Cases in 2009

Ballyglunin farmer banned from keeping animals after cruelty conviction

Tuam Herald, 29/10/2009

Animal cruelty organisation welcomes judge's verdict  see more

Farmer arrested for animal cruelty as he attempted to flee State

Kilkenny Advertiser, 18/12/2009

A Kilkenny farmer was arrested as he attempted to leave the State after he was charged with cruelty to animals and with leaving nine dead animals rotting on his farm.

Simon O’Dwyer (63), of Garrue, Knockmoylan, Mullinavat, Co Kilkenny, was charged with four counts of cruelty to animals and with three counts of failing to dispose of animal carcasses.  He appeared before Kilkenny District Court this week.

The court heard Mr O’Dwyer had “abandoned” his farm and that seven dead horses and two dead cows were discovered by gardaí on his land on four dates between January and December 2009.  The court heard that Mr O’ Dwyer was arrested on Monday at Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, crossing into Northern Ireland in an attempt to leave the jurisdiction.  Mr O’Dwyer’s son, Simon (26), is also charged with two counts of cruelty and with one count of failing to dispose of a carcass but he failed to appear before the court and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.

The father is also charged with failing to appear at Birr District Court in October 2009 on charges of theft from an equestrian supply shop in Birr, Co Offaly, in May 2008.

Garda Shane Elliffe, of Thomastown Garda station, said that when charged Mr O’Dwyer replied, “I wasn’t there, nobody told me they were dead. The place is for sale but there is nobody to buy it.”  Michael Lanigan, solicitor for Mr O’Dwyer, said the offences relate to “an abandonment of a farm”, and applied for legal aid.

Insp Brennan made an application for bail, however, this was refused on the basis of “the circumstances of his arrest” and on the basis of a warrant being issued for failing to appear at a previous court sitting.  Judge William Harnett remanded Mr O’Dwyer in custody to appear at Castlecomer District Court on December 21 next.

Mother and daughter plead guilty to cruelty to horses

Irish Times, 27/01/2009

A mother and daughter have been banned from keeping horses, ponies and donkeys for 10 years following convictions for animal cruelty.  Judge Gerard Haughton described as “horrific” images of three ponies whose unpared hoofs caused so much pain that the ISPCA had no choice but to put them to sleep.

  Ester and Caitriona Molony, Ballindoolin House, Edenderry, Co Offaly, each pleaded guilty to three counts of animal cruelty at Edenderry District Court.  The ponies were seized by the ISPCA last May but inspector Brendan Hughes said they had been left for up to four years without foot-care. This resulted in two of the animals developing curled hooves.

  In one case the hooves of a 20 year-old mare were 18 inches long and had curled into the animal’s forelock, breaking skin and causing infection and scarring. A 10-year-old gelding developed extremely painful cloven feet as its untended hooves grew inwards because of its different bone structure.  Mr Hughes said this animal had possibly been in more pain than the others, despite his less obvious appearance of physical suffering, because he would have been forced to walk on his toes at all times.

  Despite extensive veterinary care and significant farrier treatment, a decision was made by the ISPCA to put them to sleep to prevent further suffering.  A member of the public had alerted the ISPCA to the plight of the animals, which were kept in a paddock at the back of the house.

  The court heard that the women had difficulty in getting a farrier to attend the farm, possibly because they had reduced the number of equines in their care and the fattier may have deemed it not worth his while.

  In their grief following the death of Ester Molony’s husband, Robert, in January 2007, they had been under enormous pressure to maintain the house and farm and were only able to prevent their sale because of ground rents accruing from properties belonging to Mrs Molony in Dublin.

  Nevan O’Shaughnessy said his clients, who run a working harm and who open stately Ballindoolin House to the public, were mortified and embarrassed. He described them as “extremely respectable people.”

  Caitriona Molony waited in the courtroom with her four-week-old son until the case was heard after one o’clock.

