ISPCA probes own staff over cruelty

News of the World, 26/11/2000

The ISPCA launched a major investigation into claims that pets have been starved, neglected and cruelly put to death at one of its own animal sanctuaries.  see more

Farmer jailed for cruelty

Irish Independent, 8/2/2001

A 72 year old farmer convicted of animal cruelty opted to go to jail rather than pay a ₤5,000 donation to the ISPCA. Farmer Gerard Roche of Johnstown, Co. Wexford had appeared in Court on several occasions on a series of animal cruelty charges between December 1999 and March 2000. Roche had been given a six month suspended sentence by Judge Donnchadh O Buachall on condition that he paid the money. The judge told Roche that as he refused to pay the money he would make an order that he spend six months in jail.

The Sun/The Mirror, 15/05/2001

(only main points)

Cornelius Keane, (37) Bawnbue, Drimoleague, Co.Cork was jailed for three years at Cork Circuit case for injecting cattle with slurry to claim TB compensation. He took slurry from pits and injected into forty-nine cattle leaving them with lumps half the size of a football. Mr.Keane stood to gain £900 a month compensation for as long as his herd was confined to the farm. It was reported that Mr.Keane owned money to his bank and he stood to gain about £25.000 from the fraud.

Fraud, Fraud and More Fraud

Farmers Journal, 19/5/2001 (Letters)

The latest scandal to rock the farming community is the jailing of a young Cork farmer who is a former nominee for the Young Dairy Farmer of the Year Award. Cornelius Keane from Bawnbue, Drimoleague, Co. Cork, was jailed for three years for unmercifully injecting his cattle slurry in order to defraud the state of ₤20,000 in bovine TB compensation. Keane (37) injected a lethal concoction of caustic soda and slurry into his 49-strong herd. According to Judge AG Murphy this act of cruelty merited a lifetime ban from farming and a severe prison sentence. The effect of the injections on the herd was graphically described in court by senior veterinary inspector John Murray. He told how he found cattle with swellings the size of Gaelic footballs on their necks. The swellings were oozing poisonous puss and causing severe pain to the animals.

You sick animal

Sunday World, 02/12/2002
Brian McCann is the deviant publican behind a stomach-churning ‘squish’ video showing a woman callously stamping a helpless kitten to death with a stiletto heel.  see more

Sell your cows or go to jail. Elderly farmer's last chance.

Daily Mirror, 07/12/2002
A Judge issued his final warning to an elderly farmer convicted of cruelty to cattle on her farm. Marie O'Sullivan, 78, from Doonass, Clonlara, Co. Clare, was convicted last month of eight offences including three of cruelty to cattle on her 130-acre farm. Yesterday at Limerick District Court, Judge Tom O'Donnell told O'Sullivan she would be sent to jail if her farm wasn't depopulated within a fortnight. O'Sullivan's solicitor, Aneas McCarthy, told the court her client was adamant to keep some of the cattle on the farm despite a court order to get rid of them all. But the judge said he was not willing to allow the extreme cruelty to continue on the farm. Judge O'Donnell released O'Sullivan on bail until December 18 and warned that if the situation is not resolved he will jail her for 18 months despite her ages and ill health.

Irish Examiner, 17/1/2003

An elderly farmer and publican, John Cullen, from Redcross Co.Wicklow, was fined €400 at Rathdrum court yesterday (16/1/03) on one charge of cruelty to animals. Seventeen other charges were taken into consideration. Sgt Martin McAndrew from Avoca, who visited the farm on a number of occasions between March 10 and April 6 last year following complaints told Judge Donnachadh O’Buachalla yesterday that the defendant had paid €4,000 to the Wicklow Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and had paid the vet’s expenses. A previous court was told that Garda McAndrew had found the unburied carcasses of 20 animals some of which have been dead for a couple of weeks.


Farmer arrested for animal smuggling

Wicklow People, 24/07/2003

The Dunlavin livestock dealer who hit the headlines when he smuggled sheep from a foot and mouth infected herd into the country has been arrested again, on suspicion of animal smuggling. Fifty three year old John Walsh will appear in a Scottish court this Monday on suspicion of importing animals without a permit and animal cruelty. Forty three puppies and three kittens that were in Walsh’s possession at the time have been taken into care at animal welfare centres in Scotland. Walsh is originally from Calverstown but his family moved to Ballyhurtin Dunlavin many years ago. Walsh was jailed in January 2002 by a Dublin court when he was convicted of smuggling almost 300 sheep, some of which were infected with foot and mouth, into Ireland. His Offaly farm was seized this year by CAB in order to pay a tax bill believed to be in the region of €900,000. 

Nightmare – 36 greyhound trucked 900 miles in one van in 40°C heat on a 38hr journey to hell

The People, 27/7/2003

Dozens of greyhounds were squashed together in 40°C heat for a 38hour trip across Europe.  see more

Two brothers charged with animal cruelty

Irish Time, 25/9/2003

Mervyn Walsh, Ballyvadden, Gorey, Co Wexford appeared at Enniscorthy District Court yesterday having failed to appear on six previous occasions in relation to animal cruelty charges after returning from Kenya following the foot and mouth outbreak. Judge Donnchadh Obuachalla handed down the three month suspended prison sentence and ordered that the defendant is not a fit person to be in control of livestock including sheep. His brother William Walsh of the same address who was present in court having also returned from Kenya was fined €1,000 in relation to an animal cruelty charge. Supt Pat Delaney told the court the cruelty offences took place over two years ago after the defendants’ entire herd had been culled by the DOA. The brothers failed to bury a number of cattle carcases that were left lying on the land, he said.

Horses won’t be returned.

Evening Herald, 24/03/2004

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.

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.

Thugs mutilate family pet and leave it to die in ‘horrendous’ attack

Irish Examiner, 15/09/2005
A family pet which as saved from drowning was butchered with an axe or a grinder by thugs who then threw the dog up on a pillar outside a housing estate and left it to die.  see more

Garda smelled cruelty from road

Irish Examiner, 19/12/2002
A rural garda literally smelled animal cruelty as he passed a farm in North Cork and on investigation he found 47 dead cattle and many more malnourished cows standing among the carcases.  see more

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, 01/10/2001
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, 19/05/2004
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, 30/03/2001

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

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, 23/03/2001

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.

Waterford News/Star, 26/05/2000

(main points)

Michael Cashin (34) 76 Connolly Place, Waterford was found guilty of cruelty to a German shepherd dog at Waterford District Court. The court was told that the dog lost 201lbs in weight and that it was in poor condition with his backbone and ribs protruding. It was reported that Mr. Cashin has an alcohol problem. The judge imposed a baring order on Mr. Cashin for keeping a dog until such time he could satisfy a court of law that he was not abusing alcohol and was capable of looking after himself and therefore capable of looking after a dog.

Examiner, 8/10/1998

(main points)

Jack Gallagher (52), Cranford Court, Donnybrook, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court 7/10/98 to mistreating a rabbit contrary to the Protection of Animal Act. Mr. Gallagher was found in a nightclub in Baggot Street, Dublin with a pet rabbit in a briefcase. The animal which had conjunctivitis at the time was taken away for treatment. Mr.Gallagher, an unemployed man, said he lived alone and had the rabbit for company. He never intended to harm or be cruel to any animal.

Cruelty Charge.

Evening Herald, 04/12/1999

A woman who admitted a charge of cruelty to animals has been fined 150 pounds after Drogheda District Court heard that 28 deer had been found starved to death on her farm in Co Meath in Nov 1990. The court heard the defendant Vida Tuite , Ardcath, Co Meath had been unable to afford fodder for the animals.

Man kills horse in Ireland for eating too much grass.

Reuters, 25/10/2000

Dublin -- Gregory Martin, a U.S. citizen living on his grandmother's farm near Ballina close to the west coast of Ireland, was, according to this story, convicted for what the judge called "absolute, wanton cruelty" after he hacked a horse to death with an axe because a neighbour complained it had been eating too much grass. Irish media was cited as reporting on Wednesday he has been sentenced to three months in prison. Martin told the court he believed he had the right to kill the mare because "the Bible says man has dominion over animals."

Kerry Foods in duck cruelty charge

Sunday Times, 9/10/2005

British animal rights activists are targeting the Kerry Group, Ireland's largest food company, over the alleged mistreatment of ducks at a farm in Norfolk.  see more

Dog’s leg amputated DIY style – ‘horrific cruelty’
Tipperary Star, 3/5/2007

A springer spaniel dog that was found wandering in a garden in Cashel last weekend with one of its front legs amputated "DIY style" is to be operated on today (Thursday) in an attempt to relieve its suffering.  see more

Carlow farmer disturbs livestock killers

Carlow First, 09/08/2007

(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.

Worst case of animal cruelty seen in Ireland

Irish Sun, 09/10/2007

(Fergus O' Shea)

A father and son have pleaded guilty to the worst case of animal cruelty ever seen in Ireland. A cop found starving horses with no grass or fodder next to the carcasses of four dead animals at a site rented by Simon O' Dwyer and his son, also called Simon.  Three horses had to be put down while the remaining 25 were taken into care by the Irish Horse Welfare Trust, a judge at Carrick-on-Suir District Court , Co. Tipperary heard.  Just a month later, 51 cattle and one live horse were found in shocking conditions along with the carcasses of four cattle and one horse at the O' Dwyer' Mullinbeg farm.  An investigation by Garda Sgt Stephen O' Sullivan resulted in the seizure of the cattle. Judge Terence Flynn called the animal cruelty the worst he had ever seen in his time working on the bench.  O' Dwyer Snr, 61 and 21-year-old O' Dwyer, Jnr of Knocktoper, Co. Kilkenny were given four-months suspended jail sentences. They were also fined €3,000 each and ordered to pay €38,000 to the Irish Horse Welfare Trust as a contribution to nursing their animals plus €2,000 for carcass disposal and €540 vet fees. 

A Trust spokesman said: "We are looking for kind and experienced homes for the horses."

Dog’s neck slashed in appalling act of cruelty

Attack: DSPCA seek owner

Evening Herald, 29/5/2007

This little black terrier was fortunate to be alive today after its neck was slashed in an appalling act of cruelty.  see more

Ballyglunin farmer banned from keeping animals after cruelty conviction

Tuam Herald, 29/10/2009

Animal cruelty organisation welcomes judge's verdict  see more

Oldcastle farmer fined €2,000 for animal cruelty

Meath Chronicle, 26/04/2008

An Oldcastle farmer was fined €1,000 each on two counts of animal cruelty and €750 for assaulting a Garda at Kells Court last week.  see more

Six month suspended sentence in animal cruelty case

Leinster Express, 22/12/2008

A woman who claimed to rescue dogs has been given a six month suspended jail sentence after her appeal against a conviction for animal cruelty failed.  see more 

Husband tortured and killed dog

BBC News (online), 18/07/2008

A man who killed his wife's dog and threatened to kill her has been sentenced to six months in jail.  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.

Cruelty probe

Dromore Leader, 26/01/2010

A FARM at Edentrillick Road, Dromore, is at the centre of a police and USPCA investigation into alleged animal cruelty.  see more

Young puppy kicked to death by Donegal kids, 8/1/2011

THREE children, one as young as five, laughed and cheered as they kicked a puppy to death in a Letterkenny ousing estate, the Irish Independent newspaper reports in a shocking and terrible story this morning, which first came to light yesterday on a local radio station.  see more

Three in court over badger baiting, 30/4/2012

THREE MEN HAVE appeared before a court in Co Down today after they were arrested by PSNI officers on suspicion of animal cruelty.  see more

Animal cruelty conviction at Kilcock District Court

Leinster Leader, 12/07/2012

A man who left injured animals in a field in west Kildare has been convicted for animal cruelty at Kilcock District Court.  Gerry Connors (73), Esmonde Road, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, was keeping six horses in a rented field at Derryvarogue, Donadea. After Gardai were alerted to the conditions in which the animals were being kept, one of them, a Clydesdale horse, had to be put down after the Kildare Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (KSPCA) was called in.

The offence took place on 24 January 2011 and Judge Desmond Zaidan banned Mr. Connors from keeping horses again.  Garda Sean Tierney said in evidence that he got a call from the KSPCA and met Mary Lawlor and Stewart Keane at the field.

The Grey Abbey veterinary service was also called and one horse, a big white animal, which was in foal at the time, was put down. The other five animals were taken to the pound and were alright.  Garda Tierney said Mr. Connors was unhappy the horse had been put down. It was said to be worth €12,000.

The wound on the injured horse were “foul smelling” and “gangrenous” and there was swelling “the size of a football”.  Garda Tierney said the vet put the horse down on “humane grounds”.

David Powderly, solicitor for Mr. Connors, said his client was in the horse business all his life and felt the animals were being looked after. He paid someone in the area to feed them and they were fed properly.

The Court heard that Mr. Connors had also been in ill health and had eight children.  He had no pension from the State, said Mr. Powderly.

Judge Zaidan questioned this and Mr. Powerly said Mr. Connors operated outside of the system all his life and was involved in scrap buying. The Judge said he should be entitled to his pension.  The Court heard that the owner of the field had to pay €200 to get the horse removed and the KSPCA had to pay €200 to the vet.  Judge Zaidan said the horse was in a “despicable” condition. He imposed a €1000 fine with €400 costs.

Man jailed for cruelty to at-risk horses

Irish Times, 20/04/2012

A MAN who has contracts with nine local authorities to take in and care for horses which are at risk or abandoned has been convicted of cruelty to animals and sentenced to 16 months in jail.  see more

Probe into ‘horrific’ fox killing

Irish Independent, 21/03/2013

AN ANIMAL welfare probe is under way after sick thugs tortured and hanged a young fox from a tree directly opposite a busy bus stop.  The gruesome discovery was made in Mayfield on Cork's northside by a group of youngsters curious about the large plastic bag draped from a chain off a large tree branch.  Onlookers were horrified to discover that a fox had been wrapped inside a large plastic bag and then hanged by its neck from a chain.

The Cork Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (CSPCA) was called to the scene and the fox was removed to determine if, as suspected, it had been tortured before being killed.  The CSPCA described the incident as one of the worst they have ever dealt with.  Inspector Vincent Cashman said they are determined to identify those responsible.  "This was a horrific act and we would appeal to anyone who suspects they know those responsible to contact either ourselves or the gardai," he said.

A special appeal for information has also been launched via the CSPCA's Facebook page.

Dog lured to its death by University of Limerick students in drunken game

Limerick Leader, 02/06/2013

 DRUNK UL students lured a dog to its death in a sick game, says a local resident.  see more

Man who slaughtered goats in house convicted of cruelty
Irish Daily Mail, 05/07/2013

A man who admitted slaughtering goats in a house has been convicted of
animal cruelty.
Rashi Kibaga, 23, used a knife to slaughter the four goats in accordance
with religious teaching, Tralee Circuit Criminal Court heard.  Gardaí received a complaint in April last year about "goat screaming and in
pain" at a house in the town.  Officers and animal welfare inspectors went to the house and found four goat carcasses, two of which has been skinned, the court heard.
Brian McInerney, defending said Kibaga was an asylum seeker from Somalia and
a Muslim.  "For a devout Muslim to consume meat not killed in halal fashion would be a grave sin", Mr McInerney said.  What Kibaga did was customary in Somalia but he "accepts things are done differently in this country and he apologies," said the barrister.  Kibaga, of Killarney, Co. Kerry, who admitted animal cruelty, wronging using the house as an abattoir and failing to ensure the goats did not suffer. 
Judge Carroll Moran suspended a one-year jail term.  The main charge is that he cruelly tortured or terrified and killed four goats, contrary to Section 1 Protection of Animals Act 1911.

They've had a ruff time! Adorable puppies bred on illegal dog farm found stuffed into car boot bound for Britain (but don't worry, the poor things are alright now)
  • Police in Ireland seized around 50 of the dogs in the back of two cars in Dublin
  • Many have had their tails docked and claws removed
  • The dogs include around 25 Jack Russells, cocker and springer spaniels, and terrier, beagle and Labrador breeds
  • Several are in special care because they were too young when taken away from their mother

Daily Mail, 11/10/2012

see more

Decision on Walderstown foxhunt cruelty investigation expected today
West Meath Independent, 1/12/2007

This afternoon (Wednesday), the body in charge of foxhunting in Ireland is expected to announce the findings of its investigation into claims that a fox was dug out of its den, tied up and fed alive to the hounds during a recent hunt in Walderstown.  An Irish Masters' of Foxhounds Association (IMFHA) sub-committee, which was set up to investigate the claims, was due to meet with members of the Westmeath Hunt yesterday evening, with a decision set to be announced today.

  The Westmeath Hunt organised the November 14 meet during which the incident is said to have taken place, but the organisation has strongly denied the claims. Caroline Preston of the Westmeath Hunt committee told this paper that while she did not take part in the meet in question, the Hunt has "vehemently denied" that the incident took place. "We are anxious to clear our name," said Ms Preston. 

  The Irish Council Against Blood Sports called for a Garda investigation into the claims, which were reported in the national press last week. Sergeant Noel Mulligan of Athlone Garda station said that, as of yesterday, the local gardai had received no report in relation to the incident.

  Landowner in Walderstown, Michael Murray, is reported to have been an eye witness to the hunt, but when contacted by this paper yesterday he said he had no comment to make in relation to the alleged events. The Walderstown allegations were originally discussed by the IMFHA at a meeting early last week.  The association's spokesperson, Brian Munn, said that a sub-committee was then established to investigate the claims and that in the last few days this group has spoken to a number of people "both formally and informally" as part of its enquiry.  "From our point of view we need to find out if something happened and, if it did, we need to make sure that it doesn't happen again," he commented.

  The Westmeath Hunt was suspended while the investigation was taking place.

  The alleged incident is outlawed under the code of conduct drawn up by the Irish Hunting Association and sanctioned by the Department of Agriculture and Food. It states that: "In no circumstances will a live fox which has been dug out be thrown to the hounds.

