ground, and attempting to drag it towards the horse box.  The women were so upset they notified the gardai – and officers immediately arrived at the scene.

  Vet Dr Dave Canty was also called and attended to the stricken animal.  Eventually, he decided the only humane course of action was to put down the filly.

However, Dr Canty told defence counsel, Donal Ryan BL, there were no signs of rope beating s along the filly’s back or sides.

Stokes of Bay 3, The Halting Site, Knocknaheeny, Cork, and Kiely were adamant that the women could not have seen the rear of the horse box from where they were standing.

Racing in crisis after dawn raid on Fallon’s family home

Irish Independent, 02/09/2004

The long arm of the law cast a formidable shadow over the world of horse-racing yesterday when it reached for the collar of Irishman Kieren Fallon, the champion jockey, rider of the Queen’s horses and of the last two Derby winners.  Instead of booting home Red Bloom for victory in the feature race at York,   Fallon spent the day being grilled by police investigating alleged corruption and race-fixing on the turf.

  In a sport of early-morning starts, the police were at the door of Fallon’s bungalow outside Newmarket before he could make his usual dawn exist to the training gallops.

  After taking him away for questioning, they also removed computers, files and documents from his home. Fallon was later released on bail from Bury St Edmunds police station and will have to attend a police station in London in two months. Until then, it is business as usual for the five-times champion who will continue the defence of his title from the challenge of Frankie Dettori with six rides at today’s Salisbury meeting.

  Fallon’s solicitor, Christopher Stewart-Moore, said in a statement last night: “Kieren Fallon has not been charged with any offence. Following an interview with the police in Bury St Edmunds he has been released without charge.

  “The circumstances that relate to his arrest involve an individual who Kieren Fallon has met on one occasion and whose name he did not even know at the time the meeting happened.

  “This was during the course of a 10-minute car journey from Leicester races to the airport at Leicester where he then flew on to a meeting at Windsor.

  “During this car journey Kieren Fallon did not speak to the individual concerned. In the circumstances we do not anticipate that this matter will be taken any further by the police.”

Two other jockeys, Ferdal Lynch, from Derry, Darren Williams and the trainer Karl Burke were among 15 others arrested. The riders also have booked mounts today, with Lynch due at Redcar and Williams at Carlisle.

  John Maxse, of the Jockey Club, said: “In the event that those concerned are released, then I would anticipate they would be able to continue with their racing and riding, pending further developments in the police investigation.”

  The decision not to suspend the riders marks a change of policy from the last time the police became involved in racing, when the jockey Graham Bradley had his licence to ride suspended for two months in 1999 after being arrested.

  Bradley was allowed to reapply for his licence after charges against him were dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.

  Fellow jockeys Dean Gallagher, Jamie Osborne and Leighton Aspell also had their licences suspended for a week, having been arrested before being released without charge.

  The magnitude of the dawn swoops reflects the seriousness of the investigation into 80 suspicious races, with 130 officers from four police forces headed by the City of London Police, raiding 19 addresses.

  At a time of increased track attendances and record-breaking levels of betting these are not the sort of figures on which the sport’s rulers, the British Horseracing Board and Jockey Club,0 wish to dwell.  Instead, the Jockey Club, so often the butt of accusations of incompetence in its efforts to police the sport, was quick yesterday to draw attention to the role in the investigation of its own security department that has been beefed up by the addition of some former senior policemen.

Betfair, the leading betting exchange, were also anxious to claim credit for their part in the investigation, while defending themselves from their dogged enemies, the traditional bookmakers. “Betfair has played a key role in the investigations,” a statement said. (© Independent News Service)

llegal fireworks used to kill pets

Animals strapped to deadly bangers

The Star, 06/10/2004

Illegal fireworks and bangers are being strapped to puppies and kittens before being ignited and set off in a number of Limerick c6ity estates it was claimed today.  Young animals have been killed or seriously maimed by “gangs of youths who take perverse pleasure” from tying the fireworks to pups and kittens, a gardai source told the Star.

  The source added that it’s a growing problem across a number of Limerick city suburbs.

  “It has happened in the past in a number of suburbs including Ballinacurra Weston, Saint Mary’s Park, Moyross and Southill.

  “Gangs of youths and teenagers are the culprits. It is a terrible thing to hear about,” said the source.


One Weston resident claimed residents and pet owners on the city’s southside are “terrified” about fireworks in the weeks before Halloween.

  “They see this as a perverse form of pleasure. They tie the fireworks or bangers to the bac6ks of puppies and kittens before setting them off.

  “They often stick the fireworks into the ground before lighting them to see will the animals shoot into the air. They kill or seriously injure the pups or kittens involved,” reported the Weston woman.

A Garda spokesman for Henry Street Crime Prevention Office reports that fireworks are in circulation around the city.

  “Fireworks are still illegal in this country and have been sourced illegally by criminal gangs and are very dangerous as there is no proper standard or quality control.

  “I want to appeal to parents in particular to be alert for children having fireworks in their possession. Elderly neighbours are often a target for young thugs who for some reason find it amusing to terrorise an older person by throwing fireworks in their door or letterbox,” said the spokesman.

Niamh Allen of Limerick Animal Welfare said: “There are animals being killed or maimed mysteriously at this time of year – it is very sad.

