€1,000 fine for neglecting animals

Evening Herald, 9/12/2003

A man pleaded guilty to ill-treating two dogs, one of which had two kilos of matted hair when found by the ISPCA. Joseph Murphy, Killinane, Bagenalstown, Co Carlow, appeared before Bagenalstown District Court in relation to two counts of cruelty on a cocker spaniel and a blind under-weight Shihtzu which was subsequently put down. Murphy was ordered to pay €1,000 to the ISPCA and Judge John Coughlan adjourned the case to January 12th for further sentencing.

Cat was convulsed in agony on footpath

The Nationalist, 1/2/2006
The horrific scene of a cat convulsed in agony on a Graiguecullen footpath suffering a malicious death horrified passers-by this week.  see more

Dogs poisoned and dumped in car-park

The Nationalist, 1/10/2001
Two dogs were found poisoned at the entrance to the Brownshill Dolmen last week, even though their concerned owner was out searching desperately for them. Carlow ISPCA inspector Jean Bird is awaiting a full autopsy report on the bodies of the animals. However, preliminary results indicate that the dogs were poisoned. “There isn’t a question that they were hit by a car or anything,” explained Jean, who was called to the car park of the Brownshill Dolmen by members of the public appalled by the sight. “We’re still waiting the full lab result but a vet carried out preliminary tests which indicated they were poisoned. “We’ll now be fully investigating the matter. The owner of the dog is away on holiday and the dogs were being cared for by his father,” Jean explained. “The father works during the day so the dogs were kept on long chains in his back garden,” she added. It is understood that the dogs were lying, stretched out at the edge of a nearby car-park. There was no attempt made to bury the dogs and at this stage it is not known if the animals were dumped while alive or following their death. When contacted by The Nationalist the owner’s father explained how he had made several enquires as to the whereabouts of the dogs, who had broken from their chains at his home on Monday evening.

Gin trap smashes cat’s leg in pieces

The Nationalist, 16/12/2002

A cat lying in enormous distress, her front leg severed by a vicious and illegal gin trap was discovered in Killeshin, close to the local national school on Monday morning having dragged itself to a nearby house, its front leg still caught in the jaws of the illegal trap. The young female cat is currently recovering from her ordeal in Carlow Veterinary Clinic and is expected to recover despite the loss of her leg.

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.

Cruelty nearly cost this kitten’s life

The Nationalist, 4/6/1999

You would imagine that a clothes recycling bin is only for, well ... clothes! So imagine the surprise of passers-by at the clothes recycling bin in Bagenalstown when they heard the faint cries of this little creature! Cruel individuals threw this young kitten into the recycling bin, where she remained for some time, until the shock discovery was made. The Carlow branch of the ISPCA was immediately called to the rescue, freeing the little feline from the masses of clothing around it. Inspector Jean Bird said that while there is no way of knowing how long the kitten was in the recycling bin, she would estimate that it could have been a number of days.“The kitten sustained a broken jaw but she is recovering well at the Veterinary Centre, Tullow Street, Carlow,” Jean explained.

Sheep farmer ordered to pay £4,000 to ISPCA in cruelty case

The Nationalist, 30/3/2001

A county Carlow farmer had a two-month prison sentence suspended and was ordered to pay £4,000 to the ISPCA, after being convicted of cruelly ill-treating a number of animals on his farm.  see more

Appalling cruelty

The Nationalist, 31/7/1999

A sickening act of cruelty which left a defenceless horse drowned in the River Barrow was recounted to The Nationalist this week by the two men who discovered the animal.  see more

Shot 4O birds in cruel attack

The Nationalist, 21/8/1999

A horrible act of animal cruelty was carried out in a farmyard in Bagenalstown last week. Approximately 40 pigeons were slaughtered. The perpetrators walked into a person’s farmyard and shot the birds for no apparent reason. These pigeons had nested and bred in the farmyard for many years and were almost tame. After the slaughter took place the carcasses of the birds were left on the ground. This is not only a case of cruelty to animals, because the perpetrators of this act trespassed on private land and could have endangered human life. It was evident that a shotgun was involved. The gardai are following a definite line of inquiry and are confident that the people who carried out this act will be brought to justice.