Pregnant terrier left in sealed basket leading to the death of eight puppies

Belfast Telegraph, 28/08/ 2013

see more

Ballydangan pups have lucky brush with the law!Westmeath Independent, 02/09/2013Two collie pups had a lucky brush with the law in Ballydangan recently when local Gardai came to their rescue.  Gda Alma Delaney and Gda John Duggan responded to a call from a member of the public, who had heard the sound of pups crying coming from a fertilizer bag thrown in a drain in Ballydangan.  The concerned individual had tried to help but could not reach the bag.  Gardaí were able to retrieve the bag and found the two pups tied inside. They very kindly brought them back to the station where they were given a bath, food and a warm bed in a cell for the night. The Gardaí then contacted the ISPCA for assistance and the pups were brought to the National Animal Centre. When fully recovered from their ordeal they will be available for rehoming.  Inspector Karen Lyons who collected the puppies from the Garda Station commented “The pups are approximately 3 months old, they are very friendly and seem to be well socialised.  I find it impossible to understand why anyone could do such a thing to these 2 beautiful pup when there are options out there for people”.

Poisoners use pigeons as live bait to kill buzzards

Irish Examiner, 27/08/2011

BIRDWATCH Ireland has expressed horror after poisoners used three live pigeons tied to the ground to kill a pair of young buzzards.  see more

Warning: Graphic content - Athlone SPCA appeals for witnesses after dog's head blown off, 02/12/2013

Athlone SPCA has appealed for information following the discovery of a dog which was shot in the head in the town.  see more

Young puppy kicked to death by Donegal kids, 08/01/2013

THREE children, one as young as five, laughed and cheered as they kicked a puppy to death in a Letterkenny housing estate, the Irish Independent newspaper reports in a shocking and terrible story this morning, which first came to light yesterday on a local radio station.  see more

Neglectful farmer escapes jail over cruelty to cattle

Irish Independent, 1/06/2005

A farmer who has starved his cattle to death was told yesterday he would have to apply to the courts if he was ever to be allowed have livestock in his care again.

  David Coffey of Newgrove, Kilrickle, Co Galway, escaped jail after admitting charges of animal cruelty and failing to properly register his herd.  Coffey appeared at Loughrea Circuit Court yesterday, appealing at eight-month jail term handed down at Ballinasloe District Court.

  Department of Agriculture vet Elizabeth O’Flynn told the court that, in conjunction with the ISPCA, she inspected Coffey’s herd on February 2 last year.

  The 60 animals showed signs of starvation.  They were bellowing for food and there was no evidence of feed or shelter.  There were carcases on the land.  Some cattle showed extreme weakness and one died shortly after the visit.  Ms O’Flynn said Coffey admitted he had not had a vet out for 14 months.

  Neither tags nor registration of animals were in place and Ms O’Flynn issued a regulatory notice compelling him to address the problems.  He agreed to do so immediately.

  On numerous subsequent visits Ms O’Flynn said there was little change.  Some beasts had to be put down.  Further notices were issued.

  Defence counsel told Judge Raymond Groarke Coffey was very depressed, but his condition had only been properly diagnosed recently.  Judge Groarke accepted Coffey was ill.  He had heard many such cases in court but had never yet heard one where there was not a psychic reason.

  The court heard Coffey had disposed of his cattle.

  The judge said he would suspend sentence and proposed to prohibit Coffey from holding animals without applying to court to see if he was fit to do so.  He adjourned sentence to finalise the prohibition wording.

Irish Examiner, 17/01/2003

An elderly farmer and publican, John Cullen, from Redcross Co. Wicklow, was fined €400 at Rathdrum court yesterday (16/01/2003) on one charge of cruelty to animals. Seventeen other charges were taken into consideration.

Sgt. Martin McAndrew from Avoca, who visited the farm on a number of occasions between March 10 and April 6 last year following complaints told Judge Donnachadh O’Buachalla yesterday that the defendant had paid €4,000 to the Wicklow Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and had paid the vet’s expenses.

A previous court was told that Garda McAndrew had found the unburied carcasses of 20 animals some of which has been dead for a couple of weeks.

Farmer convicted of animal cruelty chooses jail instead of fine

Irish Examiner, 08/02/2001

A 72-year-old Wexford farmer, convicted of several serious cases of animal cruelty, opted to go to jail for six months rather than pay a £5,000 donation to the Wexford Branch of the ISPCA.

“You gave me the option of paying or going to jail. I’m going to jail,” defiant farmer Gerard Roche, Johnstown, Duncormack, Co. Wexford, told Judge Donnachadh O Buachalla at Wexford District Court.

The judge told the defendant that he was imposing a six-month suspended sentence on him on condition that he paid the money over and asked him if he needed more time to get the cash together”. The defendant replied to the judge: “I don’t need any more time, I’m quite determined that I’m not paying.”

Roche who represented himself in court was asked by Judge O Buachalla if he needed a solicitor.

“I don’t need one,” replied Roche.

Judge O Buachalla told the defendant that in that event he would make an order that he complete six months imprisonment. Roche was then taken to Wexford Garda Station before being transferred to Mountjoy.

Roche had appeared in court on several occasions in respect of a series of animal cruelty cases which occurred between December, 1999, and March, 2000. In November, the court heard that while Roche had sold his herd for £80,000, much of the money had been spent on paying farm debts.

The remainder of the money was said to be needed to improve Roche’s appalling living conditions. The judge, however, noted that the defendant still had 200 acres of land, a portion of which, he could sell to make the donation.

Sell your cows or go to jail. Elderly farmer’s last chance.

Daily Mirror, 07/12/2002

A judge issued his final warning to elderly farmer convicted of cruelty to cattle on her farm. Marie O’Sullivan, 78, from Doonaas,, Clonlara, Co. Clare, was convicted last month of eight offences including three of cruelty to cattle on her 130-acre farm. Yesterday at Limerick District Court, Judge Tom O’Donnell told O’Sullivan she would be sent to jail if her harm wasn’t depopulated within a fortnight. O’Sullivan’s solicitor, Aneas McCarthy, told the court her client was adamant to keep some of the cattle on the farm despite a court order to get rid of them all. But the judge said he was not wiling to allow the extreme cruelty to continue on the farm. The court also heard from Mary Bourke, a Department of Agriculture vet, that 23 cattle from the farm had been slaughtered last Thursday and that 17 would be removed next week. The court also heard the department was giving O’Sullivan one last chance to sell the rest of the herd or they would be removed and slaughtered by Christmas under EU regulations. Judge O’Donnell released O’Sullivan on bail until December 18 and warned that if the situation is not resolved he will jail her for 18 months despite her ages and ill health.

Warrant out for farmer on cruelty charges

Irish Independent, 07/01/2006

a warrant for the arrest of a farmer was issued yesterday after he failed to appear in court on charges of animal cruelty.

Concern has been expressed for the welfare of 30 ponies on the man’s land near Clonmore, four miles from the town of Edenderyy, Co Offaley.

Farmer Joseph McNamee (63) was not present when his case was called at a District Court hearing where he was to face two charges in relation to his treatment of animals.

Gardai were also seeking an order so that the ponies on Mr McNamee’s farm could be removed by them.

A herd of cattle was removed by gardai from Mr McNamee’s property before Christmas because of welfare issues.

Judge John Neilan said it appeared to him that Mr McNamee was either incompetent or incapable of looking after the animals.

The judge was also critical of the Department of Agriculture, which he said could have taken appropriate action to take the animals away.

An inspector for the Department was present in court and said that officials had already seized a herd before Christmas and that there was now concern about the food-stuff which had been left for the ponies.

Let me keep my ponies.

Cruelty farmer makes horse appeal.

Sunday World, 15/01/2006

The ageing farmer accused of cruelty to animals said he wants to keep his herd of rare Celtic ponies, despite being told he was to hand them over.  see more

Cruel farmer who injected cows with slurry in fraud attempt get three-year jail sentence

Irish Examiner, 15/05/2001

A farmer, who injected his cattle with slurry in an attempt to give them TB so he could claim a slaughter grant from the Department of Agriculture, was jailed for three years yesterday.  see more

Cruelty to animals

Sun, 11/02/1999

An elderly west of Ireland woman was jailed in three months at Athenry District Court yesterday for cruelty to animals after the court heard that over 30 of her cattle have died from malnutrition since December.

Mary Ciles, Kiltrogue, Claregalway, Co. Galway was also banned from holding livestock for five years. The woman had also been convicted for cruelty to animals in 1993.

Women let cows die

Sun, 11/02/1999

A cruel woman farmer was jailed for three months yesterday after a court heard how she allowed 34 of her 56-strong herd of cows to die in just eight weeks.

Mary Giles, who is in her 60s, was also banned from keeping cattle for five years.

It was her second conviction for cruelty, the district court at Athenry, Co. Galway, was told.

She had been banned from keeping livestock following her previous appearance in 1993.

Giles, from Claregalway, Co Galway, denied neglecting the animals and claimed she provided them with 210 bales of hay every week.

Cattle left to rot on horror farm

Part-time farmer to be quizzed after 450 starving cows were found stuffed into shed

Sunday World, 15/11/1998

see more

Cattle cruelty king’s luxury mansion

Sunday World, 21/11/1999

Roly-poly part-time farmer Thomas Greene – exposed for cruelty to animals on his own farm – is building a fairy-tale mansion on top of a hill.  see more

500 cattle to be put down at horror farm

Sunday World, 14/02/1999

The cruel part-time farmer who left hundreds of stock to rot and die is set to have his herd of 500 cattle put down.

see more

Cruelty case farmer is getting treatment

Sunday World, 14/11/1999

A farmer who starved more than 200 animals to death earlier this year is receiving treatment from a psychologist, a court heard this week.

A district court in Kilcock, Co Kildare was told this week that Donal Fitzpatrick, Baltracey, Donadea, Naas, who is facing 59 charges of cruelty to animals, was not in a position to proceed with the case.

Solicitor Eddie Timmons told Judge John Brophy that he had just been assigned to the case and needed time to be properly briefed.

He added that his client was now receiving treatment from a [some mistake in the original article]. The court also heard that Fitzpatrick’s previous solicitor Donal Houlihan had not been contacted by Fitzpatrick since the last court sitting in October, and now wished to ‘come off record.’

Remarking that 199 sheep had died on Fitzpatrick’s lands, Judge Brophy said that it would be necessary for the psychologist, Dr Curry to attend in court to give sworn evidence in relation to the defendant.

Sgt Tom Neville, prosecuting, told the judge that as the garda involved in the case, Sgt Nolan from Carbury, would not be available for the December sitting, he had no objection to a longer adjournment.

Judge Brophy adjourned the hearing to January 25 next.

Boy kills dog in horrific attack

Disgust as pup beaten with sticks

Belfast Telegraphy, 12/07/2005

There was outrage last night over another horrifying case of animal cruelty in Ulster in which a young boy is believed to have beaten a puppy to death.

Police and the USPCA were called to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of the puppy, which was found with severe injuries in the Vianstown Road area of Downpatrick.

  Sinn Fein councillor Eamonn McConvey said the boy’s parents were “very upset” by what had happened.

  He said: “This is a very concerning incident. We don’t know the full circumstances yet but the parents of the boy who has been implicated in this incident are very upset.

  “They are devastated and can’t understand why their son would do this.

  “They are very sorry for all the hurt caused.”

One resident said a group of children who witnessed the incident were left badly shaken.

  He said: “There were a number of kids about and they were left pretty shaken by what they had seen. Nobody knows yet what was behind this. We think the dog was a stray.”

  The boy is believed to have swung the dog around by its legs.

  This is the latest in a series of animal cruelty cases in the province in recent weeks.

  Earlier this month two children were believed to be responsible for beating a baby goat to death in Co Tyrone.

  The young animal was found with its legs and back broken in Dromore after it was beaten with a hurling stick.

  The children were too young to face prosecution.

  Two weeks ago a Labrador cross-breed was allegedly thrown from the 10th floor of a block of flats in north Belfast.

  Police were also called in to investigate the possible decapitation of a sheep after an animal’s head was discovered at a house in south Belfast.

Court bans farmer after starving, dying sheep found

Irish Independent, 09/01/2003

A west of Ireland farmer neglected his sheep so badly that many of the animals were either dying or were skeletons by the time the gardai and a vet were alerted.

  John Concoran (57), unmarried, of Clashaganny, Kiltullagh, Athenry, Co Calway was ordered by a judge to sell all his sheep and never to engage in any form of sheep farming again after hearing details of what he described as an appalling case of animal cruelty in which excruciating pain had been inflicted.

  The farmer had told a garda that the cost could not justify him getting a vet for the sheep that were dying of starvation on his 58-acre holding.

At Loughrea District Court yesterday, Corcoran was ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service. Judge Michael Reilly warned him that if he failed to do the work, he would impose a six-month jail sentence.

  A Department of Agriculture vet, Elizabeth O’Flynn told a previous court hearing that she had been appalled by what she had seen on the farm at Kiltullagh in   May of last year. The accused had appeared totally indifferent to the suffering that he was causing.

  Ms O’Flynn said it was evident that there had been total neglect of the sheep and it was as if the animals were left to die. She said that starvation was an extremely cruel and painful form of death. She had put down three sheep humanely.

  Corcoran, who had a previous conviction for cruelty to sheep, admitted charges of cruelly permitting unnecessary suffering to sheep, lambs and ewes by failing to feed them and of permitting sheep and lamb carcases to remain unburied on his land.

  Garda Kevin Devally had found a total of 13 dead sheep on the farm when he visited it on May 1.

  Three others were so week they could not stand and others were in poor condition. The field was flooded and had no grass – the animals had no feed whatever.

  Some of the sheep had been eaten away by dogs, while 20 bales of silage on the farm were all rotten. Six bags of lamb nuts had remained unopened outside on the roadway.

  Cororan’s solicitor, John Nash said his client had led an exemplary life of almost 57 years and was coming to court with his hands up.

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.

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.

Dogs in cruelty case costing £45,000 to kennel

Irish Independent, 18/11/2000

The kennelling of 26 dogs belonging to a woman convicted of cruelty to the animals, has so far cost more than £45,000, the High Court was told yesterday.

  Donna Sfar, St Bronagh’s Lisdoo, Dundalk, Co Louth successfully challenged part of a Circuit Court order which disqualified her from “owning” a dog for 10 years, whereas the legislation empowers a judge to prohibit a person “keeping” a dog. Ms Sfar was convicted in May, 1999 in Dundalk District Court of cruelty to her 26 dogs. She was fined £300 and disqualified from “owning” a dog for five years. She appealed to the Circuit Court which affirmed the order but increased the disqualification to 10 years. Yesterday, Ms Sfar’s counsel, Feichin McDonagh SC, said that to date the kennelling of the dogs had cost £44,900, of which his clients had paid £19,400, leaving over £25,000 outstanding.

  Quashing the part of the Circuit Court order which disqualified Ms Sfar from “owning” a dog for 10 years, Mr Justice Kearns said that he thought the proceedings could have been brought to court a long time before yesterday. The judge said it appeared that the original mistake disqualifying Ms Sfar from “owning” dogs had been made in the District Court order.

Horse owner sent to prison

Evening Herald, 03/02/2000

A horse owner was jailed for three months today after a court heard how he had allowed a mare in foal nearly starve to death.

  Thomas Sweeney of Shanowen Grove, Santry, Co. Dublin, was sentenced in his absence after he failed to turn up in court to answer a charge of cruelty to the animal at a filthy stables in Hollystown, Mulhuddart.

  The District Court heard DSPCA inspector Robert Kenny found the mare and another 26 horses in filthy conditions when he visited the premises on 10th May last.

  There was no trace of concentrated food or hay and a water trough was empty except from dried faeces and fungus growing in it.


One horse, not the mare, was kept in a stable by means of a nailed down rope and with nothing to lie on.

  The mare was in a stable where the bedding had “gone to slop” And the acid from her urine and faeces had burnt her legs.

  There were a number of small stones which had grown into its hooves and which would have caused a lot of pain to her.

  Sweeney had a four previous convictions for cruelty and allowing animals to wander.

  Judge Patrick Brady said it was a very serious case of neglect and cruelty. He imposed a three month prison sentence and also fined him £500. He also ordered him to pay £1,000 legal and witness expenses.

Cruelty charge

Evening Herald, 04/12/1991

A woman who admitted a charge of cruelty to animals has been fined £150 after Drogheda District Court heard that 28 deer had been found starved to death on her harm in Co Meath last year in November 1990.

  The court heard the defendant Vida Tuite, Ardcath, Co Meath, had been unable to afford fodder for the animals.

Facing up to cruelty to animals.

No more ‘blind eye’ justice as two gets jail

Evening Herald, 13/04/1999

These are the pictures of wanton cruelty which will put two men behind bars for 30 days. A German shepherd lying in its own excrement, dehydrated, unable to stand and a pit bull terrier, a quarter its normal weight, shocked and dying.  see more

Man who drowned kitten ‘a nasty piece of goods’

Irish Independent, 15/03/2006

A 26-year-old man repeatedly and violently threw a three-month-old kitten on the ground before drowning it in a lake, a court heard yesterday.

  Brendan Sweeney, Crickamore, Dungloe, County Donegal had shown himself to be “a nasty piece of goods” according to Judge John O’Donnell who fined him €400 at Dubgloe District Court for cruelty to an animal.

  The defendant blamed his actions on the trauma he was suffering after just breaking up with his girlfriend.

  Garda Gerald Dalton received a complaint on June 20, 2005, from the owner of the kitten in Loughanure village who had been told by students in the house next door that her kitten had been killed the previous day.

  He called to the house and spoke to a sister of the defendant who confirmed that her brother had killed the kitten. She told the garda he had “lost his head” and grabbed the kitten, throwing it on the ground a number of times with force, and then threw it into Loughanure Lake.

  Some weeks later, garda Dalton questioned Brendan Sweeney about the incident. He said he had broken up with the mother of his child, who he was about to marry.