  Judge Gerard Haughton, who described images of the neglect as “horrific”, said he would not accept the defence of the farrier not turning up because the “very obvious neglect” had been going on for several years.

  He ordered the Molonys to pay costs of over €500 to the ISPCA which is to be informed if the women wished to have the ban lifted on appeal.

Slaughter 3,000 racehorses

Worried Breeders: We Need Less Stock

Irish News of the World, 25/01/2009

Horseracing last night became the latest victim of the Irish recession as breeders called for 3,000 brood mares to be slaughtered.  Hundreds of owners are bailing out of the sport every month, the Small Breeders’ Association (SBA) revealed.

  Trainers are being left with scores of unwanted runners and a mass of unpaid bills. SBA Chairman Michael Maguire said: “Until 2007, any kind of a horse was selling, so a lot of inferior horses were being bred. There were 8,000 brood mares registered last year, and we believe 3,000 of the poorer mares should be slaughtered. We have to breed less stock.”


Mr Maguire has been contacted by trainers complaining that callous owners have abandoned their animals.  He said: “One trainer I know was left with four horses after the owner said he was finished with racing and told him to sell the animals to clear the bill.”

 A Tipperary trainer, who asked not to be identified, said: “Owners may tell trainers to keep the horses, but a lot of them are worth nothing. Most will end up at the meat factory.” A huge number of horses are expected to be sent for slaughter as the recession deepens.

  An abattoir in Carlow has applied for a license to destroy 300 horses a week.

  The country’s only other horse rendering plant, B&F Meats in Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, has a huge waiting list.

  Figures released last week show that from 2,000 to 2007, the number of horses in training rose by 52 per cent.  But in 2008 the number of new owners fell 14.7 per cent from 1x4x49 to 1,237.ISPCA officer Barbara Brent said: “Years ago if you had a good horse to re-house you’d have a dozen homes for it, but now people just can’t afford it. People should take responsibility for animals.”

Cruel Farmer Wants Votes

Irish News of the World, 22/03/2009

A famer, sentenced to four months in jail for “utterly awful” cruelty to animals, is running for a county council seat.  Tyre dealer Richard Smith’s crimes were so extreme, the LSPCA asked he be given a lifetime ban from herding animals.  But Smith, 48, has now announced he will contest the Adare electoral area of Limerick in June’s local vote.

  In January, Smith, who owns Richie Tyres in Kilmallock Road, Limerick, was convicted of cruelty at his farm at Lemonfield, Crecora.  He admitted two counts of cruelty cows and not tending his herd on March 15 last year.

  The jail sentence is currently under appeal but Smith is not denying the seriousness of what happened.


He said: “It was a very dark period in my life and it is something I will be ashamed of for the rest of my life. I stand by my guilty plea and there is no question of me not holding my hands up to what happened.”

   Limerick District Court heard that one badly-injured cow had its back legs tied to a tractor and was dragged through a field and left to die.  Other animals were starving and rotting carcases were left lying in sheds and in the farm yard.

  Judge Tom O’Donnell, who handled the case, said deplorable pain and suffering had been inflicted on Smith’s herd.  He described the offences as “utterly awful” and said the pictures of he ill-treated animals were among the most upsetting he had ever come across.

  If elected as an Independent councillor Smith says he will mount a campaign for the introduction of a compulsory retirement age of 65 for politicians. He also wants bin collections to be taken over by the local authority.

  Mr Smith said: “I believe in public service for the people. My family has a long connection with politics and it is something I always wanted to do. I believe I can give something back to society without costing a fortune.


“I am a people person and I believe that I have a valuable contribution to make to the process. I believe I can bring an open voice to the table and conviction on matters that I would be fairly passionate about. At the end of the day, I am a bread and butter person and things like maintaining roads and encouraging businesses within the Adare electoral area would be important to me.”

Owner jailed over starvation of dogs

Irish Times, 28/02/2009

A man who allowed two dogs to starve to death in his back garden has been jailed for five months and banned from ever owning an animal again.