“The fireworks and bangers drive dogs and pets crazy. It is very important to keep pets indoors in the evenings.”

Puppies found in van on way to UL

Irish Independent, 13/02/2004

Thirty puppy dogs have been found crammed into a van on a 13-hour journey to England.

  The 30 puppies, thought to be en route from an Offaly puppy farm to a Lincolnshire pet shop, were followed on the Holyhead ferry by ISPCA inspectors. However, when stopped by police and examined, none of the dogs were found to be suffering under the legal condition, and the van was allowed to continue on its journey.

Sick attack on Lusk Cat

North Country Leader, 07/12/2004

A Lusk woman has appealed to the public for information following a savage attack that left her cat without claws. The assault took place last Wednesday night at approximately 9pm after the cat, named Tabby, wandered out to the back garden. The alarm was raised at 11pm, when the woman discovered that Tabby had disappeared.

  “We found her at 7am the next morning at the back door,” says the woman, who does not wish to be named. We knew she wasn’t well, she was limping, especially on her back paws. It was only when I picked her up I saw what had been done to her.”

In addition to pulling off Tabby’s claws, the attacker burned her paws and cut off a small section of her front paw. She may also have been kicked in the face. The family rushed Tabby to the vet, where she was referred to the mobile hospital in Donnycarney for a course of antibiotics and painkillers. She had recently given birth to 11 kittens. “The vet says she should make a good recovery, but her claws will never grow back,” she says.

  “I don’t think she’ll ever be the same cat again. She’s absolutely traumatised.”

Her 10-year-old son Mickie, who suffers from spinabifia and hydrocepharus, received Tabby as a present for his ninth birthday.

  “The guards have told us they will prosecute if they find the person who did this,” she said.

  “I won’t give up until I find out. I think she was probably digging up somebody’s garden and they were punishing her. I just want them to know how much they’ve hurt the cat and how much they’ve hurt Mickie.”

She says Mickie is “devastated” by the attack.

  “He’s always wanted a pet, so we got him Tabby for his ninth birthday. She was his whole world. She’s a housecat but used to like playing in the garden, but now she’s totally confined to the house. I just can’t believe they did it to a special needs child. I can’t believe there’s such evil out there.”

If you have any information regarding the attack, please contact Lusk Garda.

Tiny puppy is forced to run solo

Dog saved after siblings cruelly die

The Star, 26/11/2004

Abused puppy Solo must grow up without his little brothers and sisters after they all died when cruelly abandoned in a bog.

  The adorable four-week-old is the only survivor of 10 puppies thrown inside two tied plastic bags and left to die in a peat bog in Crossmalina, Co Mayo.

  The spaniels were found by a passerby two weeks ago, who then contacted Briarfields Animal Sanctuary in Lisacul, Co Roscommon.

  The sanctuary is the home of Edward and Patricia Preston, who have been looking after stray and injured dogs for nine years.

  “It’s the kind of things we deal with every week,” Edward told the Star.

The Prestons have between 40 and 50 dogs at any one time, and they post pictures of them on the Internet in the hole that someone will give them a home.

  Last year, a three-legged dog named Lucky was given a new home in Sweden and even appeared on television.

  “Lucky was found in a ditch by a lady walking her own dog,” said Mr Preston.

  “The lady knew she had just been hit by a car. We went along to see what happened, and when we got there we found she had a crushed leg, which had to be amputated.


“We took care of her for two years until she was seen by a vet in Sweden. Subsequently, she appeared on a Swedish Rescue Television,” he said.

Mr Preston said they constantly find it difficult to fund their sanctuary, and donations are very much needed.

Donation cheques or postal orders can be sent to Briarfields Animal Sanctuary, in Lisacul, Co Roscommon.

Greyhounds on Viagra.

Limerick Post, 11/12/2004

A SPOKESPERSON from Greyhound Action Ireland has claimed that "drugs like Viagra are constantly being sold at dog racing tracks in Ireland and greyhounds are suffering horrifically from the hell of withdrawal symptoms”. Some dogs are even given cocaine to boost their performances, she claims. Limerick is regarded as being one of the Meccas for greyhound racing and training in the country, with races three days a week at the greyhound racing track at the Markets Field. Prize money can range from 200 euro to over 35,000 euro in sweep stakes and the sport attracts a huge interest in the city. Talking to the Limerick Post, Bernie Wright said that "this drug is sold by pushers who have obtained it on prescription from MDs” and the practice is allowed to continue because "there is very little testing”. "Viagra, which is given to quicken the heart-rate of the dogs, is a major racket at Irish dog racing tracks. Dogs are suffering horrifically and routinely at the hands of trainers and owners. They should not be subjected to the hell of withdrawal symptoms from drugs such as EPO, a steroid that shows no traces or Largactyl, a sedative also used at dog tracks to slow dogs down. We in Greyhound Action appeal to anyone who has further information on drugs being used to contact us immediately. They can remain anonymous,” said Ms Wright. She also said that "cocaine is also given to dogs to improve their performance”. Ms Wright then referred to a recent article which appeared in a national newspaper, recounting how a greyhound trainer who tried to inject his dog with drugs, accidentally injected himself.