  He had gone to his sister’s house where students staying there were playing with a kitten.

  Sweeney said he picked up the kitten and carried it to the lake, it fell out of his hands a couple of times before he threw it into the lake.

  Speaking afterwards, ISPCA area inspector, Kevin McGinley said he was happy with the conviction but disappointed with the leniency of the fine.

Cage this beast for 20 years

News of the World, 25/07/1999

Animal killer Allen Carmichael should have been sent to prison for 20 years instead of two this week for the horrific slaughter of a defenceless donkey.

  Lout Carmichael was full of booze and drugs when viciously attacked Salt, a 32-year-old female donkey, near his home in Streamstown, Malahide, Dublin.

  Salt had been in very good health and condition and was sharing a field with her companion Pepper. They were both tourist attractions and were much loved by children in the Malahide area.

  Carmichael, 22, went after Salt and beat her about the head and body with an iron bar. When Salt lay dying on the ground and jerking with shock Carmichael consummated his evil and drove the iron bar through her skull.

  When Salt was found she was lying dead with the iron bar protruding from her head.


What an awful sight. What a horrifically evil act. What kind of an “animal” is Allen Carmichael, we must surely ask?

  Judge O’Connor at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court was absolutely right to imprison him. But I cannot understand the leniency of the sentence.

  In my opinion, Carmichael should have been sent to prison for a minimum of 20 years and be made to the whole of it.

  The killing of a human being is far worse than the killing of an animal, of course. Better that 20 Salts should die than someone like poor Sergeant Callanan, who was viciously killed in Tallaght this week.

  But animals are so utterly defenceless. They depend on us for everything – for their food and water and shelter and even for a bit of care, love and affection.

  Donkeys are particularly lovable. They are beasts of burden and over the years, especially here in Ireland, have played their part in keeping families and small farms going.

  I can remember as a child in Offaly going to town with my granny and granddad on the ass and car.

  Salt and Pepper were two special donkeys. They had reached old age. They had given pleasure to people and children all their lives.

  They were still giving pleasure when loutish, boozy, druggy Carmichael decided to play God (or Satan) and deprive Salt of life and Pepper of a companion. If we as a society do not protect our animals they have no hope.

  The Bible tells us that one of man’s primary vocation is the protection of animals. Donkeys have a very special place in God’s creation. They have a cross on their backs, legend tells us, in memory of the time a donkey carried Jesus into Jerusalem.

  I cannot understand how Carmichael can live with himself after what he has done. To me Salt was a creature of beauty and dignity who never hurt anybody or anything.

  Carmichael is the beast. May God forgive him. I’m glad he is not a relative of mine.

Donkey brute is free

Star, 30/07/1999

A man who battered a donkey before shoving an iron bar through her head walked free yesterday.

  Allen Carmichael – who was jailed for the cruel killing – was granted bail pending an appeal against his two year sentence.

  He was released under his own bond of £200.

  Counsel for Carmichael (22) of Castleview, Streamtown, Malahide, Dublin argued that the sentence was excessive.

  Defence barrister Mr Feral Foley BL said it was clear the defendant had very strong character references.

  These supported the proposition that there was some possibility the appeal court would decide there should not be a custodial sentence.


Ms Isobel Kennedy BL, for the DPP, opposed bail due to the fact that it was a serious offence carrying a maximum jail term of 10 years.

  Appeal Court presiding judge, Mr Justice Barron, described the crime as “really horrific”.

  But he said the decision to grant bail did not infer that the court would commute the sentence when the appeal came for hearing.

  Earlier this month, Carmichael pleaded guilty before Dublin Circuit Court to unlawfully and maliciously killing a 32-year-old donkey called Salt who was much love by Malahide children.

  Sentencing Carmichael. Judge Kieran O’Connor described the offence as a “brutal, savage, senseless assault on a dumb animal brought on by a combination of drink and drugs”.

  The brute was with two friends when he attacked the defenceless donkey, beating her to the ground with an iron bar.


Carmichael then shoved it into tragic Salt’s eye.

  His two friends immediately went to the police and when Carmichael’s father was told, he brought his son to the Garda station where a full statement was made.

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.

Puppy found in pool of blood after brutal hammer attack

Irish Independent, 25/01/2005

Thugs have left an eight-week-old puppy unable to see after smashing her head open with a hammer.

  The vicious attack on the tiny terrier Dana Scully – named after ‘The X-files’ character – took place last week in the Moyross area of Limerick city.

  The little pup was found lying in a pool of blood at a hedge near the sprawling estate by locals.

  “She had blood pouting from her head. We believe she was hit with a hammer. The injuries to her head were very severe and it looked as if she was about to die,” said Marion Fitzgibbon of Limerick Animal Welfare.

The pup underwent surgery to drain fluid from her head at a local veterinary clinic. Veterinary nurse Ciara Walsh, who worked on the puppy, said: “The top of her head was smashed open. This is one of the worst cases of animal abuse I have ever come across.”

  The pup is now in a stable condition, but not yet out of the woods.

  “She cannot see a thing in front of her at all. The swelling still has not gone down so we will have to wait and see,” she said.

The savage attack is the latest in a series carried out in on pets in the city.

  Last month, a greyhound was rescued in the Southill area as young thugs were about to impale it with nails.

Two face charges over dog shipment

The Star, 22/07/2003

Two men are due to face charges in Spain for transporting greyhounds from Ireland to the continent under shockingly cruel conditions.

  The practice only came to light when animal welfare investigators followed one of the dog shipments on a 38 hour journey from Ireland to Spain.

  The father and son, aged 60 and 39 – from Britain – were apprehended after investigating offic6ers involved found 36 racing greyhounds squashed inside 20 tiny cages.

  The animals had been trapped inside a truck in temperatures reaching 10x4 degrees Fahrenheit.

  The animals were packed like battery hens in the back of a stinking truck in Ireland and transported, by road and sea, to Spain to begin their racing careers.

  When they were rescued, they were hot, thirsty and frightened and were panting for air due to anxiety.

  During the 38-hour trip by ferry and road from Roscoff in Ireland to Barcelona the pair stopped to give the dogs some water only once and didn’t give them food.

Man who hung dog is ‘lunatic’

Sunday World, 26/03//2002

A man has appeared before Gorey District Court for hanging his labrador dog.

  James Boland (47) of Ballinatray Lower, Courtown Harbour, also faces public order offences and criminal damage charges arising from incidents last December.  Superintendent Pat Flynn told Judge Donnchadh O’Buachalla that Boland causes no problems when he’s not drinking but is “like lunatic” when he is. The defendant’s solicitor, David Terrant, said he spoke to a vet who said the killing of the dog was not as cruel as it might appear, and that the dog would have died within 30 seconds.

  Superintendent Flynn disagreed, stating there were more humane ways of killing the animal. The judge adjourned the case until November 27, saying it was a very serious.

Owner fined £100 for cruelty to 17 dogs

Irish Times, 22/01/1998

A huntsman and dog-owner was yesterday fined £100 for cruelty to 17 foxhounds in what an animal welfare inspector described as “a most appalling case.”  Christopher O’Sullivan (40) from Shamrock Place, Ringaskiddy, Co Cork, pleaded guilty to cruelty to two dogs but denied he had been cruel to the rest.

  Animal welfare inspector Mr Ted O’Connor of the CSPCA said he found two dogs in a shed and wire compound in a field near O’Sullivan’s home on May 1st last.  One was heavy in pups and they were so bad it was difficult to recognise them as foxhounds.

  “The two dogs were in the most emaciated condition. One could clearly seek the skeletal fame of the dogs through their flesh…the dogs were tearing and scratching.

  “The floor of the compound was covered with several inches of faeces, rubbish and old bones and they had no food or water,” Mr O’Connor told a spec6ial sitting of Carrigaline District Court.

Mr O’Connor said he found another 10 hounds in another wire compound attached to a ruined shed. These dogs were also tearing and scratching their bodies.

  “The whole floor area was covered with several inches of faeces, rubbish and old bones. The smell…was overpowering. The dogs had no food and the only drink was a half-buc6ket of dirty green water.”

He found another hound in a small car trailer lying in a week’s faeces. There was no sign of food or water in the trailer, he said.

  “It was obvious these animals were suffering over a long period of time, left without food or water and kept in dirty compounds.”

He also found four hounds loose on a roadway. They looked reasonably healthy and this was probably because they weren’t confined to compounds and were able to scavenge for food.

  Garda Declan O’Connor said when he visited the compounds, he found the first two dogs in a wretched condition. “I have never seen a dog alive in such a condition.”

  O’Sullivan explained that he was secretary, huntsman, and kennelman of the Shamrock Harrier Club. He had been involved in the club since he was 10 years old. He had taken in a numb8er of dogs when some elderly members of the club retired or died. He had three dogs himself, but admitted he had overstocked.  The first two dogs had been missing for over six weeks and were dropping from hunger when he found them. He was unable to attend to them properly for a few days because of some shift work he had got with Irish Steel. The other dogs had a hard season and needed the summer to recover.  The dogs were kept in the shed only on three days a week when he fed them meat. He allowed them out into a field for the rest of the week. O’Sullivan claimed. He had given away most of the dogs to two other local harrier clubs and now kept only three himself.

  Solicitor Mr Eugene Murphy said his client “had been striving manfully to keep an ageing club together.” He was a dog-lover for over 30 years and regretted very much what had happened.

  Judge Joseph Mangan fined O’Sullivan £100 and ordered him to pay £80 expenses.

Huntsman fined £100 for cruelty to his hounds

Irish Independent, 22/01/1998

A huntsman who starved two dogs until they began tearing at each others bodies was fined £100 yesterday after pleading guilty to cruelty charges.

  Christopher O’Sullivan, Shamrock Place, Ringaskiddy, Co Cork, pleaded guilty at Carrigaline District Court yesterday to cruelty to two dogs on May 1, 1997. He denied cruelty charges to 15 other dogs.

  Animal welfare official, Ted O’Connor, told Judge Joseph Mangan that the harriers were found locked in a derelict shed surrounded by a wire compound.

  The animals were so hungry that they were repeatedly tearing at their own skin and that of their companion.

  “The whole floor area was covered with several inches of faeces as well as rubbish and old bones,” Mr O’Connor told the court.

O’Sullivan told the court that he was secretary and kennelsman of the Shamrock Harriers Club.  He insisted that the dogs were not deliberately mistreated – explaining that they were “knackered” – after the hunting season.

  Judge Mangan convicted O’Sullivan of cruelty to all 17 dogs and fined him £100.

Huntsman fined for cruelty to harriers

Irish Examiner, 22/01/1998

A huntsman and dog lover was yesterday convicted and fined £100 for cruelty to 17 harriers in what an animal welfare inspector described as “a most appalling case.”

  Father of seven, Mr. Christopher O’Sullivan, (40), from 2 Shamrock Place, Ringskiddy, Co Cork pleaded guilty to cruelty to two dogs denying he had been cruel to the rest.

  Animal welfare Inspector Ted O’Connor said he found two of the dogs in a shed and wire compound in a field near O’Sullivan’s home on May 1 last year.

  “The two dogs were in an almost emaciated condition. One could clearly see the skeletal frame of one of the dogs through their flesh…the dogs were tearing and scratching,” he commented.

  “The floor of the compound was covered with several inches of faeces, rubbish, and old bones, and they had no food or water,” Mr O’Connor described to a special sitting of Carrigaline District Court.

Mr O’Connor said he found another ten hounds in another wire compound attached to a ruined shed. These dogs were also tearing and scratching their bodies.

  “The whole flood area was covered with several inc6hes of faeces, rubbish and old bones. The smell was overpowering. The dogs had no food and the only drink there was a half bucket of dirty green water,” he said.

Mr O’Connor found another hound in a small car trailer, lying in a week’s accumulation faeces. There was no sign of food or water in the trailer,” he said.

  “It was obvious these animals were suffering over a long period of time, left without food or water and kept in dirty compounds,” he said.

He also found hounds loose on a roadway. They looked reasonably healthy and this was probably due to the fact that they weren’t confined to compounds and were able to scavenge for food.

  Garda Declan O’Connor told the court that when he visited the compounds he found the first two dogs in a wretched condition. “I have never seen a dog alive in such a condition” said Garda O’Connor.

  O’Sullivan explained that he was secretary, huntsman and kennelsman of the Shamrock harrier Club. He had been involved in the club since he was ten years old.  He had taken in a number of dogs when some elderly members of the club retired or died. He had three dogs himself but he had overstocked, he admitted.  The first two dogs had been missing for over six weeks and were dropping from hunger when he finally found them.  He stated that he was unable to attend to the dogs properly for a few days because of some shift work he had got with Irish Steel.

  “The other dogs were after a hard season – they were well knackered after the year – it would take the summer to get them into shape.”

The dogs were only kept in the shed on three days a week when he fed them meat. He allowed them out into a field for the rest of the week, O’Sullivan claimed.  He had given away most of the dogs to two other local harrier clubs and now kept only three himself. He now kept these at kennels at Ballyfeard, he said.

  O’Sullivan’s solicitor Eugene Murphy said his client “had been striving manfully to keep an ageing club together.” He was a dog lover for over 30 years and regretted very much what had happened.

  Judge Joseph Mangan fined Mr. O’Sullivan £100 and ordered him to pay £80 expenses for the Animal Welfare Officer, Mr Ted O’Connor.

Satanic slaying

News of the World, 03/09/2006

Dog owners are fearful for their pets after a collie was killed in an apparent satanic ritual.  The dog’s remains, with its throat slit and head crushed, were found on an stone altar inside a spooky stone circle.  A walker made the gruesome discovery in a remote wooded area in Enniskerry earlier this week.  Now Wicklow SPCA are warning folk to keep family pets indoors.

  Noel Campbell of the animal welfare group said: “It seems the dog was bled dry as part of some ritual and then partly burnt.

  “I would urge people to keep an eye on their animals and not let them out unsupervised after dark.”

The authorities have destroyed the altar and the Gardai in Enniskerry are investigating.

Dog savaged by cruel torturers had to lose leg

Evening Herald, 23/05/2006

A three-legged dog – a victim of horrific animal cruelty – is the star of the show in RTE’s Animal Rescue tonight.

  The programme will recount how the DSPCA inspector Robbie Kenny came across boxer Jake who had horrific leg injuries and was severely malnourished.

  After finding Jake in such a painful condition, animal welfare officers discussed whether it was more humane to put him down – but they decided to amputate his leg instead and see if he would adapt.


And adapt he did as two-year-old Jake is now flourishing in the Ballycullen home of Gillian Duffy, her partner Richard and their 7-year-old daughter Erin.

  Gillian told the Evening Herald she was looking forward to seeing the programme which will feature Jake being found and give a happy ending to such a sad story.

  Tonight’s episode will see Inspector Robbie Kenny find the pup lying on the side of the road, bleeding to death.

  “I only know, from what the inspector told me, is that a girl rang him saying she found a dog lying on the side of the road and he was bleeding to death. She thought he might have been knocked down. But it soon became apparent that there wasn’t an accident.

  “He had been tortured and his leg wound was from someone searing him with a knife or he was caught in some kind of trap,” said Gillian.

  “When we got him, he was so thin. His ribs were protruding and it was awful. They don’t know where he came from but personally I think he was stolen from another family. When we got him, he was already house trained and had such a lovely nature. It was this nature that saved him. I was told they were actually going to put him down but his saving grace was that even when he was in so much pain, and was so badly hurt, he had such a nice temperament,” said Gillian.


Isn’t about time we gave these animals back their dignity?

Sunday Mirror, 16/07/2006

These are the humiliating stunts elephants are forced to perform to entertain Irish circus audiences.

  The captive wild animals – seen here at a Circus Sydney performance in Tralee – are made to hobble around on three legs, swing their trunks 360 degrees in time to music, balance on tiny stools and act as a climbing frame for humans.

  Between performances the elephants are chained to the floor or kept in an enclosure behind an electric fence.

  During the half-time break, the animals are chained to allow members of the public to pose with them for photographs.

  Some circus-goers complained to Gardai and animal welfare groups about their concerns for the elephants.

  One distraught circus-goer told the Irish Sunday Mirror he witnessed the elephants being whipped during the performance – a claim the circus denied.

  He said: “I thought their whole treatment and they way they are caged is appalling.”

A spokeswoman for Circus Sydney denied the use of whips and claimed the elephants are well looked after. She said: “We don’t use whips, even in training. We only use bags of sugar. Our elephants are well looked after and are only chained to the ground when we have to wash them. Otherwise they have a decent space enclosed by an electric fence which doesn’t do them harm. The ISPCA know us well and are happy with how we treat our animals.”

  Inspector Harry McDaid of Kerry SPCA said: “We did receive a complaint but having visited the circus prior to opening we were happy with the welfare of the animals. Some of our volunteers went to the first performance and saw nothing untoward. Whilst we don’t approve of animals in circuses these animals seemed well looked after. I had one complaint about a whip but none our volunteers saw it. But generally in circuses the whip is in the form of a stick used to direct the animal the way they do in India.”

  However, the Captive Animals Protection Society said it has been worried about the two elephants, owned by a German family, for some time. CAPS spokesman Craig Redmond said: “Any time we have gone to see these elephants they have been chained to the ground. These elephants are chained a lot. The pair have been in Ireland for a few years and I am very concerned about their welfare.”

  Bernie Wright from the Alliance for Animal Rights called for a ban on captive wild animals in circuses. She said: “The animals are generally kept in cramped conditions and spend a great deal of their time in trailers. And the training techniques of many circuses is questionable. Elephants made to swing their trunks round and round are being made to do something that doesn’t come easily to them and is painful to perform.”

  Circus Sydney travelled last year under the name Circus Oz but changed its name after legal action from a circus in Australia which had the same name.

  The Captive Animals Protection Society has long been campaigning against the use of animals in circuses.