  Michael Farrell, of Kilmahuddrick Road, Clondalkin, Dublin, appeared before Portlaoise District Court yesterday.

  The court heard how two boxer dogs belonging to Farrell (26) had died from starvation and were dead for up to 10 days before being discovered by ISPCA inspector Brendan Hughes. He told the court he called to Farrell’s address at the time in Lake Glen, Kilminchy, Portlaoise, on December 18th, 2007, after a complaint. He found a male and a female fog left lying, one on top of the other in a small kennel. They were in a “state of decomposition”.

  Father-of-three Farrell was charged with cruelty to animals, permitting a carcass to remain unburied and having no licence.

  Mr Hughes said Farrell had told him he last fed the dogs on December 9th and that when he came back from a trip to Dublin on December 12th they were dead.

  The defendant said he believed the dogs had been poisoned but the post-mortem had shown there was no poison in their system and they had died from starvation.

Judge Gerard Haughton said Farrell consciously neglected the dogs; he knew he had them and did not feed them. He jailed Farrell for five months and banned him from ever owning an animal again on the charge of cruelty to animals with the other two charges taken into consideration.

Man admits cruelty to dying horse.

Daily Star, 12/03/2009

John Daly, Upper Tomhard, Bilbao, Carlow, was sentenced to five months in prison on each count of cruelty but this punishment was suspended.  

  Mr. Daly has pleaded guilty to two counts of cruelty to horses in care on February 29, 2008.  Mr.Daly’s solicitor said that his client had bought the horses from travellers a few day’s before and ISPCA inspector found one of the horses lying in Daly’s field. The court heard the horse as “extremely emaciated” and “frightened”. A vet was called and the horse was put to sleep.

Evil thug ripped off rare bird’s heads.  

Daily Star, 28/03/2009

Glen Conroy (21), Mourne View, Skerries, Co. Dublin was jailed for three years for breaking into an aviary and killing twelve exotic birds.  The incident was captured on CCTV as Mr. Conroy and another accomplice broke into Newbridge House, Donabate, Co. Dublin.   

Mr. Conroy was drunk at the time and said he did not remember killing the birds until told by a friend the next day. In court, he said “he snapped their necks and gave them a few boots.”

Judge adjourns case where cattle left to ‘die and starve’  

Times, 28/04/2009

John Maguire, Clonee House, Ederney, Co. Fermanagh faced a number of charges in relation to failing to record the movements of his cattle on the holdings, having wrong tag numbers in breach of Bovine TB and Brucellosis in Cattle Orders, failing to collect the carcasses of six cattle which died in some manner other than by having been slaughtered.  

  The offences are alleged to have happened on dates in October 2006, and February and June 2007.  

  Having view photographic evidence of rotting carcasses, Judge McLaughlin expressed the view that animals were left to “die and basically starve”.

  The case was adjourned until May 6th.

The Clare People,13/10/2009

A HORSE WAS put down after his hooves were grossly overgrown and the animal was in obvious distress, a court has been told.

John Frost (63), of Deerpark, Doora, Quin, was charged with cruelly ill-treating an animal in February.

  Clare County Dog Warden Frankie Coote told the court that, on foot of a call on February 7 last, he went to Doora the following morning, "where I believed there was a horse in distress".

  On arrival, he could see a horse in a field. "He was in obvious distress. He was unable to get up," he said. He contacted gardaí and notified a vet and they arrived at the scene.  He said that as the horse attempted to get up "it was very dangerous, so I tied him"."The hooves were grossly overgrown. The horse had to be destroyed.  The vet examined the horse and decided that the horse was suffering and was unable to get up," said Mr Coote.  He said he had inspected the same horse in October of last year, after he had received a complaint. He said at that time the owner had undertaken to get a farrier. Asked by defence solicitor Daragh Hassett had any efforts been made to contact Mr Frost prior to the animal being put down, Mr Coote said, "My concern was the horse."