Sheep dismembered in ‘sick act of cruelty’

The Nationalist, 15/9/2000

A vicious gang brutally dismembered a bleating fully grown lamb at the rear of Hacketstown National School last week, in a particularly sickening act of cruelty.  Tullow gardaí remarked that the depraved act was “one of the worst acts of animal cruelty” they had ever come across. It is understood that those involved in the act tortured the lamb, mutilated him by cutting off his ears with a butcher’s knife and then left the distressed lamb literally fighting for his life. The lamb was taken from a neighbouring field just hours before and was then subjected to the ghastly act at the back of the school. The lamb’s owner eventually discovered the lamb wandering in the school the following day and immediately contacted Tullow gardaí. Remarkably the lamb was found alive but suffering horrific wounds. County veterinarian Liz McColum was called in to attend to the lamb and to fully investigate the vicious crime. It is understood that the six-month-old lamb is making a slow but steady recovery. The owner of the lamb has this week offered a £200 reward for information leading to the identiy or identities of those involved. Anyone with any information can contact Tullow gardaí

Irish Independent, 23/3/2001

James Cleary, Ahade, Kilbride, Co.Carlow pleaded guilty to charges of cruelty to animals, failure to inspect his animals and allowing his animals to wander on March 22, 1999. He was ordered to pay £4,000 to the ISPCA at Tullow, Co.Carlow District Court on the 22/03/01. He pleaded guilty to allowing up to 40 sheep to die on his farm due to neglect.

Carlow farmer disturbs livestock killers

Carlow First, 9/8/2007

(John Cleary)

A Carlow farmer has been left short on his livestock count after he discovered an appalling case of cruelty to animals on his Castledermot farm last Sunday night. The farmer, Padraig Murphy, was awoken in the middle of the night when heard his sheep bleating in a nearby field.  And when he went out to investigate he discovered the body of one of his pedigree sheep slaughtered in the field and spotted three people running from the area. The livestock owner came across three suspects in the field but they turned and scampered when they saw the farmer approaching with his torch.  The dead sheep, a pedigree Suffolk bred ewe lamb said to be worth €500, was killed with a screwdriver using several blows to piece the creature's neck but it was dead.  The perpetrators had begun to skin the dead animal, although they were skinning her the wrong way, starting from the rear and working towards the head instead of the other way around.  

Carlow Gardai are investigating the incident as a matter of cruelty to animals and asking anyone with information to contact them in confidence on (059) 9131505.

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.

Trainer’s bid fails

The Sun, 18/10/2005

Trainer William Mullins yesterday lost his High Court bid to overturn a ruling disqualifying one of his horses for a failed drug test.

  Gelding Be My Royal’s win at 33/1 in a race in 2002 was ruled ineligible by the Jockey Club when the horse’s urine was found to contain morphine.  Mr Mullins, of Bagnalstown, Co Carlow, argued it was now accepted that the morphine levels came from food contaminated by poppy seeds.

  But Judge Mr Justice Stanley Burnton said the Jockey Club was “not a public authority” and its verdict could not be challenged in the High Court.  He added: “Review of the decisions of the Jockey Club is a matter for private law.”

Victory for ISPCA as court bans man

The Star, 23/01/2005

These are the horrific pictures taken inside a recently discovered puppy farm, revealing the horror of the conditions dogs are forced to love in.

  The woeful state of the two farms, Ballyinan, Co Laois, were described as some of the worst the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have experienced.

  But thanks to the pioneering work of the ISPCA, both farms were shut down for good earlier this week.

  The owner of the dogs, Liam Burke (66), has been barred from ever owning a dog again.

  The case is the first ever prosecution against a puppy farm owner in this country and the victory is seen as a major coup for the ISPCA.

  ISPCA inspector Conor Dowling revealed that the woeful conditions up to 30 dogs were forced to live in were some of the worst he has ever seen.

  As our exclusive pictures show, dogs ravaged with skin disorders were locked inside makeshift pens with no bedding.

  “The conditions the dogs were being kept in were atrocious and there was no cleaning being done,” Conor said.


  “There was a thin layer of faeces on the ground and there was a very strong smell of urine, no bedding and old bones lying around.”

Mange, a skin disorder which causes a dog to literally tear of its coat, was rampant in the ramshackle farm.

  “There were a numb8er of dogs that were in poor physical condition and there were a number of dogs with bad skin complaints as well.

  “A lot of the dogs had traces of mange, a lot of them were bald around the eyes. It is a matter of it not being treated and it being allowed to escalate to that stage,” Conor added.

The farm’s owner Liam Burke was well known to ISPCA officials, according to Dowling.

  “He has a bit of history and we have had an involvement before.

  “I believe there were some health factors whic6h perhaps tipped it over the edge but he was always walking a tightrope.”

Last month, Burke, who had previously undergone triple bypass surgery, pleaded guilty to two charges under the 1911 Cruelty to Animals Act/

  The maximum penalty in such a case is a €2,000 fine and/or six months imprisonment.  However, due to the man’s ill health and age, Judge Mary Martin let the dog owner off lightly and ordered him to pay €1,000 for the cost of the investigation, while banning him from owning a dog again.