  Mr Redmond added: “Many circus animals display signs of stereotypical behaviour – this is a mindless, repetitive behaviour thought to be caused by stress and suffering, in an unnatural and unstimulating environment. The most important thing anyone can do to end circus animal suffering is simply to avoid any circus using animals. Instead, visit one of the many excellent circuses that rely totally on human skills – there are many more all-human circuses than ones using animals. Circus owners will soon get the message. In the UK only eight out of about 35 or 40 touring circuses still use animals.

  But in Ireland most still have animals. There are about seven touring in Ireland and they all have captive wild animals. There were two non-animal circuses but I don’t think they are still touring.”

  Less than a month ago, the Irish Sunday Mirror highlighted the plight of two elephants belonging to Circus Vegas. Between performances in Belfast, the animals were kept on a rubble-strewn concrete wasteland at the former Harland and Wolff shipyard.

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.

Cow with serious wounds put down

Irish Times, 27/10/2006

Gardai in Salthill are investigating an attack on a cow which was found with both ears cut off outside Spiddal, Co Galway. The animal had to be put down after it was found with serious head wounds in what appears to have been a makeshift grave. A passerby alerted the Galway Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The GSPCA and gardai are appealing for anyone with information to phone (091) 56361 or (091) 521333

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

Group lands €10,000 bill for rescuing dogs

Irish Independent, 20/01/2005

An animal welfare group is out of pocket by €10,000 after it had to look after dogs taken from a puppy farm whose owner was yesterday convicted of cruelty.

  Liam Burke, who is in his 60s, with three farms, in Co Laois, pleaded guilty to two charges of cruelty under the Animal Cruelty Act in not providing basic care for two black Labradors and one terrier and not providing adequate medical care for a pup whose wound had become infected.

  Burke has farms at Loughtglass, Ballyadams and Ballylinan.  The dogs and puppies involved included Labradors, terriers and German Shepards.

  Judge Mary Martin fined Burke €1,000 payable to the ISPCA, gave him the Probation Act and banned him from keeping dogs for life.

  However, Judge Martin, at Carlow District Court, refused to grant an application by the ISPCA to be paid the €10,000 it has cost to look after the dogs.

  Garda Brendan Shelly previously told the court that Burke’s barn at Loughglass was inspected by the ISPCA, the dog warden and a vet on February 5 last.  He described the premises as “appalling.”

  The animals were in varying states of deprivation, some with wound infections.

  Burke had been breeding dogs commercially for seven years.

  The court had heard the case was “as bad as they came” in terms of negligence towards animal care.  Evidence was given that the Loughglass premises was inspected again on December 8.  The dog warden found there were 29 dogs and two puppies there.

  Defence barrister Paul O’Shea, BL, agreed his client would release the dogs into the ownership of the ISPCA after the court heard that Burke who underwent a triple by-pass and could not work anymore.

  Judge Martin said it was a “bad case” but took into consideration Burke’s health problems.

  After the case, Brendan Hughes, ISPCA regional officer said they were pleased the owner was banned from keeping dogs.  But he warned that the ISPCA’s failure to recoup the cost for minding the animals could affect its future service.

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.”

Farmer may go to jail over ‘large-scale’ animal cruelty

Irish Independent, 25/07/2007

A farmer faces the threat of prison after being convicted of what one animal welfare official described as the worst large-scale case of cruelty she ever encountered.

  Kenneth Coombes appeared at Skibbereen District Court yesterday for a litany of cruelty offences on his west Cork farm.

  An unburied carcass was discovered on the front lawn of Coombes’ home outside Skibbereen; the entire property was infested by rats and rubbish was lying strewn throughout the farmyard; two dogs were found living in barrel; 19 ducks had lost most of their feathers and were fighting with rats for feed; horses were in an alarming condition while sheep and pigs were wandering local roadways.

  The court was told the rat infestation problem was so serious that the Health Service Executive’s environmental health section had to be consulted to prevent a potential public safety risk.


Yesterday, the Department of Agriculture was directed by the court to deal with the 12 pigs and 86 sheep that remain on the property while Coombes is remanded in custody for three days.

  Animal Care Society official Della Murray told the court that several dogs had scars on their neck from effectively being chained to the ground.  One dogs was so traumatised after being kept throughout its life in a cage that it now could not tolerate being in the open.  Another dog had a broken leg which, after being left untreated, had set in an incorrect position.

  “It was absolutely appalling. It is the worst case of cruelty on a large scale that I have ever seen,” she said.

Coombes, of the Carrig, Luttiga, Skibbereen, had pleaded guilty to six offences before Judge James McNulty last November. They included allowing a livestock carcass to remain unburied on the front lawn of a dwelling house on June 2 2006 allowing sheep and pigs to wander untended on the roads and ill-treating pigs through keeping them in a car trailer where there was insufficient room for them to lie down.

  The court had allowed him nine months to reduce live stock numbers on his farm and address the serious health and environment issues on the property.

  Defence solicitor Ray Hennessy said yesterday that substantial progress had been made over recent weeks with horses, sheep and pigs being disposed of. He said that his client was from a dysfunctional background and was socially isolated.

  However, Judge McNulty said Coombes had been allowed ample time to resolve the problems on his farm. He said the facts in the case were “grim” – and warned that a custodial sentence may now be warranted.

  The court heard Coombes had several previous convictions for cruelty to animals dating back 15 years. He also has a conviction for sex4ual assault.  Coombes was remanded in custody to appear for sentencing before Bantry District Court on Friday.

Stud farmer jailed for animal cruelty

Irish Times, 06/2007

A stud farmer has been sent to prison for animal cruelty after an ISPCA inspector found a horse in his care to have injuries, including pus oozing from his head and a foul smell coming from a wound 15cm long and 3cm deep across his nose.

  Eamon Salmon of Fort barrington Athy, Co Kildare, was convicted and sentenced to three months imprisonment over the incident on September 1st, 2006, when ISPCA inspector Brendan Hughes, accompanied by gardai, inspected a premise at Ballylehane Lower, Ballylinan, and found a yearling in what he described as “considerable distress.”

  Mr Hughes told the court that the wound had been caused by a head collar and it was suggested in court that the collar appeared to be too tight and that there was flesh growing over the collar.

  “I was concerned for the welfare of the horse. He would not allow me to put a hand on him. It would obviously have been extremely sore to touch. He was tossing his head up and down. There was a lot pus and ooze coming through the head collar and a foul smell coming from the wound. There was not a doubt in my mind that the horse needed attention.”

Judge Eamonn O’Brien was told that it took the ISPCA inspector and gardai a number of hours to take the animal into their care, owing to the level of terror experienced by the horse.

  The horse was traced back to the ownership of Salmon as it was found on his land with other animals belonging to him.  Salmon was later visited by two ISPCA inspectors and evidence was given in court that during the meeting, he admitted ownership of the horse.  He was asked to surrender the animal to the ISPCA and signed an acceptance from doing so.

  After this was done, Mr Hughes said that the defendant “became extremely annoyed” and said: “’I know that’s all you wanted to do all along – get me into court. You can’t prove the yearling belongs to me. He has no chip’.” (He was referring to the micro-chips which allow animal ownership to be traced).

The defendant told the court that the horse was not his and that he had “sold it on”.

  When the judge asked who the owner was and whether that person could be brought to court, he replied: “No, he is six months dead.”

  Garda Inspector Jerry Coonan put it to Salmon that this was his horse but that it was a horse “of limited ability or a reject” and that it was being kept on these lands, away from his stud farm, so that people coming to the farm could not see it.

  The judge described photographs of the horse submitted to the court as “appalling”.

Sicko Stubs Out Ciggies On Dog

News of the World, 29/07/2007

These are the horrific pictures taken after a dog was found covered in CIGARETTE burns inflicted by an evil sadist.  The covering, 14-month-old greyhound – given the name Aaron by the owners of animal welfare group PAWS – was found last week with 27 burns all over its face and body.  It was taken to the rescue kennel in Mullinnahone, Co Tipperary, after being spotted wandering nearyby.  And shelter owners Gina and Tom Molloy said the sickening cruelty has left the poor pup scarred for life.


Tom, 43, said: “The person responsible still hasn’t been caught – what kind of person would inflict such cruelty on an animal? We’ll keep him with us for a few months until he’s well enough to be placed with a responsible owner who will give him the love he needs.”

  Sadly, the horrific cruelty inflicted on Aaron is just one of hundreds of cases seen by the kennel each year.

  Tome said: “Unfortunately, this kind of abuse is not unusual. We are seeing an increasing number of cases each week. We’re full to bursting point at the moment – we’re even having to keep dogs in our own house. We get €25,000 a year Government funding, but rely on the generosity of the public to meet the €400,000 running costs.”

Donations to PAS can be made to AIP in NAAS, Co Kildare. Account 07680026, sort code 933236.

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.

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.

Asian man rebuked for dog cruelty

Irish Independent, 10/10/2006

An Asian student whose pet dog had to have a hind leg amputated as a result of “appalling cruelty” has been sharply rebuked by a district court judge.

  Judge Tom Fizpatrick ordered Marco Law of Assaroe View, Ballyshannon, Co Donegal, to pay up more than €2,500 when he appeared before him at Ballyshannon District Court.

  “The dog was in extreme pain. A rope had obviously been tied tightly around the leg which was grossly swollen and there was a very strong smell of decaying flesh,” he said.

Law, who studies at the National University of Ireland, Galway, admitted cruelty to the dog, a cross-bred collie called King, on November 30 last year.

Cruelty rap farmers jailed

The Star, 20/10/2006

A farmer convicted of animal cruelty has been sentenced to 28 days’ jail – while the State confiscates the entire stock of his farm.

  Martin McAndrew of Cornhill, Pollatomas north Mayo had earlier been ordered to dispose of all of his cattle and sheep within six weeks. But when he appeared again before Belmullet District Court he agreed he still had 25 sheep and 25 cattle, as well as “four pet sheep.”

  An Agriculture Department inspector who visited the farm on October 2 said many of the animals were lame, emaciated and blind.

  Judge Mary Devins fined McAndrew €500 for “cruel ill-treatment of a cow” and €200 for littering and sentenced him to 28 days’ jail so officials could confiscate the remaining animals. Recognisance in the event of an appeal was fixed at €3,000.

Sick trade in cruelly bred pups

Evening Herald, 28/05/1996

It’s the nightmare cruelty case which has horrified every dog-lover in the country.  see more

Officials put down 22 dogs at ‘hellhole’ puppy farm

Irish Independent, 27/05/1996

Animal cruelty officers uncovered a “hell-hole” for dogs and had to put down 22 animals after a raid on an outhouse in a Dublin garden.  They were appalled at the gruesome discovery in which the dogs were kept in cage like boxes. A pigeon loft was also discovered which housed 60 birds. They had to be released into the air.

  Therese Cunningham, director of the DSPCA, described the case as one of the most appalling she had ever come across.  She said:”This raises the question about the possibility of this being a puppy farm. It sounds like at some stage the dogs were being bred for sale.”

  Under present Irish laws anyone could have a puppy farm in their backgarden, she said.

  The society initially acted on Saturday after receiving a tip off. The raid involved Inspector John Dunne of the DSCPCA and dog warden John Boylan.  The house occupant was not there at the time, but the officers succeeded in getting into the back garden. What they were confronted with there horrified them.

  Some of the cages could not be opened and one had to be forced open. Dogs were found chewing through the box-like cages. One dog got into another garden had was scavenging through a rubbish bag in desperate search of food.

Put to sleep

A leaking water pipe in the outhouse was pouring down water on the suffering animals. The dogs were mainly Yorkshire terriers. Two were cross bred fox terriers. One animal had no hair left.

  The officers reported that about 60 pigeons were kept in a filthy loft which was built in such a way that it could not be cleaned out.  Inspector Dunne described what he saw as a “hell-hole for dogs”.  Vet Garrett Freyne, who was called in, said some dogs were put down on Saturday and the rest on Sunday. A further visit to the premises yesterday uncovered two more dogs. In all 12 female and 10 male dogs had to be put down.

  “They had no human contact or kindness given to them,” the vet said. “They were terrified, cooped up in a crazy situation.” He said one dog had starved to death. She was attacked by others because she was in season.

  He told how he had to wade through urine and faeces. There was no ventilation in the outhouse which was stinking. The dogs were infected with fleas and lice and covered in mange. One animal had jaundice.  Ms Cunningham: “I am absolutely disgusted by the whole story.”

  The DSPCA now plan a full and speedy prosecution.  She added: “We should have legislation like in Britain, where people can’t open a kennel without planning permission. It should cover standards and the need to have a licence.”

Donkey killer is released on bail

Evening Herald, 29/07/1999

The Dublin man jailed for two years for maliciously killing a donkey and driving an iron bar through the animal’s eye and skull was released on his own bail of £200 by the Court of Criminal Appeal today.

  Allen Carmichael (22) an apprentice electrician of Castleview, Streamsotown, Malahide, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Court to unlawfully and maliciously killing the 32 year-old female donkey at Malahide on May 30, 1998.

  The case being made on Carmichael’s behalf was that he would serve a sentence which would affect his whole life.  However, Mr Justice Barton said that the decision to grant bail was not open to the inference that the court would commune the sentence when the appeal came on hearing.

  He ordered that the appeal be listed for hearing as soon as possible.

  Ms Isobel Kennedy BL for the DPP opposed bail. This had been a very serious offence and the sentence imposed was not excessive.

Gardai question trio over killing of donkey

Irish Independent, 03/06/1998

Three men have been questioned by gardai about the brutal slaying of a donkey in Malahide last weekend.  An iron bar taken from a fence was cruelly driven through the animal’s eye and forced through the skull into her brain.

  Two men, aged 23 and 21, voluntarily called to Malahide garda station on Monday night to say they had been present at the killing. They said they had been horrified by what had happened and could not sleep.  Later a third man, a 22-year-old, who gardai believe carried out the killing, was questioned.

  All three are from the Malahide area. Gardai believe they were walking home from a pub and decided to see if they could ride the donkey.  When the donkey resisted, the assault took place. The men, two of whom are students, were not detained but a file is to be forwarded to the DPP.

  Gardai are not seeking anyone else in relation t the killing.

  Local people have been shocked by the killing of the donkey Salt.

Donkey slaying: three quizzed

Evening Herald, 02/06/1998

Three young men were today questioned by detectives investigating the sadistic killing of a donkey in Dublin.  The barbaric slaying of the donkey in Malahide, Co. Dublin, last weekend drew nationwide outrage.

  But gardai confirmed today that three young men in their early 20s made statements in connection with the killing.


Two arrived voluntarily at Malahide station and a third tuned up by arrangement, gardai said.  A garda spokesman said: “We are not looking for anyone else.”

All three are locals. A file is being prepared for the DPP.  An iron bar was rammed through an eye of Salt, a white 36-year-old pet donkey, and forced into her brain.

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.

Donkey charge man in court

Evening Herald, 06/10/1998

A Malahide man, charged with the horror killing of a pet donkey, is to go on trial in the Dublin Circuit Court.

  In Swords District Court today, Judge Sean Delap told Allen Carmichael (22), of Castleview, Streamstown, Malahide, that the Director of Public Prosecutions had elected for trial in the circuit court.

  Carmichael is charged with the unlawful killing of a donkey on May 30, 1998 at The Casino, Dublin Road, Malahide. He is also charged with damaging the pet donkey, property of John Gilbert Kirker and Patrick Barrett, the Donkey Sanctuary, Liscarroll, Mallow, Co Cork.

  Carmichael is also charged with cruelly ill-treating and beating the donkey.

  At a previous hearing, Carmichael pleaded not guilty to all four charges against him.

  Judge Delap remanded the case to Swords District Court on November 17 next and ordered that a book of evidence be prepared for the defendant.

Thugs brutalise and kill seaside community pet in savage act

They slaughter donkeys, don’t they?...

Irish Independent, 01/06/1998

A much-loved pet donkey enjoyed by Malahide children for more than 20 years was savagely killed in a brutal and senseless attack over the weekend.

  An iron bar taken from a fence was cruelly and callously driven through an eye of the 36-year-old animal and forced through the skull into her brain.  She had been beaten about the head with bar before the final assault took place.  The donkey was one of a pair – one white and one brown – known as “Salt and Pepper” which could be seen from the road.  She belonged to Dr John Kirker and his wife Elizabeth who live in a thatched residence on the Dublin Road, Malahide, close to the village.

  One or more intruders went into the meadow where the donkeys were kept and carried out the assault either late Friday night or early Saturday morning.  Salt was found with Pepper standing over her at 8am on Saturday morning by a workman. She was last seen alive the previous evening about 9pm by Mrs Kirker.

  A thorough investigation into the death is being carried out by Malahide gardai.

  The couple said yesterday they were horrified by what had happened.

  Pepper was yesterday taken to a donkey sanctuary in Liscarroll, Mallow, Co Cork for protection as the Kirkers became worried about his safety after the attack.  A normally quiet donkey, Pepper continually went back to the place where the killing occurred and brayed and roared until he was moved to the sanctuary.

  The Kirkers bought Salt from travellers in 1976 and she had been an object of affection and curiosity for children in Malahide ever since.  So many families used to come and feed the donkeys with apples and carrots that the Kirkers last year had put up a “no feeding” sign because they were becoming overweight.  Tourists used to stop to photograph the donkeys in front of the Kirkers thatched residence – one of the oldest homes in Malahide.

  “It’s deplorable what has happened. These donkeys were a symbol of goodwill and happiness and gave pleasure to generations of children,” said Dr Kirker, a semiretired neurologist.

  “Seeing the animal destroyed in this way can be seen as depriving so many people of pleasant memories they have had,” he said.

“If someone can be capable of doing that you worry that they must be capable of carrying out more violence and no-one wants to see more violence c carried out. Ex4treme force would have been used to drive in the object because it was not sharp.”

Clem Ryan, chief welfare officer with the Donkey Sanctuary in Mallow, said: “This is the worst attack on a donkey I have ever heard of. It was a crazy thing to carry out.”