  Owen O'Connor, a vet, told the court he had concluded that no treatment was suitable for the horse and he advised that it be put to sleep. He said that overfeeding and repeated bouts of laminitis contributed to the condition of the horse. The horse was put down that day.  He agreed with Mr Hassett that there was good grass and fresh water in the field. Mr Hassett submitted to the court that the evidence did not amount to cruelly ill-treating the animal.   However, Inspector John O'Sullivan, prosecuting, said the evidence presented did amount to ill-treatment of the animal.

  Judge Timothy Lucey convicted the accused. "This has been going on for some time. It didn't just happen overnight. That, in this court's view, is ill-treatment," he said. Mr Hassett said the case was "at the lower end of cruelty." "Mr Frost did his very best. He had the horse shod by a farrier.  He had it done once a year. It would appear he should have it done twice a year, given the age of the horse. He's very sorry for what happened," he said.

  The judge said the case was "serious". "The horse was in good condition otherwise, but this specific problem was not being dealt with. He knew there was a problem there. He ignored it. He let it run. Things can slip. That happens to everybody, but the animal is in your hands. The animal can do nothing about it. It is a serious situation,” said the judge. "In my view, he is clearly responsible for the horse and clearly didn't do what he was supposed to do," he added.” In the course of the case it was put to the court the owner should have been consulted before the horse was put down. I accept Mr O'Connor's professional judgment. I think he acted 100 per cent correctly in putting the animal out of his misery," he said.  He said if the defendant had previous convictions, he would be facing a custodial sentence. He imposed a fine of €500 and fixed a bond in the event of an appeal.

Cruelty to greyhounds

Irish Examiner, 24/10/2009

Thomas Daly with an address at Ballyhagen, Carbury, Co. Kildare was convicted of cruelty to two greyhounds at Kildare District Court.  

  The court here that ISPCA chief inspector Conor Dowling found a greyhound bitch living in a filthy cattle trailer and a greyhound dog in a small mucky pen with no shelter or bedding.

  Judge Desmond Zaidan gave Daly a three-month custodial sentence on each count to run concurrently. The accused was fined €1, 1150 on each count and ordered to pay expense of

Ballyglunin farmer banned from keeping animals after cruelty conviction  

Tuam Herald, 29/10/2009

A BALLYGLUNIN farmer who left his dog untreated with a two kilo cancerous tumour hanging from its abdomen was banned from holding any animals in the future when he was convicted on a cruelty charge at Tuam District Court on Tuesday.

  Before the Court was Mar-tin Forde of Lissaniska, Ballyglunin who was described as a farmer in Court. He was fined and ordered not to keep animals again.

  Galway Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (GSPCA) issued a statement following the verdict and the Judge's ruling expressing their delight at the outcome and hoped it would serve as a warning to others who are mistreating animals.

  At Tuam Court GSPCA official Janine Zanon presented photographic evidence depicting the distressed state the dog was in before it had to be put down by Tuam Veterinary Surgeon Tom Rennick.

  Judge Geoffrey Browne on viewing the evidence said: "The poor dog, it must have been in agony." He added that there was no excuse for leaving an animal in such distress and it must have been obvious that it was ill for a considerable time.

  He was told that the tumour was the size of a melon and was estimated to weight approximately two kilos (4.51b). Ms Zanon gave details of the condition she found the dog in when she visited Forde's farm on February 27 last.

  The animal could barely walk when she arrived at Forde's home and she could see it was in severe pain. She put it in her van and brought it to the vet in Tuam. Along the way she could hear it crying in pain and when she removed it there was evidence of discharge from the tumour left in her vehicle.

  Tom Rennick estimated that the tumour could have been growing for up to two years. It was in such extreme pain when brought to the surgery that there was no option but to put it down.