Earlier this week, Carlow District Court hear the Loughglass farm was in an “appalling state” with 10 makeshift pens in a barn reeking of urine.  Inspectors found a nine-week-old puppy with an infected cut at Ballyadams.

  Despite the success of the case the ISPCA has been left with severe financial woes. The cost of housing Burke’s dogs during the court proceedings cost almost €10,000.

  Apart from a small grant from the department of Agriculture, the ISPCA is dependent on donations and fundraising to keep its vital operation in existence.

  “We are appealing for donations at the moment to help us cover these costs.”

You can make a donation to the Society by visiting www.ispca,ie

Ten poor puppies cruelly drowned

The Star, 13/10/2006

Ten tiny puppies have been found cruelly drowned in an old compost bag weighted down by a rock. The gruesome discovery was made by an environment activist close to the idyllic village of Clonegal in Co Carlow.

  The pups, barely a week old, were drowned in a natural pool in an area known as ‘The Sandpits’ c6lose to the village.

  “I could see the animals had been drowned. They were in a bag with a cement block,” explained the activist.

“It is incredibly cruel. Puppies and animals feel cold, hunger, pain and thirst, all the things we feel,” said an ISPCA spokesperson.


Men bludgeoned deer to death during rabbit hunt

Carlow People, 28/10/ 2008

THREE TULLOW men were convicted of animal cruelty this week when they admitted bludgeoning a deer to death on a night out hunting rabbits.

 A lurcher dog was used to bring the animal down before the men were photographed by a wildlife ranger bludgeoning the deer to death with blunt objects.

  The three were before the district court on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to animal cruelty at Barnameelia, Rathdangan on January 8 2007.

 Sergeant Joseph Hanley told the court that John Nolan of 57 Hillbrook Estate, Brian McDonald of 52 St Patrick's Park, and Brian Rooney of 14 Slaney View Drive were out in the early hours of the morning hunting animals.

  The men were out hunting with a fourth individual who Sgt Hanley said had not been brought before the court as this person is of little intelligence and attends a special school.

 Solicitor Brendan O'Flaherty said his clients alleged that the lamp and the dog on the night belonged to the forth individual. He added that the pain brought on by the dog would have led to a lingering death and that the three men came across the badly wounded deer and decided to put it out of its misery.

 He added that hunting rabbits was a weekly pastime for the three and that there had never been an incident like this until they were joined by the fourth person.

 Sgt Hanley disagreed that they had not been deer hunting on the night as Barnameelia was an area known for being highly populated by deer.

 'If they were hunting rabbits then there are other areas closer to home,' he said.

He added that no one had taken full responsibility for the dog but that he believed it did not belong to any of the three defendants in court.

 After being informed that the dog had not been put down Judge William Harnett voiced concern. 'That dog is capable of attacking a child, other animals, another deer or a sheep,' he said.

 Sgt Hanley produced a vet report on the deer along with gruesome photographs of the dead animal. He added also that expenses of ¤750 needed to be paid to cover the veterinary report, photography and transport for the animal for post-mortem.

 Saying that their pleading mitigation is plausible and can't be disproven Judge William Harnett convicted and fined each of the men €500 on the animal cruelty charge and ordered that they each pay €250 expenses.

 A number of further charges including the use of MPVs, vessels and aircraft in hunting animals, hunting with a lamp, light or torch and entering a land without permission to hunt wild animals were all withdrawn.

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.

Carlow man convicted of animal cruely, 13/11/2008

A Carlow man was convicted of animal cruelty at Carlow District Court this week.

  David Fisher with an address at Glean na Bearru, Royal Oak Road, Bagenalstown pled guilty to cruelty to two horses at lands in Nurney, Co Carlow in November 2007.

  The two filly horses were discovered in poor condition by Inspector Brendan Hughes on Wednesday November 21 last year following a report to the ISPCA by a concerned member of the public. There was no grass for the horses to eat and no evidence of any supplementary feeding.

  Giving evidence in court Inspector Hughes described one of the horses, a light bay, as being “emaciated with ribs showing and hips and spine protruding.” He also said that the animal was “depressed and listless.”

  Inspector Hughes described the other filly which was dark bay in colour as being “in similar bodily condition but somewhat brighter.”

  The two horses were removed for care and rehabilitation. While the dark bay was brought to the ISPCA National Animal Centre in Longford, the light bay was treated locally as it was feared that she would not survive the journey. Both were pregnant at the time of their rescue but both subsequently delivered still-born foals.

The case was adjourned for sentencing until 18th February 2009 pending a probationary report.