The sanctuary has taken in 1,500 donkeys in ten years. It currently has 450 donkeys being cared for by families around the country and 300 at Mallow.

Gardai question trio over killing of donkey

Irish Independent, 03/06/1998

Three men have been questioned by gardai about the brutal slaying of a donkey in Makahide last weekend.  An iron bar taken from a fence was cruelly driven through the animal’s eye and forced through the skull into her brain.

  Two men, aged 23 and 21, voluntarily called to Malahide garda station on Monday night to say they had been present at the killing. They said they had been horrified by what had happened and could not sleep.  Later a third man, a 22-year-old, who gardai believe carried out the killing, was questioned.  All three are from the Malahide area. Gardai believe they were walking home from a pub and decided to see if they could ride the donkey.

  When the donkey resisted, the assault took place. The men, two of whom are students, were not detained but a file is to be forwarded to the DPP.  Gardai are not seeking anyone else in relation to the killing.

  Local people have been shocked by the killing of the donkey Salt.

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.

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.

Pups recover after horror Halloween river stunt

Irish Independent, 03/11/2003

Two little Springer spaniel pups continue to make a miraculous recovery after being dumped in a sealed box in a river in a Halloween stunt.  Dodder and River, the eight week old pups, were left to either suffocate or drown when they were thrown into Dublin’s Dodder river in a sealed box last Friday.

 The pair were rescued when the box was spotted by two 13-year-old boys as it floated past the Mill Pub in Tallaght. They climbed into the river and pulled the box out and were amazed to find the terrified pups inside.

  Last night the Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) were calling on the public to help them apprehend whoever sealed the pups in the floating coffin.

  Education Officer Gillian Bird said: “This is just typical of the type of thoughtlessness that goes on with people especially around Halloween.”

  The DSPCA believe the dogs may have been stolen before they were sealed into the box as Springer pups retail at around €500.

Horror of Pig Massacre

Ireland on Sunday, 19/06/2005

It almost defies belief – 4,300 pigs killed in a bloody six-day spree that involved the use of a sledgehammer and a bizarre attempt at suffocation. What’s even more shocking is that this grotesque scene was presided over by Department of Agriculture officials…  see more 


Outrage over barbaric pig slaying by gun

Sunday Independent, 19/06/2005

A disturbing video showing the “inhumane” slaughter of farm animals under the supervision of the Department of Agriculture has been obtained by the Sunday Independent.  see more

Department of Agriculture in the dock over pig slaughter

Sunday Independent, 26/06/2005

A  government animal welfare committee has asked the Department of Agriculture to explain how a farmer cruelly slaughtered more than 4,000 pigs while under official supervision.

  The inhumane slaughter was caught on video, showing the farmer killing pigs with a captive bolt gun, contrary to EU regulations, which only permit its use for stunning an animal.  In other breaches, the animals were not restrained before being shot and were not killed in isolation.

  The video, revealed in the Sunday Independent last week, was viewed by the Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Council last Thursday.  Members of the government appointed council were said to be shocked by the images of clearly-distressed animals writhing violently in their dying moments after being shot with the bolt gun.

  The committee has asked Department to report back to its next meeting, in August.

  The Department has distanced itself from the poor slaughter practice on the video, arguing that the farmer sought to kill the animals himself and that veterinary inspectors who assessed the process saw nothing amiss.

The Department’s role in the slaughter has been queried by animal welfare campaigners, who claim the evidence clearly shows that the farmer was not competent to kill the animals and that officials should have stepped in to halt the cruel slaughter.

  Mary Ann Barlett, of Compassion in World Farming, called for an independent inquiry “into how that slaughter was allowed to take place on farm, in the knowledge of the Department of Agriculture.”

  Ms Bartlett, who also sits on the animal welfare council, said she was prohibited from discussing what transpired at Thursday’s meeting.

  “The crux of the matter to us is how was that allowed to happen when the Department knew about it – and with a captive bolt pistol,” she said.

  “All slaughter should be done in a suitable location under very, very strict veterinary supervision.  In this case, someone who is not a trained slaughterer killed huge numbers of animals.

  “This is about welfare of animals.  We want to know how it happened and we want complete reassurance from the Department that it will not happen again.”

  The Irish Council Against Blood Sports also plans to raise the role of the Department of Agriculture in the slaughter with the European Commission.

  Tom Galvin, from Dungarvan in Waterford, slaughtered his herd in 2002, almost three months after they were impounded by the Department.  Officials found a banned substance on his farm which they say he confessed to feeding to his pigs.  Disease broke out and Mr Galvin claimed he had no option but to slaughter the pigs on welfare grounds.

  Mr Galvin is currently being prosecuted under the Animal Remedies Act, and is in turn suing the Department.  In a statement last week, the Department of Agriculture said the farmer sought to slaughter the animals himself on welfare grounds.

  Two veterinary inspectors regarded him as competent enough to use a captive bolt gun to put down the pigs.  The inspectors visited the farms on numerous occasions to assess the slaughter but the farmer never raised concerns.

  “They witnessed the herd owner using the captive bolt method to slaughter pigs on such occasions and furthermore witnessed him pithing a number of pigs where this was required to ensure death,” the statement read.

  Responding to a Dail question from Fine Gael’s Agriculture spokesman  Denis Naughton, Agriculture Minister Mary Coughlan said: “The herd owner had decided to slaughter his animals on farm and the Department considered at the time it could not legally have forced him to have the operation conducted in a slaughter plant.”

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.

ISPCA dog pounds ‘barbaric and cruel’

Sunday Tribune, 13/10/1996

The ISPCA has been accused of cruelty to animals at some of its dog pounds throughout the country.  The allegations have been made by an animal welfare group.  The Irish Trust For The Protection And Care for Animals (ITPCA), which has condemned the ISPCA’s policy of putting down dogs using a bolt gun.

  The ISPCA says that conditions and practices at dog pounds in Sligo, Kerry Ennis and Roscommon amount to cruelty to the animals there.  Following visits to the pounds two weeks ago, which they filmed, the Trust called on the ISPCA to “monitor animal shelters in rural areas or withdraw from the dog warden service.”

  The ISPCA told The Sunday Tribune that it was aware that conditions at some pounds “were not up to scratch.  We are currently trying to persuade local authorities to upgrade standards.”

  The Trust claims that chloroform and bolt guns are used regularly in the Kerry pound.  “These have no place in animal welfare,” said Robert Doyle, a director.  “It is a barbaric, outdated and cruel practice.”  He criticised the lack of veterinary input into the killing of animals.  The shootings were usually carried out by dog wardens “who should not be the arbitrator between the life and death of an animal,” he said.  The ISPCA acknowledged that bolt guns were used but denied it was a cruel way to kill animals.

  Doyle’s film of the Ennis pound showed dogs of all ages in an enclosed room with no outdoor area and, apparently, no natural light.  One of the dogs was continually scratching and seemed to have an eye lesion.  There were also faeces littering the room and many of the dogs appeared bloated suggesting, said Doyle, that they had worms.

  In Kerry,  Doyle said the pound was situated “next to a slaughter house where pigs are killed on a daily basis.  We would consider this to be inappropriate and causes stress to the dogs,” he added.

  Mr Doyle said he had called the gardai to the Roscommon pound when he noticed a dog tied in a kennel “and in danger of strangulation.”  The dog was standing in water but “the rope around its neck was too short and did not allow the animal to lie down without getting wet.  The inside of the building was almost dark and a greyhound appeared to me to be in need of veterinary treatment.”

  The Trust has called for the closure of the dog pounds in Roscommon and Sligo, where it claims conditions for animals are also poor.  It also wants an end to the use of bolt guns which it described as a “form of cutprice dog control.  That euthanasia is necessary at all is distressing.  To have animals shot in the head – a shot that has no guarantee of success – by an organisation that is supposed to prevent cruelty is beyond belief.”

  The ISPCA’s chief executive Ciaran O’Donovan rejected these claims, arguing that “new keneels are to be built in Sligo which will create a lot of extra space for the animals.  I am aware of the problems in Roscommon but the local authority there has included money in its estimates for a new pound so that problem should be sorted soon as well.”

  Conditions at most pounds were excellent, he said.  “It would be nice to hear the Trust praise those as well as criticising the minority of pounds where conditions are poor.”

Gardai closing in on seal killers

Slaughter: 45 animals were massacred off the Kerry coast

Evening Herald, 30/12/2004

Gardai investigating the illegal slaughter of seals on Beginish Island are sending a file to Director of Public Prosecutions.

  The file was prepared after gardai completed interviews with a number of people. The DPP will decide on what action will be taken regarding prosecutions.

  Some 45 protected seals were massacred on the island off the West Kerry coast. The mammals were grey seals, a protected species under the 1976 Wildlife Act.


An investigation involving gardai, Duchas and conservation officers got underway following the discovery of the bodies near Dingle last month.  Fishermen had previously called for a cull of the seals claiming they are damaging their nets and eating large amounts of dwindling salmon stocks.

  Some 40 dead seals including five adults were found at tiny Beginish Island in the Blaskets by divers out on a trip from a local club. Another five adult seals were found shot dead in Brandon Bay.

  Gardai denounced the killings as “a despicable type of crime which is being fully investigated.”

  Environmental Minister Dick Roche promised a full investigation saying he was shocked and disgusted at the brutality of the massacre of the protected seals.

  The 600 strong Blasket grey seals colony is one of the most important Europe and accounts for about one third of the total Irish seal population.

  The Irish Seal Sanctuary had called on Kerry people to help find and identify the killers responsible. Many of the tiny pups were so young they were not even able to swim.


The pups usually stay on the beach and their mothers come out of the sea to feed them until they are able to swim. Some of the adults killed on the beach could well have been trying to defend their pups when they were killed.

Illegal 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 city 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.”

Cruel owner flings pup out car window

Evening Herald, 20/10/2005

This defenceless eight-week-old pup died from agonising injuries after she was deliberately flung from a car window.

  The sickening cruelty happened in Tallaght and the little dog suffered a fractured pelvis, broken bones and extreme internal wounds after its owner literally threw the unwanted pet away while driving at speed.

  The DSPCA today appealed for anyone with information on the malicious crime to contact local gardai in Tallaght.

  The female Labrador cross was in a state of severe shock after the incident. A vet felt the pelvic injury was irreparable and put the animal to sleep, the DSPCA told the Evening Herald. One horrified motorist, who was driving behind he pup’s owner, was en route to the vet herself when she spotted the incident and came to the rescue of the stricken puppy.

  The DSPCA has condemned the terrible act, which happened late last month, saying it is unprecedented. “We’ve never seen this kind of thing before, “ said the DSPCA’s Salee,0a O’Loughlin, adding that the owner may have reacted in frustration as puppies need a lot of love and attention.

  With Halloween just around the corner the DSPCA is bracing itself for a flood of calls.

  “It’s a complete nightmare,” said O’Loughlin about the job ahead.

She told how last year three boys had called from door-to-door looking for bonfire fodder and were handed a wicker basket to throw on the flames.

  It wasn’t until the innocent youngsters heard whimpers from inside that they discovered four kittens.

  The DSPCA believes the owner deliberately tried to get rid of the kittens, but they were pulled from the fire in time and survived.

‘Sickening’ scenes as hare fed to dogs

Evening Herald, 27/03/2006

Gardai are investigating incidents of “sickening” cruelty in which live hares have been fed to greyhounds on a west Dublin housing estate.

  The incidents came to light after a member of the public saw group of youths taking two live hares from a sack and throwing them to a pack of dogs.  The hares were killed by the greyhounds and dismembered instantly.

  The attack took place on St Cuthbert’s Park, Deansrath, Clondalkin, on Saturday March 11.

  Gardai believe the youths were involved in the illegal practice of blooding the greyhounds who are then taken hunting for hares and rabbits most likely as part of their training for racing.

  Since the cruelty was uncovered garda patrols have been increased on the estate.

  The Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and South Dublin County Council’s dog wardens have also both become involved.  It has emerged that this incident was only one of a number of similar cases to have taken place.

  A spokesman for the DSPCA said his organisation had learned of a number of illegal blooding cases involving live hares in the area.  He said some of these had taken place on the street in the Deansrath housing estate.  The society has also received reports of attacks taking place in the grounds of a company in the Clondalkin area.

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.

‘Sacrificial’ lamb tied and stuffed in plastic bag

Dying sheep in immigrant house

Evening Herald, 04/05/2006

An animal rescue worker found a live “sacrificial lamb” bound with twine and stuffed into a black plastic bag when he called to investigate a Dublin house.

  Fifteen children sang at the top of their voices and sat on top of the bag which contained a badly injured sheep, to avoid it being detected.

  However, DSPCA driver Tony McGovern found the bad containing the sheep being hidden under laundry.

  The sheep’s spine was broken as a result of having its legs tied and being sat on by so many children.

  It had to be put to sleep shortly after it was rescued due to its injuries.

  It is believed the animal was brought to the home to be slaughtered for food or religious sacrifice.


Mr McGovern says the slaughtering of farm animals such as sheep, chickens and goats is growing in worrying numbers among the immigrant community.

  “This happens on a regular basis. It’s savagery of the highest form. The animals are slaughtered in the kitchen, the back garden or even the front garden. They mutilate them for food or religious beliefs and it’s not humane in any way. You need a slaughtering licence in Ireland to do that but they don’t.”

Two weeks ago, assisted by Tallaght gardai, Mr McGovern arrived at the scene to search the house.

  A resident on the Tallaght estate had witnessed the animal being dragged into the house.

  Tony explains: “I went upstairs and into the boxroom where there were about 15 minors singing a song in a foreign language and there seemed to be dirty laundry everywhere. I prodded the washing but there didn’t seem to b8e anything there so I moved to the next room but when there was nothing there either I came back to the box room. I pulled away the sheets and I found the sheep in a black bag and bound with baling twine around his four legs…the poor thin was suffocating.”

The animal was brought to the DSPCA shelter where it was later put to sleep because of its injuries.

  It remains unclear as to where the foreign nationals are getting these animals as all farm animals are required to be registered.

  Tony says: “Either they’re stealing them or they’re buying them from some farmer who shouldn’t be selling them. They would be tagged if they were stolen and this one had no sign of a tag so it’s a mystery really.”

  Tony, who runs the emergency line for the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, says such instances are becoming all too common.


“I watched a man who had 15 chickens in a box which would normally fit two, taking them out,0 burning them with cigarettes and spitting on them before choking them,” he says.

“There were women out in the same garden with pots, plucking them and throwing them into the water. It’s hard to see that being done.”

The DSPCA has appealed to people not to sell animals that they suspect will be slaughtered in this manner.

If people spot neighbours bringing home farmyard animals that appear to be for slaughter they should contact the DSPCA immediately on 01-4935502.

Cowboys’ legacy of cruelty and death

Evening Herald, 06/04/2006

Animal welfare officers have discovered a gruesome legacy of death, destruction and terrible cruelty inflicted on horses by Dublin’s ‘urban cowboys.’

  DSPCA officials were dispatched to fields of ex4hausted, badly emaciated horses that were either reduced to skin and bare bones; barely surviving or were dead and devoured by rats or foxies.

  The ‘killing fields’ were found at an old dump site at Dunsink, Finglas and their owners – suspected young horse keepers – had actually covered up stricken creatures with old car bonnets or trees to prevent the DSPCA from finding them in further inspections.


The suffering experienced by the horses were uncovered in recent days following anxious calls from locals and passing drivers.

  They were in urgent need of veterinary attention, food and water.

Dublin’s bareback urban cowboys buy and sell horses and ponies, often in the Smithfield market in inner city Dublin and then let them feed in parks or lands near their home.

  Furious Liam Kinsella of the DSPCA told that when he first went to location near Finglals the first animal he saw was a fatigued female that had either given birth or was in the process of aborting.

  A truck driver had seen the horse roll down that morning and on passing again later contacted the DSPCA as the horse had not got up.

  The dark horse was in agony and had to be shot on the spot – with a humane gun – as she was in such a bad state at the wasteland.

  “It was lying down on bits of an old metal bumper. It had no body weight and if it moved slightly it would injure itself on the metal,” said Mr Kinsella. Another horse was found by a hedge, lying beside a football, having been dead for four to five weeks and had his head and flesh eaten by vermin.


It was positioned around 500 ft from the first horse that was put to sleep. Another extremely skinny horse was rescued from a group of five and was successfully brought back to the shelter and is now being nursed back to some health.

  Groups of horses are still on the site and the DSPCA’s investigation is ongoing this week.

  The land borders two Dublin country councils and is owned by a developer who was unaware the horses were put out to graze on the wasteland, said the DSPCA. Last Sunday, Liam Kinsella said he witnessed a 12 year old boy buying a pony at the monthly Smithfield market for €150.

  Mr Kinsella said it was “impossible” to find licensed owners who would claim responsibility.

  He said the owners were more than likely “ordinary lads from housing estates who go to the Smithfield horse fair and don’t realise the expense, care or skills involved in maintaining the horse.

  “They just find a green belt area, put the horses on it and think they have fulfilled their duty.”

He commented that education and legislation was very poor in this sector and that the compulsory microchipping of horses needs to be introduced.

Slaughter of pups shocks residents

Irish Independent, 27/04/2006

Gardai are investigating the brutal killing of two pet pups which were slain with a lump hummer and nailed to a fence.

  The vicious slaughter of the dogs, believed to be Jack Russell terriers, happened in Sycamore Drive in Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow, last weekend.

  It is understood an allegation was made that there were complaints about the pups. The dogs were nailed to a fence between two properties.

  Gardai were called in along with the ISPCA. Wicklow County Council is also examining the case.

  The incident has left locals in a state of shock.

  Councillor Conal Kavanagh said there was deep upset among neighbours in the estate that such brutal suffering could have been inflicted.

“The council has to take that into account in their investigations as a matter of urgency, “ he added.

Man jailed for cruelty to at-risk horses

Irish Times, 20/04/2012

A MAN who has contracts with nine local authorities to take in and care for horses which are at risk or abandoned has been convicted of cruelty to animals and sentenced to 16 months in jail.