  Forde's defence solicitor told the Court that her client was very apologetic for what had happened. He had twice tried to get a vet to come out and treat the dog but had failed. It was stated that. Forde himself had suffered ill health in recent times.

  Judge Browne convicted Forde of animal cruelty and imposed a fine of €750 and ordered him to pay €60 in veterinary expenses,

  He also ordered that Forde be banned from keeping any animals.

  GSPCA Spokesperson Margaret O'Sullivan told The Herald that the animal involved had endured unimaginable suffering. "This is the first in my memory that someone has been banned for life from owning a dog. Hopefully this will be a lesson for those who don't look after their animals. We will come after you and there will be prosecutions," she warned.

"We are absolutely delighted with the outcome of this case and we thank the Judge for his comments and the way he dealt with the matter," added Margaret O'Sullivan.

Leinster Leader, 28/10/2009

Twenty-year-old Thomas Daly, of Ticknevin, Carbury, pleaded guilty before the court to two charges of starving two greyhounds.

Mutilated coursing dogs found dumped on Limerick beach.

Irish Independent, 04/06/2009

Three mutilated greyhounds, believed to have been coursing dogs, were found dumped at a popular bathing spot in Limerick. The Limerick Leader has reported that the animals had their ears cut off so that the owners could not be identified. This is just the latest act of appalling barbarity against Irish greyhounds.

Growth in dog fighting rings sparks appeal for crackdown.

Irish Independent, 05/05/2009

Tamer dogs such as greyhounds are often used as "bait" during the training phase of a fighting-dog's career, giving the animal a taste for blood and some practice in fighting. Two abandoned, severely-injured greyhounds, found in the last week in the Clonmel area are thought to have been used as training material for fighting dogs. Gardai and the Tipperary SPCA are currently investigating the discoveries. "One dog was quite literally torn open," said Mark Hickey of the TSPCA. "It was still alive when we found it but had to be put down by the vet because the injury was so bad. It [the tear] started below the rib cage, and continued down into the dog's side and into the groin." Another greyhound/whippet, aged about five, found around the same time had up to 80 puncture wounds -- consistent with being repeatedly attacked by a fighting dog. "He was also brought to the vet but died of shock," said Hickey. The first dog, thought to have been between two and three years old, was originally a racing greyhound as it had an official tattoo, and the SPCA have asked Bord na gCon for help in tracing its owners.

Unwanted Greyhounds shot for 10 Euro.

Irish Sun, 21/05/2009  

An Irish greyhound executioner called Larry Earle has been exposed in the Irish Sun ... Earle of Camolin, County Wexford admitted killing greyhounds with a captive bolt gun for 10 euros a time. He said ‘a bolt gun that’s it, end of story them they’re sent to the rendering plant. He refused to say how many greyhounds he kills a year.

Farmer with animal cruelty conviction ordered to reduce stock levels or go to jail

Mayo Advertiser, 06/03/2009

A farmer from Crimlin, Brickens, Claremorris was told he would face three months in prison unless he reduced his stock levels at Ballyhaunis District Court this week.

  “Do you know where Castlerea is?” Judge Geoffrey Browne asked the farmer, John Joe Mulkeen, to which Mulkeen replied “I do.”

  “Well that’s where you will be going for three months unless you reduce the number of sheep on your land,” by Judge Browne warned him. Mulkeen was in court to face charges after gardaí re-entered charges against him after he failed to reduce the number of sheep he kept to 100 as he was ordered to do following a cruelty conviction previously.

Philip Breslin, a veterinary officer with the Department of Agriculture, told the court that he had visited Mulkeen’s farm on December 22 2008 and Mulkeen had 280 sheep. He visited it again on March 2 and there were 260 sheep after a head count. Mulkeen told the court that if he had to reduce his numbers to below 200 he would have to give up farming because it would not be worth it to farm only 100 sheep. Judge Browne gave Mulkeen until June 2 to reduce the numbers or face going to Castlerea for three months.