 The veterinary inspector who visited the site said two horses he put to sleep had “suffered institutional abuse” and should have been going to a place of “solace and comfort” but were entirely neglected.

 At he imposed sentence at Trim District Court yesterday on Joseph Moran (44), Clonymeath, Summerhill, Co Meath, Judge Patrick McMahon said he was “surprised” Moran still had contracts with local authorities.

 Moran’s 31 acres at Clonymeath were visited by department veterinary inspector Christopher O’Brien Lynch on April 17th last year after complaints were made by the ISPCA and others in relation to concerns about both living and dead horses.

 In a field he found two small bay horses and using a scientific scale ranging from zero to five which rates the condition of the animal, with five being fat and zero being skeletal, he found the horses to be 0.5 or less.

 Their ribs were prominent, they were sitting on the ground, their heads were hanging and their coats were matted and soiled with urine and faeces. Both were dull, listless and deeply distressed, he said. He euthanised them immediately.

 There was no water available and it was “an unseasonally warm day”. Mr O’Brien Lynch said Moran said no water had been given to them since he collected them three days earlier in Co Laois. On the same day he found the carcasses of five horses. Some, he estimated, had been there for three months; one was of a horse straddled on a submerged tree in a river, and another was of a horse that likely became submerged in mud.

 Nineteen other horses were on the lands and he was “entirely” satisfied with their condition and a concern he had about the quality of their feed had been resolved.

 Mr O’Brien Lynch said that in his 37 years in his profession he found the case “very distressing”.   He said the animals were collected because they were vulnerable or abandoned and were taken in on behalf of the State and then had “suffered institutional abuse. They didn’t come from good homes and should have had a week or two of solace and comfort [at Moran’s].”

 Shane Patrick Murray, defending, said his client has contracts with nine local authorities and he collects horses running loose or abandoned and he serves enforcement notices on encampments where he is “not welcome”. Mr Murray said his client has had his assistance sought by the ISPCA, the Dublin SPCA and the Horse Welfare Trust and some people were prepared to give evidence on his behalf until their superiors told them not to get involved. His client accepted he “took his eye off the ball,” and that he fell down in his duties, Mr Murray said.

 Sentencing him to five months on each summons of cruelty to the horses which were put to sleep, the judge said he was “surprised” the various local authorities “are still giving contracts to this man”.

 He also imposed two-month sentences on four summonses for letting carcasses remain unburied. All but one are to run consecutively, meaning the total sentence imposed was 16 months.

Animal cruelty ruling: father and son jailed for allowing horses and ponies to suffer horrifically

Robert McAleenan, 55, and his son Conor, 28, given two years over neglect at Co Antrim farm

Irish Mirror, 02/12/2014

 A father and son have been jailed for almost two years for allowing horses, ponies and donkeys to suffer in the most horrific way.

 In the landmark ruling on Tuesday, Robert and Conor McAleenan, originally from Oldpark, Belfast, were also banned from keeping animals for 25 years.

 Their farm in Co Antrim will now have to be cleared of any livestock remaining on site while they face Christmas in prison.

 In the most robust sentencing in Northern Ireland regarding cruelty to horses, Judge Desmond Marrinan told the men: “This is one of the worst cases of animal cruelty that I have encountered and you should be thoroughly ashamed of your callous behaviour.”

 Antrim Crown Court judge said he was unimpressed by the men’s defence and found no substance in claims Robert McAleenan, 55, and his son Conor, 28 had not set out to deliberately cause suffering or distress to the animals.

 Mr Justice Marrinan said: “This was a case of neglect.”

 He told the court the case photographs were “horrific... almost unbelievable”, and said: “The evidence bore testimony to the fact they treated these poor animals in a pitiless manner without the slightest regard for their welfare. In my view they are unfit to be carers for any animal.”

 The men pleaded guilty to a total of 16 charges of causing unnecessary suffering to the animals between November 1 and 25, 2011 on their Lisnevenagh Road farm in Co Antrim.

 Conor McAleenan, who had owned the animals, was jailed for 14 months.

 His father, who owns the farm between Antrim and Ballymena, was given nine months.

 Sitting in Coleraine, Judge Marrinan said the case was triggered by a tip-off from a member of the public.

 He said that the scene that confronted vets and PSNI officers on November 22, 2011, was a one of horror.

 They were faced with an overpowering stench of dead animals which had been dumped in a heap on the farm, with numerous other standing around in filth, starving and left to fend for themselves.

 One vet said: “The scale of what I saw was unbelievably large. The father and son had fundamentally failed to protect the animals, failed to address the most basic health and husbandry requirements.

 "Some of the animals were in such a pitiful state of suffering that they had to be euthanised on humane grounds.”

The father and son were told they will serve only half the term in jail followed by half again under supervised licensed parole but were removed from the court to Maghaberry Jail on Tuesday where they will spend Christmas.

Worst case of animal cruelty seen in Ireland

Irish Sun, 09/10/2007

A father and son have pleaded guilty to the worst case of animal cruelty ever seen in Ireland. A cop found starving horses with no grass or fodder next to the carcasses of four dead animals at a site rented by Simon O' Dwyer and his son, also called Simon.  

  Three horses had to be put down while the remaining 25 were taken into care by the Irish Horse Welfare Trust, a judge at Carrick-on-Suir District Court , Co. Tipperary heard.  

  Just a month later, 51 cattle and one live horse were found in shocking conditions along with the carcasses of four cattle and one horse at the O' Dwyer' Mullinbeg farm.  

 An investigation by Garda Sgt Stephen O' Sullivan resulted in the seizure of the cattle. Judge Terence Flynn called the animal cruelty the worse he had ever seen in his time working on the bench.  

  O' Dwyer Snr, 61 and 21-year-old O' Dwyer, Jnr of Knocktoper, Co. Kilkenny were given four-months suspended jail sentences. They were also fined €3,000 each and ordered to pay €38,000 to the Irish Horse Welfare Trust as a contribution to nursing their animals plus €2,000 for carcass disposal and €540 vet fees.  

  A Trust spokesman said: "We are looking for kind and experienced homes for the horses."

Antrim horse cruelty: Father and son facing jail

Horses and ponies found living among animal carcasses as judge compares them to "prisoners of war"

Irish Mirror, 28/11/2012

A father and son may face jail next week after condemning 70 horses to a life compared by a judge to “prisoner of war” conditions.  see more


Man fined for horse cruelty

Irish Daily Star, 17/10/2007

A farmer who neglected an old horse on his land was convicted yesterday. Donal Seeley (34) of Ballymurray Co. Roscommon pleaded guilty at Roscommon District Court to animal cruelty.

    The court heard ISPCA inspector Brendan Hughes found the animal in excruciating pain on land at Ballyleague, Lanesborough, in November 2006 and it was so sick it had to be put down.

 Solicitor Kevin Kilrain said Seeley was simply busy and did not visit the land in question that often. He said the horse was old and worn and was worth nothing.  

  Judge Jeffrey Brown said that was no excuse. The judge imposed a find of €1,000 and ordered Seely to pay costs of €690. After the case ISPCA inspector Brendan Hughes said it was one of the worst cases he'd ever seen.


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.

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.”

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.

Pig farmer jailed for 18 months over animal cruelty

RTE, 13/02/2015

One of Ireland's biggest pig producers has been sentenced to prison for 18 months for what a judge has described as animal cruelty on an industrial scale.

  Rory O'Brien, 60, of Killicane, Mitchelstown in north Cork, had pleaded guilty to five charges of animal cruelty which included the cannibalisation of animals and failing to comply with a welfare notice.

  O'Brien, whose piggery once handled up to 20,000 animals, now owes €22 million to the banks but the court was told the cruelty was not as a result of his finances, which were described as catastrophic, but because of his bad management.

  Department of Agriculture Veterinary Inspector John McConville told Cork Circuit Criminal Court that during several visits to O'Brien's piggery between May and September 2011 they found sick, starving and dying pigs and boars, some units were overrun by rats and animals were without access to drinking water.

  The inspectors also found pigs had cannibalised each other, and in one case a boar had an abscess on his leg the size of a football.

  He said his fellow inspector Mary Callinane got very upset on one occasion when she discovered workmen watering shrubs on the property but the pigs had no water, and temperatures were in the 20s.

  Ms Callinane also had to call gardaí when she was verbally abused by O'Brien during an inspector of the piggery.

  Officials issued several notices to try and alleviate the suffering but these were ignored by O'Brien, who in correspondence claimed his piggery met the highest standards.

  Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said O'Brien openly defied the Department of Agriculture and described the correspondence as "brazenness in the context of the evidence".

  Judge Ó Donnabháin accepted that O'Brien's animal welfare issues occurred at a time he was under severe pressure over his finances but he said the severity of the welfare and cruelty issues required a custodial sentence and he jailed him for 18 months.

Birdbrained: Video shows man tying and throwing live pigeons in air to train hunting dogs

Irish Mirror, 11/06/2013

This sickening video shows a trainer tying up live pigeons to teach hunting dogs.

  In a disturbing video posted on a dog training website, instructor Paul David Toal can be seen tying the birds’ legs with elastic and then tossing them into the air.

  The animals struggle to fly before dropping to the ground and are fetched by gun dogs.

  After being brought back to Mr Toal, the birds are tied up again and the act is repeated.

  Mr Toal, the owner of the Co Leitrim-based Altiquin Labradors, denied the birds suffered harm.

  He said: “Over three years ago, we were involved in using live birds to train our dogs.

  “The birds were neither injured nor killed. We ceased this practice over three years ago on realising this method of training had become outmoded and surpassed.”

But Mr Toal’s website shows footage uploaded as recently as two years ago, in July 2011, in which a live bird can be seen being hurled up and retrieved by a dog.

  Mr Toal added: “We did not know at that time this practice transgressed the law. I am now training my dogs in full compliance with the law.

  “We would like to apologise for any distress we may have caused.”

Animal Rights Action Network’s John Carmody believes cases such as this are common due to the disregard shown to anti-cruelty legislation.

  He said: “We’re disgusted this is going on. It goes to show people don’t care for our animal welfare laws.

  “It’s worrying because from what we have been told, this practice is rampant throughout the country.

  “We get countless emails and complaints about this kind of cruelty but until our laws are taken seriously, people aren’t going to stop.

  “I hope the media highlight this issue and people see animal cruelty as a very serious offence.

  “Maybe those who are responsible for these sickening acts might think twice because they’ll know groups like ourselves will be on their case and looking to have them prosecuted.”

The organisation has welcomed the introduction of last month’s Animal Welfare Bill.

  Mr Carmody added: “This law gives heavier jail sentences and tougher fines for acts like this.”

Seven puppies found dumped in bog

Athlone Advertiser. 01/08/2014

The ASPCA have reported that seven puppies have been found dumped in a bog in the same location a number of puppies were found a year ago.

  The Athlone Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals were called to a bog road at Derrycahill, Ballyforan, Co Roscommon at around 9.30pm on Wednesday evening, after two cyclists reported hearing whimpering at a place where people frequently dump household rubbish.

  Knowing that abandoned pups would not survive the night, members of the ASPCA were on the scene as quickly as possible.

  “We got our wellingtons and flashlights out and drove as quick as we could as it was getting dark on a wet evening. After carefully searching through overgrown briars and broken glass we started finding pups one by one. We had got five into the safety of a warm blanket and were ready to go, when we heard more crying in the distance and finally found two more huddled up together in the dark with our flashlights,” explained Billy Gallagher of ASPCA.

  The ASPCA is asking that if any member of the public from this area knows of anyone who had one or two recently pregnant collie-type dogs to call them at (087 ) 9925052 or send a private message via their Facebook page - Athlone SPCA.

  “All information will be handled completely confidentially. This is the second year that pups were dumped in this exact same location,” said Billy.

  “Abandoning animals is not only cruel but it is a criminal offence. When these pups are old enough we will try and get good homes for them. Please contact us if you can give one of these pups a forever home.”

Collie cuties DUMPED – along the same road where pups of the same breed were rescued by the Athlone SPCA last year, 31/07/2014

An animal welfare group was yesterday on the trail of an owner who abandoned seven pups along a bog road in the West.

  The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it was the second year in a row that pups of the same breed were found in exactly the same spot.

  ‘We’ve got a very good lead about a dog owner not too far from where we found the pups and we’ll be visiting that person over the next day or so,’ said Billy Gallagher of the Athlone SPCA.

  A couple on a late-evening cycle along the bog road at Derrycahill, Ballyforan, Co. Roscommon alerted Billy after hearing whimpering from a location often used to illegally dump refuse.

  After searching the scene, Mr Gallagher discovered the pups. ‘They’d just been left there by the owner… Last year in exactly the same spot we found two pups of the same cross-breed – a Collie-cross – and one was already dead. I’d be pretty sure it’s the same person involved,’ he said.

  Now the Athlone SPCA plans to visit the person identified to them and ask about the abandoned pups.


Roscommon Herald, 19/02/2014

A Donegal man has been banned from keeping dogs for 10 years after pleading guilty to seven counts of cruelty to the animals.

  George Cavanagh, of Carrowhugh, Greencastle, Co. Donegal was convicted at Donegal District Court.

  Eighteen dogs were found living in poor conditions at his property and ISPCA inspectors also found the decomposing and unburied carcasses of three other dogs.

  The 77-year-old, who refused to give up his dogs voluntarily, was also fined €500.

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.

€6,000 bill for cramping dogs.

Irish Independent, 03/09/2006

A man who transported greyhounds from Ireland to England to race them has been ordered to pay £4,000 (€6,000) towards the cost of his prosecution after he appeared before an English court accused of carrying them in cramped cages. Bernard Martin McBride of Ardmayle Cashel, Co Tipperary, pleaded guilty when he appeared before magistrates in Bristol yesterday, to a transit offence in relation to 10 greyhounds. The court heard how the police pulled over a white Mercedes van in August last year and found it contained rows and rows of caged dogs, with further rows behind them. Animal welfare inspector Glyn Roberts, who was called to assist, found the dogs in small, stacked cages, some of which were just 32.28 inches high. One black and white greyhound had been transported in a collapsible travel cage which was lower in height than the peak of the dog's back bone - let alone his head carriage, she said.

Sickening scenes as hares fed to dogs

Evening Herald, 27/03/20006  

Gardai are investigating incidents where live hared are being fed to greyhounds in a West Dublin housing Estate.a member of the public saw youths taking hares from a sack and throwing them to a pack of dogs.the hares were killed and dismembered immediately.It took place at St Cuthberts Pk Deansrath, Clondalkin.Gardai believe this blooding is in training for racing, this incident was one of a number in the area.also in the grounds of a Clondalkin Company.

Little Thor suffers in ‘one of the most appalling cases of animal cruelty’

Irish Examiner, 03/04/2013

Vets fear this little dog suffered devastating injuries after being used as bait in an illegal dog fight.  see more


Council’s former horse carer jailed for animal cruelty

Kilkenny People, 05/05/2012

A man who was previously employed by Kilkenny County Council to collect and care for at-risk or abandoned horses has been sentenced to 16 months in prison for animal cruelty.

  Joseph Moran, from Summerhill in Meath, has contracts with nine different local authorities to take in and care for seized animals. His contract with Kilkenny County Council, which involved re-locating neglected horses to Urlingford Horse Pound, had expired before the cruelty offences came to light, and it had not been renewed.

  Last month, Mr Moran was found guilty of cruelty to animals kept on his own land in Meath. Following complaints from the ISPCA, a veterinarian had visited the site and found two horses in such a state of neglect that they had to be immediately euthanised.

  The vet told the court that the animals had suffered ‘institutional abuse’, and that they were malnourished and lacking water. He also found the carcasses of five other horses, some of which had been there for some time.

  Handing down the sentence, Judge Patrick McMahon said he was surprised to hear that Mr Moran still held contracts with a number of local authorities.

  “This person is totally unfit to deal with any form of animal and it would be my wish that he is banned for life from keeping horses,” he said.

Carol McCarthy of Kilkenny County Council’s environmental department said that the council had been ‘frankly appalled’ to hear of the offences. A contract for the position with the local authorities will be going to tender in the coming weeks.

'Evil' Andrew Stewart jailed for setting fire to family dog Cody

Belfast Telegraph, 07/10/2014

An "evil" man who set fire to a family's pet dog has been sentenced to 10 months in jail.  see more

Andrew Stewart, who doused border collie in diesel, to spend 10 months in jail over case that shocked Northern Ireland

Guardian, 07/10/2014  see more

Man jailed for setting fire to family dog which had to be put down two weeks after 'evil' attack


  • Andrew Richard Stewart, 23, doused Cody in fuel before setting her alight

  • The border collie, three, was so badly burned that her ribs were visible

  • Had to be put down two weeks later after being told she would not recover

  • 70 campaigners applauded as Stewart was jailed at Belfast Crown Court

  • Recorder said it was an 'appalling, vile act' on a 'much-loved' family pet  

  • Cody's relieved owner Nicola Agnew said the family could now have closure

  • Co-defendant Jamie Downey, 23, also jailed for perverting course of justice

Mail, 07/10/2014
   see more

Warning graphic content: Horrifying video shows blood thirsty dogs tear fox limb from limb in Waterford
Irish Mirror, 17/09/2014
see more

Man caught torturing flatmate’s puppy on iPad recording fined €100

Irish Examiner, 26/09/2014

A woman became suspicious that her flatmate was injuring her puppy so she set up her iPad to record him.

  Kevin Louin’s housemate hid her iPad in the kitchen of the house they shared with others. Her pup had sustained a number of unexplained injuries and she began to suspect Louin was hurting the dog on purpose.

  On January 19, she hid her iPad and left the house for a short while. When she returned, she watched footage showing Louin pulling the puppy from the dog bed in the kitchen and sitting on the six-month-old pup, causing her to yelp in pain.

  She called the gardaí and two gardaí from Tallaght arrived at the house at Alderwood Avenue, Tallaght. In Tallaght District Court yesterday, Sergeant Bernard Jones said that, on that date, the dog had a broken paw and this was evident from the footage. Louin also tried to strangle the dog.

  Louin, aged 32, with an address at Exchange Hall, Belgard Square, Tallaght, pleaded guilty to beating, kicking, torturing, and terrifying the pup.

  Sgt Jones said Louin later came to Tallaght Garda Station and was shown the iPad video. He admitted that he tried to sit on the puppy and tried to strangle her.

  Louin, who represented himself, also gave a voluntary cautioned statement in which he admitted kicking the dog on several occasions — even ones that the owner of the dog had not known about.

  Sgt Jones said Louin, who is originally from France, had no previous convictions. He said Louin moved out after the incident.

  Judge Lindsay fined him €100.

Man arrested after dog killed in Dublin field yesterday afternoon

The animal was found dead at the grounds of Clonliffe College., 20/08/2014

A MAN WAS arrested after a small dog was killed yesterday afternoon at the grounds of Clonliffe College in Dublin.

  Gardaí and members of the Dublin Society of Cruelty to Animals were called to a football field at the grounds near to Croke Park in Drumcondra.

  There they found a small terrier that had apparently been killed at the scene.

  The DSPCA says that it is unclear whether the man was the owner of the dog or had come upon it at the scene.

  They say that the dog had received severe injuries from which it did not recover. The animal was taken away to a veterinary practice in UCD where a post-mortem will be carried out.

  Gardaí have confirmed that a 43-year-old man was arrested following the incident and was taken to Mountjoy Garda Station where he was questioned. He was later released without charge with a file to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

  A DSPCA spokesperson told that one of the regular problems with securing convictions in cases of animal cruelty is a lack of witnesses or witnesses that are willing to come forward.

  It is believed that there were a number of people in the vicinity of the Clonliffe College area who may have seen what happened yesterday.

  The DSPCA say that any witnesses to this or any other incident can contact them in confidence at

‘In my 23 years as a dog warden, I’ve never seen such a horrendous act of animal cruelty’

The German Shepherd had to be put down. Warning: Images are graphic., 25/08/2014

see more 

Financial problems leads to animal cruelty, 25/02/2011

Five animals, including a calf, died and were scavenged on a Mullingar farm when their 25-year-old owner’s financial pressures became too much for him.

  Marc Finnegan of Readypenny, Dundalk, County Louth, was given a six month suspended sentence for leaving a carcass unburied on rented land at Joristown, Mullingar last year.

  Animal cruelty charges were taken into consideration at Mullingar District Court, with Judge Eamon O’Brien describing photographs of the scene as horrific and appalling.

  The court heard Finnegan, who had been farming for six years with his father, had borrowed heavily at the height of the boom to develop his herd and an agricultural contracting business.

  When clients didn’t pay him, he spiralled into “dire financial circumstances”, solicitor Chynel Phelan explained, and this led him to stop making rational decisions.

  Garda Enda Brown described a large number of underfed, malnourished animals when he visited the 180 acre farm on January 18 last.

  A heifer and cow had to be put down by Department of Agriculture veterinary inspector Jonathan Cooney, including a limousin cow which had been left in a ditch for a number of days with no food or water.

  Carcasses, some of which were extensively scavenged, had been left for days with one partially under plastic and one submerged in a small stream.

  A limousine calf left unburied for more than a week had been scavenged to the point where there was nothing left to remove, the inspector said.

  He became aware of the farm when its owners complained that Finnegan had overstayed his lease there.

  At the time Finnegan had up to 106 animals there, which in good condition would have been worth up to €90,000, the inspector said.

  He had reduced his total herd from 300 to less than 50 and the inspector said it was the department’s objective that Finnegan end his involvement in farming.

  Ms Phelan said her client’s local vet described him as an honest and genuine farmer who overstretched himself by putting so much effort into building up his herd.

  Finnegan suffers with anxiety, she said and knowledge of what he had done did not sit easily with him.

  It happened at a time when weather was particularly bad and roads between the farm and his home almost 80 miles away were often impassable. 

  He is utterly embarrassed and ashamed and very remorseful, she said and pointed out that Finnegan faces further summonses relating to the death of some of the animals which were later removed from the farm.

  Judge O’Brien expressed his surprise that Finnegan had no herdsman locally to mind the animals for him and suspended the six month sentence for two years.

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.

Dumped dog seeks rehabilitation at dog shelter

Kilkenny Advertiser, 19/02/2010

In a week where a local man was jailed for cruelty to animals, the Carlow Kilkenny Dog Shelter was presented with yet another case of horrifying animal cruelty.

  A young Lurcher dog was picked up in Paulstown where the badly injured dog was wandering aimlessly, and given to the Carlow- Kilkenny Dog Shelter.

  Michael Morrissey of the dog shelter told the Kilkenny Advertiser that this was yet another case of horrendous animal cruelty and neglect.

  “This dog has a huge open bleeding wound on his rear shank and he has several other injuries around his body some of which are recent and others that were older injuries. It is a terrible case of utter neglect and cruelty. Somebody either hurt this dog or didn’t look after him. It’s hard to know what happened.”

The dog has since been taken in by the shelter and has been visited by the vet who believes he can make a good recovery.

“We hope that he will recover fully with the right care. We will then assess him and his temperament and see if he is suitable for re-homing. We already think that he will be as he seems to be a lovely gentle dog. We are asking anyone that might be looking for a dog to contact the dog shelter and see what we have on offer before looking elsewhere. We have lots of animals that are in need of good homes,” he added.

Every day the dog shelter deals with cases such as this or simply with animals that are not wanted by their owners anymore. They are asking the public to be responsible for their own pets.

  “Dog wardens seem to have a bad name but if only people knew what we had to deal with every day. People dump their animals when they don’t want them and we have to pick up the pieces. We get quite a number of dogs like the Lurcher that we have this week. This is not a one-off case,” said Mr Morrissey.

The Lurcher is currently recuperating with antibiotics, on a sheepskin rug close to a radiator - if anyone is interested in adopting a dog, please call the dog shelter on 059 9726785.

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.

Charity worker fined €250 after starved dogs and animal skulls found, 14/07/2014

WARNING: This article contains some graphic images. see more

Animal welfare centre convicted of ill-treating dogs is funded by the State

Irish Mirror, 04/08/2014

East Galway Animal Rescue has been receiving grand aid from Department of Agriculture since 2003

  An animal welfare sanctuary convicted of ill-treating dogs has been receiving State funding for the last ten years, it has emerged.

The founder of the East Galway Animal Rescue, Sarah Gunter of Kylebrack, Loughrea, pleaded guilty last month to eight charges of ill-treating a variety of dogs.

  The sanctuary has been receiving grant aid from the Department of Agriculture since 2003 and most recently was awarded funding of €4,000 in 2012.

  Figures for 2013 and the current year are not to hand.

  There are no restrictions on a person operating a voluntary dog pound and no requirement to be registered.

  East Galway Animal Rescue primarily deals with bull breeds of dogs, but also deals with other breeds as well as cats.

  The dogs that were ill-treated included Staffordshire bull terriers, a Rotweiler, a pit bull terrier, a Dogue de Bordeaux and a mixed breed.

  One of the dogs belonged to Ms Gunter and she told Loughrea District Court that what had occurred was “an error of judgment” on her part.

  Ms Gunter insisted that she would never hurt an animal.  

  The court heard that gardai were contacted by the Galway Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in July of last year to go to the sanctuary in Kylebrack where one dog was running freely and seven others were in a derelict farm building.

The dogs were found to be in an emaciated condition when removed from the property and examined by a vet.

  The court heard that Sarah Gunter had operated the East Galway Animal Rescue for the past 17 years and her whole life revolved around the animals.

  Her solicitor said that kennels at the Rescue were undergoing repairs at the time and, after the dogs came down with diarrhoea and intestinal problems, she had separated them from the other animals.

  The East Galway Animal Rescue was reliant on donations from members of the public and Ms Gunter made no money from operating it. Two random inspections carried out since had not shown any problems.

  Vet James Smith said that the dogs were emaciated when he examined them the day after they had been taken from the Rescue. He found no evidence that the animals had been suffering from diarrhoea as claimed by Ms Gunter.

Judge William Hamill imposed a fine of €250 along with €600 expenses and said that Ms Gunter’s own dog could be returned to her.

RTE, 13/02/2,013

Over 140 dogs have been recovered from a property in a rural part of Co Leitrim.  The ISPCA said the dogs were being kept in deplorable conditions and all have since been removed.

  The Leitrim County Veterinary Officer, James Madden, described the situation as an extreme case of "dog hoarding".

Animal cruelty case farmer hit with lifetime ban

Farmers Weekly, 26/02/2014

A Northern Ireland livestock farmer has been banned from keeping livestock for life after his father died and the farm fell into disrepair.

  William Beacom of Middle Farm, Trasna Road, Maguiresbridge, was handed the lifetime ban and a four-month prison sentence suspended for three years after being found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering and failing to properly care for animals on his farm.

  Mr Beacom, 30, was also found guilty of failing to prevent animals from accessing the carcass of a farmed animal.

  Enniskillen Magistrates Court heard that government officials discovered more than 20 decaying cattle, sheep, pig and poultry carcasses, while starving cattle were found in direct contact with dead animals.

  Dard veterinary staff who visited the farm every day between 21 March 2013 and 20 April 2013 also found a build-up of dung in cattle sheds and three cows and calves being kept in a silage pit without water.

  In another instance a cow was found dead underneath a drinking container.

  Dard staff said they were shocked at the conditions and the “above normal” mortality rate at the farm.

  Despite repeated visits from officials, the court heard Mr Beacom was unable to meet his livestock’s basic requirements of providing food, water and dry bedding.

  Defence barrister Craig Patton said conditions on the farm had deteriorated following the death of Mr Beacom’s father, which had left him unable to access the single farm payment.

  Poor silage, his mother’s health problems and the suicide of his grain supplier had all affected Mr Beacom’s mental state and left him unable to find money to sustain the farm.

  While he knew what was happening was not right, Mr Beacom was £20,000 in debt and had no idea what to do, said Mr Patton.

  His mental health had been so badly affected that a local psychiatrist was concerned he was going to take his own life, he added.

  Since facing prosecution, Mr Beacom had sold the farm’s livestock and hoped to rebuild his credibility in the farming world by undertaking farm management courses, the court was told.

  Sentencing Mr Beacom, district judge Nigel Broderick said while the death of his father, his mother’s illness and cashflow problems were contributing factors, they did not excuse Mr Beacom’s actions.

  Recognising Mr Beacom’s financial situation and mental health concerns, the judge decided not to impose a fine, but said the crimes were serious enough to warrant a custodial sentence.

  Mr Beacom, who has decided to appeal the ruling, was told he could apply to have the lifetime ban revoked after two years.

140 dogs saved in biggest canine rescue in State history., 12/02/2013
More than 140 dogs were rescued from a property in rural Leitrim, where they were living “in deplorable conditions”.
see more

Rescued: blind 'baby machine' boxer dog entombed in hole to die

Belfast Telegraph, 06/05/2014

A blind boxer dog thrown down a concrete hole and left to her fate had been used as a "breeding machine", according to the founder of an animal rescue centre.

  The dog was discovered by Cara Bideau as she played near her home in the Waterside area of Londonderry.

  The six-year-old spotted the animal trapped down the concrete hole in waste ground.  Little Cara ran home and told her father Kenny, who rescued the distressed animal.

  Mr Bideau said he was shocked by the level of obvious cruelty.

"Cara came home and said a pup had fallen down a manhole, but when I went with her back to where the dog was I could see that wasn't the case at all," he said.

"This was an adult dog that was left to starve to death down this concrete hole.

"A wooden pallet had been placed over the hole and rocks put on top to keep it there, so that the poor dog couldn't get out.

"I was even more shocked when I freed the dog to see how her ribs were sticking out, so it had been quite a while since she had eaten, and then to top it off, we found out she was blind. It is beyond my understanding how anyone could be this callous.

"We are a family of animal lovers and have a dog ourselves, so we took her home with us and gave her a tin of food, which she gulped down in under 15 seconds.

"We kept her at home that night and let her sleep on the sofa because she was clearly exhausted and distressed. In fact, my 15-year-old son Ethan slept on the other sofa to help her settle before we contacted the Rainbow Centre.

"We would consider fostering the poor dog until a permanent home can be found for her. We reckon she deserves to be shown some love after what she has been through, and she is very gentle and affectionate."

Helen Davis from the Rainbow Rehoming Centre took the dog to a vet, who believes the animal was used for extensive breeding and then discarded when she was no longer useful.

  Ms Davis added: "The vet has found evidence that this dog was bred and bred and bred until she could no longer produce pups.

"She is emaciated so we can only guess how long she had been left in this concrete grave and left to starve to death.

"Just recently I gave evidence at an animal cruelty court case in Northern Ireland where the judge told a woman it was the worst case of animal cruelty he had ever seen, but then he let her walk free from court with a suspended sentence.

"That is sending out the wrong message – in my opinion people need to be spending time behind bars for behaviour like this."

"I have lost count of the number of times we have come across instances like this boxer dog where animals have been used to churn out pups for sale by people who run puppy farms, and they are getting away with it. Thousands of people took to the streets of Belfast a couple of weeks ago to show how sickened they are by animal cruelty and it was heartening to see."

Helen Davis from the Rainbow Rehoming Centre

15 carcasses found at cliff base in Co Clare
RTE News, 04/04/2014

An investigation is under way in Co Clare into a suspected case of animal cruelty.The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) said the carcasses of nine horses, three cattle and three calves were found this week at the foot of Baltard Cliffs in Doonbeg, Co Clare.

  ISPCA officer Frank Coote said the "evidence suggests" the animals were thrown from the cliff top.

  Speaking to RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Coote said it was difficult to identify the animals.

  He said the horses did not have microchips and that there were no tags on the cattle, as their ears had been cut off.

  Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney said that he is "extremely concerned" at the discovery of the carcasses.

  Mr Coveney said: "The matter is now the subject of an urgent investigation involving the department, the gardaí and Clare County Council."

  A huge amount of work has been done in recent years in the area of animal welfare, including significant new legislation and regulations around the treatment and ownership of animals, and year-on-year increases in funding, he said.

  The vet who attended the scene said it is more likely an environmental and public health issue rather than a case of animal cruelty.

  Fergal Hennessy from the Kilkee Veterinary Clinic attended to one emaciated horse found alive on the cliff top.

  However, he said it would have been common for dead animals to be disposed of from a cliff and that the site was most likely used as a "dumping ground".

  He said the Government and Minister Coveney had taken a particular interest in animal welfare, but said there was more to do.

Tortured dog Pippa seeking a new home

Drogheda Independent, 20/05/2005

DROGHEDA’s Animal Rescue Centre (ARC) is hoping for a happy ending to a tale of terrible animal cruelty.

  They are looking for a new home for Pippa, a springer spaniel who was subjected to systematic torture, burned by hot oil deliberately poured on her head.

  ‘It’s a horrible case, one of the worst we have seen in some time,’ said Lisa Martinez of the Drogheda Animal Rescue Centre. ‘We got a call from a distressed woman who was so appalled by the condition of the dog, she took it straight away to the Garda Station and wouldn't leave until something was sorted out.’

Pippa was picked up wandering around the town at the end of March with horrific injuries. When the ARC volunteers got to the Garda station they found a sorry sight.

  ‘Pippa was lice ridden, to such an extent that they could be seen crawling around her fur. She was just skin and bone with her ribs sticking out and large sores on her backside from spending extensive time sitting on a concrete floor. Worst of all were the large open wounds on her head,’ said Lisa.

At first the ARC thought Pippa had been used for dog fighting but a vet’s report revealed

the truth.

  ‘She said the wounds were burns, most likely caused by deliberately pouring a hot liquid such as oil on her head.’

Pippa’s condition was immediately reported to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals who are investigating the case.

  Despite her ill treatment Pippa is very friendly and affectionate. At the moment she is being ‘fostered’ by ARC volunteer Paula Loughlin who is nursing the animal back to health at her home in Mornington.

  ‘We are looking for a new home for Pippa, who is almost fully recovered,’ said Lisa. Before she goes to new owners Pippa will be neutered and fully vaccinated.

They found a new home this month for another badly mistreated dog. Jewel is an English Pointer who was found, half starved with much of her fur missing and bloody sores covering her body, in Julianstown last December.

  A family in Scotland who keep pointers heard about Jewel’s sorry tale. When they saw the dramatic before and after photos of her, they were determined to give her a home, said Lisa. Jewel went to Scotland two weeks ago.

  If you are interested in providing Pippa with the good home she deserves and needs, please contact Drogheda Animal Rescue Centre at 041-9832418.

Thugs attempt to set box of four kittens on fire in north Dublin

Irish Independent, 28/10/2015  see more

DSPCA and gardaí at odds over horse cruelty incident
Garda rejects animal charity’s claim that animal was burnt alive in Dublin

Irish Times, 29/11/2013

The Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DPSCA) has insisted that the horse whose charred remains were found in Tallaght yesterday was burned alive.

  The gardaí say they are satisfied from their investigations that the mare was already dead when petrol was poured on her carcass and it was burned.

  However, DSPCA spokeswoman Gillian Bird said it was in “no doubt” that the animal was alive when she was set on fire.

  “We have received information from eyewitnesses and people who have spoken to eyewitnesses who say this horse was alive when she was set on fire, though we do not know what state she was in,” she said.

  “We have no evidence that she was not alive. We will have more information about this next week.”

The incident happened on a patch of grass off the R136 between CityWest and Tallaght in the early hours of Thursday morning.

  Ms Bird has insisted the original reports that the animal was alive came from the Garda station in Tallaght and subsequent information backed that up.

  She also said new information had come to light regarding the fate of the mare before she died.

  She had recently weaned a foal and appeared to be sick prior to the incident, possibly suffering from mastitis.

  According to reports given to the DSPCA, she was tied to a lamp post and was seen choking on the rope before being removed shortly before her death.   Another report tells of seeing a number of youths pouring a bottle of vodka down the mare’s throat.

  “Currently these reports are unverified but we will be following them up to complete the case file,” she added.

The DSPCA feels the claim the animal was dead prior to the incident has been given by witnesses to the gardaí in the hope that other horses will not be removed by the local authorities in response to the burning.

  The incident was described by the animal charity yesterday as a “deeply sinister development” and caused widespread outrage.

  A spokesman for the Garda press office said the abandoned horse was dead before its remains were set alight.

  The spokesman said: “It has been established through investigations that the horse was already dead before the carcass was burned and initially we did not know this. We in the Garda press office never stated that the horse was burned alive.”

  Ms Bird said they had encountered another incident of cruelty to a horse when a miniature Marabella miniature horse was rescued by a passer-by on Wednesday.

  Local children in Tallaght had tied a rope around his lower jaw and lip and made him drag a wooden pallet in front of him.

  The passer-by bought the pony for €100 and stopped a van driver who took the animal back to his house. The DSPCA then came and collected the Marabella horse who has bruising to his mouth but is otherwise unharmed.

  In a separate incident, some 15 of the horses that were found grazing illegally in Cork have been put down.

  The horses were rounded up last week by gardaí in a crackdown on unwanted animals grazing on both public and private lands. The horses belonged to members of the travelling community.

  A total of 85 across four sites in the Gurranabraher, Hollyhill, Knocknaheeny and Nash’s Boreen area of Cork’s northside were impounded and kept in a secure location pending them being claimed by their owners.

  Following an appeal, 30 were reclaimed by their owners and 40 were rescued for rehoming.

  The 15 who were not suitable for rehoming were enthanased, according toDanny Holmes, the vet for the charity Animal Heaven Animal Rescue, which helped to rescue the animals.

  The horses are currently in the charity’s rescue centre in Co Kerry.

  Mr Holmes said many of the problems have arisen because the Department of Agriculture brought in regulations last year that owners must register their equine premises.

  “There are unwanted horses. Last year those unwanted horses were finding their way into the food chain illegally and this year they are not,” he said.

Four dogs found in horrific case of animal cruelty, only one has survived
The surviving dog Willow is being cared for around the clock by the DSPCA.

The, 21/01/2014

THREE DOGS HAD to be put down by the DSPCA after inspectors uncovered a horrific case of animal cruelty in Dublin.

  Inspectors from the DSPCA say that another dog found is in a serious condition and is being monitored 24 hours a day.

  The charity say that they were called to a housing estate after a case of cruelty to a dog had been reported.

  When arriving at the house, the inspectors in fact found four dogs living in what was described as “appalling conditions”.

  The floors were covered in faeces and waste material and all dogs were in terrible conditions suffering from emaciation as well as skin conditions and inflammation of the ears.

  Gardaí assisted inspectors in removing the dogs from the house but three of them were in such a severe state that they were euthanised.

  The fourth dog Willow is currently being cared for.

  Inspectors say that the skeletal and decomposed remains of a number of cats were found in an outside shed.

  No arrests have been made but investigations into the case are continuing.

Dog found under a pile of rubbish with his skull smashed is on the mend
The vet said the hunting dog, Fionn, had received a severe blunt force trauma to the head.

The, 24/12/2013

THE CORK DOG Action Welfare Group (CDAWG) is caring for a dog that was left to die in the woods last week.

  The dog, who the welfare group called Fionn, was found by someone out walking in the woods.

  He was lying in a spot where people dump rubbish and the vet who examined him said he had suffered a severe blow to the head. There were fears that Fionn might not be able to walk or that he may die, but after receiving great care at the shelter, he is said to be on the mend.

  Speaking to, Margaret Twohig of CDAWG said it is believed that Fionn was in the ownership of a hunting club. She said that ownership of Fionn has been transferred to the the Dog Action Welfare Group.

  She added that the person who owned Fionn has been identified and she has been told by the club the owner of Fionn has been expelled from the club.

Animal Rights

  “The keeper of Fionn also had other hounds in his care and we have been told that these dogs have been removed from the premises,” she said.

  “We wanted a commitment from the group that his dogs would be removed,” she said.

  When Fionn was found she said he was barely alive and was cold to the touch. “He was covered in cuts and pressure sores, a mere skeleton, unable to move. It looked like he had been put there, in amongst the rubbish and left to die. The rain pouring down on his poor body,” she said.

  The group called him Fionn after the legendary Celtic hero Fionn Mac Cumhail. They said it was the perfect name for him, as he was a great Irish warrior who fought and won many battles and had a special love for hounds.

  X-rays revealed that he has a fractured skull due to a blunt force trauma to the head and they feared that he would not survive. However, in what Twohig describes as a “Christmas miracle” he was standing and walking yesterday.

  “The latest update from the vet is that Fionn is on the mend,” said Twohig. The vet said that looking at Fionn when he came in he did not think he was going to make it. “With a fractured skull, there was a possibility of brain damage or that he could have been paralysed, but it is great that he is up walking today,” she said.

  Since the group posted Fionn’s story on Facebook, Twohig said they have been inundated with messages and support for Fionn from all over the world.

  “We have received messages from the UK, Germany and South Africa, all wishing him well and asking for updates. An animal welfare group in Sweden is even holding a fundraiser for him,” she said, adding that she has never seen such a great public reaction to one story. “He really has touched people’s hearts,” she said.

  She said that many people have offered Fionn a home but that they had to wait and see how he gets on over the Christmas.

  While she said that Fionn’s story had obviously resonated with people, she said that they receive many calls about abandoned hounds.

  She said that animal welfare rights “don’t mean much in this country” adding that there are people in power that can strengthen the laws.

Worst time for animal cruelty

  She also said that while she has never had such an overwhelming reaction to Fionn’s story, that this is one of the worst times she has witnessed in animal cruelty, stating that while there are a lot of kind people out there, some people seem to have become “indifferent” to animals.

  She urged people, especially at this time of year, to think about what it means to care for an animal, adding that puppies are not just for Christmas, they deserve to be loved, just like Fionn did, she said.

  Cork Dog Action Welfare Group is a voluntary group and relies on donations. To find out more about the group please click here.

VIDEO: Woman violently kicks helpless dachshund dog
Irish Examiner, 29/12/2015 see more

Fine for woman caught kicking dog blasted ‘too lenient’
UTV Ireland, 29/12/2015

A woman has been fined €300 after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a dog at her home earlier this year.

see more

Horse euthanised after being found with two broken legs in Wicklow estate
A vet had to be called to the scene to put the animal down.

The, 09/12/2013

A HORSE WAS discovered yesterday in the Hillview estate, Ballyguile in Wicklow with two broken legs which is believed to be as a result of animal abuse.

  The horse was discovered at about 4pm yesterday but had to be euthanised by a vet. There are conflicting reports circulating that the horse was beaten by a group of people, while other reports suggest the horse refused to leave the horse box, and when a group of men accelerated the vehicle to force him out, the horse tumbled out of the trailer and sustained the injuries.


Gardaí said they are currently investigating the incident and are asking anyone with any information to come forward. They confirmed that the horse did receive two serious injuries to two of its legs and had to be put down as a result of the injuries.

  Speaking to Wicklow Town Councillor Garrett O’Reilly said it was “simply not acceptable,” adding that these occurrences were becoming more and more common and that he thought people were afraid to come forward with information.

  He said people could come to him with any information about the death of the horse and he would pass it on to the authorities. He said he felt the council had to look at a long term solution for the management of horses in Wicklow.


“Last week, 63 horses were rounded up by the council, in an operation that involved more than 20 gardaí. The sheer cost of an operation like that is just not sustainable,” he said.

  He said he believed the majority of those horses that are brought to a pound are later put down. “There is enough council land or land that is in NAMA that could be used by these horses. We need a long term solution for these horses, so that cruelty like this can’t happen again,” he said.

  Eight horses remain in Hillview estate and have received care from the Irish Horse Welfare Trust.

  Well-known vet Pete Wedderburn said on his Facebook Page today:

  More animal cruelty, this time in Wicklow Town, involving a horse which was euthanised by a vet yesterday after being found in trouble. We all need to act together, gathering evidence for prosecutions, to stop episodes like this in the future.

Horse dies after being doused with petrol and set alight
Gardaí are investigating the slaughter of the abandoned horse which happened in the Fettercairn area of Tallaght.

The, 28/11/2013

A HORSE HAS died from extensive injuries after it was doused with petrol and set alight in Dublin last night.

  The Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) has expressed outright condemnation at the slaughter of the horse which is believed to have been abandoned.

  The DSPCA was notified of the incident by gardaí this morning and accompanied gardaí to the site which is in a field by the road adjacent to the Luas in Tallaght. The area in Fettercairn is described as being close to a housing estate.

  The DSPCA inspectors at the scene said that it was evident that the horse had been alive when it was set alight and that a significant amount of petrol would have had to be used.

  The remnants of the fire have not yet been removed but the DSPCA say that it is expected the council will do so very soon.

  The charity say that this is one of the most horrific incidents their inspectors have ever witnessed.

  Five other horses in the vicinity were moved to safety by agents of the local authority with gardaí assistance.

  The DSPCA’s CEO Brian Gillen said that the charity is extremely concerned with what it calls this “deeply sinister development”:

  The horrendous death that this horse endured is unimaginable. Whilst we encounter many horrific cruelty and neglect cases with regard to abandoned horses, we have never seen such levels of deliberate and depraved cruelty.

  Gillen added that this “awful incident” reinforces the plight of abandoned horses in Dublin. “We are asking all the local authorities to take immediate steps to put a stop to this barbaric behaviour with the removal of abandoned horses to safekeeping”, he said.

  The DSPCA have uploaded a picture to their Facebook page of the scene following the fire but we advise that the image may be distressing to some readers. The charity say the picture is one of the least disturbing images they took of the scene.

  Gardaí confirmed that investigations into the incident are taking place but no arrests have been made.

Elderly man banned from keeping dogs in ‘graphic and horrific’ caseThe 80-year-old was also handed down a three-month suspended sentence after the ISPCA discovered four dead dogs and four emaciated Collies at his property in Cork.

The, 21/11/2013

AN 80-YEAR-OLD man has been banned from ever owning a dog again in a case described as “the most graphic and horrific” the garda inspector had seen.

  Andrew Doherty of Rowels, Meelin in Cork was convicted of animal cruelty and handed a three-month suspended sentence.

  “If he was a younger man, I would lock him straight up without hesitation,” said presiding judge Brian Sheridan.

Last February, ISPCA inspector Lisa O’Donovan visited Doherty’s property following a complaint to the charity’s helpline. On gaining access, she found four emaciated Collies locked in “filthy dark sheds”.

  She also discovered four Collies which had already died. One was still chained within the shed.

  The live dogs were described as “skeletal”, with one weighing in at only 5.5kg, less than one third of its optimum weight.

  According to animal welfare group, the dogs were extremely nervous on being rescued. “It took hours of gentle coaxing to get even the slightest wag of a tail,” it said.

  “This was a particularly horrendous act of cruelty,” added O’Donovan. “Although we managed to save four of the dogs, one cannot help but think of the poor dogs that perished.”

Speaking in court, Judge Sheridan praised the work of the ISPCA and, in particular, the welfare inspector Lisa O’Donovan who he said had “persisted” on seeing the other property on Doherty’s holding, despite being told an untruth by him.

  The four surviving dogs were taken to the ISPCA’s National Animal Centre where they underwent months of rehabilitation to address their physical and mental problems.  All were eventually rehomed with experienced owners where they needed more time to overcome their difficult pasts.

  “This case highlights what the work of the ISPCA is all about” said the society’s Chief Inspector Conor Dowling, “the 3 R’s – Rescue, Rehabilitation and Rehoming. And, when there is evidence of a criminal offence of cruelty, we will endeavour to have those responsible held accountable”.

Farmer jailed for 18 months over 'appalling' cruelty to starved ponies

Irish Independent, 09/12/2015

A farmer was jailed for 18 months for cruelty to animals after five ponies were so badly starved on his farm they had to be put down.

  Judge James McNulty described as "absolutely appalling" the condition of the ponies discovered by Department of Agriculture inspectors on land owned by Kenneth Coombes (50) last year.

  Coombes, of The Carrig, Lurriga, Skibbereen, Co Cork, has a total of 26 previous convictions dating back over 10 years, 20 for neglect or cruelty to animals.

  In 2007, he was jailed for 30 days and warned to never again own, care for or manage farm animals.

  That sentence was imposed after Coombes was convicted of causing cruelty to pigs and dogs, failing to bury dead animals and allowing one carcass to rot on the roof of a shed on his 36-acre farm.

  Judge McNulty warned Skibbereen District Court that, despite this, Coombes still appeared to have animals in his care.

  Coombes was convicted on three charges of animal cruelty relating to ponies and dogs on various dates between May 29 and July 1, 2014.

  "These five ponies were effectively starved to death," the judge said.

Judge McNulty noted Coombes's multiple previous convictions for animal cruelty.

  He imposed six-month prison sentences on all three charges.

  However, he said that, in light of his repeat behaviour, he was directing that all three sentences be served consecutively, meaning he received an 18-month term.

Donegal woman receives first prosecution for animal cruelty in Ireland

Irish Central, 29/04/2015

The first successful prosecution under the Animal Health and Welfare Act took place when a Donegal woman pleaded guilty to abandoning her dog with no food or water.

  Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals inspector Kevin McGinley responded to a call on March 12, 2014 following reports that a dog had been abandoned in a rented property in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.

  McGinley visited the property, and although he could hear a dog inside the house he could not see one. He left a note asking the occupant to contact him.

  McGinley became increasingly concerned when there was no response to the note. He returned to the property on March 14 and contacted the Gardai (police) for assistance.

  Small female terrier dog was discovered living in the kitchen area, which was heavily contaminated with dog feces and urine. The dog’s owner Natalie McGranaghan was traced to her mother’s home and she claimed initially that the dog called Megan had been sold. She later admitted she hadn’t, but claimed she had fed the dog two days earlier.

  A bucket filled with water had been left beside the dog, but she was unable to drink from it as it was too tall for her to reach.

  The accused did not appear in court but pleaded guilty through her solicitor Kieran O’Gorman.

  Sentencing was adjourned until July 16 and costs of €405 were awarded.

  Judge Paul Kelly said, “Looking at these pictures, this was an appalling thing to do to an unfortunate defenseless animal.”

  Inspector Kevin McGinley said, “The dog was clearly in a poor state before being seized and we were pleased to be able to help before her health deteriorated further. Megan made a full recovery and has since been re-homed.

  “This case clearly demonstrates how the new Animal Health and Welfare Act can work in practice to help a defenseless dog like Megan.”

Ballymena man guilty of animal cruelty after emaciated dog dies

Irish News, 24/12/2015

A BALLYMENA man has been handed a suspended jail sentence and received a lifetime ban from keeping pets for animal cruelty offences.

  Paul Sempey (37) of Queen Street in the Co Antrim town pleaded guilty to causing the unnecessary suffering and failing to ensure the welfare of a Staffordshire bull terrier type dog.

  The charges were brought by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011 and followed an investigation earlier this year.

  Animal welfare officers called at Sempey’s property and found his dog was severely emaciated, less than half its expected body weight and in the final hours of its life.

  Sempey was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for two years and ordered to pay legal costs of £116. In addition he was disqualified for life from the keeping of any ‘warm blooded animal’.

  A spokesman for the council said the local authority gave a high priority to the welfare of domestic pets and horses, and operated a rigorous enforcement policy.

  "Complaints are investigated thoroughly and where necessary formal action is taken, which may include the service of improvement notices or in extreme cases the seizure of animals," he said.

  "The council may also prosecute for offences such as in this particularly harrowing case, which I hope serves as a warning to anyone who does not take appropriate care of animals.”

Donegal woman becomes first to be prosecuted under Animal Health and Welfare Act

Breaking, 20/04/2015

A Donegal woman has become the first person to be successfully prosecuted under the Animal Health and Welfare Act, as she pleaded guilty to abandoning a dog with no food or water.

  A small female terrier dog was found in a rented property at Leitir Ard, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, by ISPCA Inspector Kevin McGinley on March 14, 2014.

  He had responded to a call two days earlier following reports that a dog had been abandoned there, he could hear a dog inside the house but could not see one. He left a note asking the occupant to contact him.

  Inspector McGinley returned on March 14 and contacted the Gardaí and Local Authority for assistance.

  The dog was discovered living in the kitchen area, which was heavily contaminated with dog faeces and urine.

  The dog’s owner, Natalie McGranaghan was traced to her mother’s home and she initially said that the dog called Megan had been sold.

  She later admitted she had not sold the dog, but claimed she had fed it two days earlier. A bucket filled with water had been left beside the dog, however she was unable to drink from it as it was too tall for her to reach.

  The accused did not appear in court but pleaded guilty through her solicitor Ciaran O’Gorman.

  Sentencing was adjourned until July 16, 2015, and costs of €405 have been awarded.

  Judge Paul Kelly said: "Looking at these pictures, this was an appalling thing to do to an unfortunate defenceless animal."

  Inspector McGinley said: "The dog was clearly in a poor state before being seized and we are pleased to be able to help before her health deteriorated further. Megan made a full recovery and has since been rehomed.

  "This case clearly demonstrates how the new Animal Health and Welfare Act can work in practice to help a defenceless dog like Megan. We are satisfied with the conviction in this case of neglect, and would like to thank all involved for their efforts."

Dr Andrew Kelly, CEO of the ISPCA, said all animal owners have a responsibility to provide for their animals' needs.

  He said: "This is the first conviction under the Animal Health and Welfare Act which came into force in March 2014.

  "The ISPCA hopes that this case will send out a message that animal neglect is not acceptable and we will do all we can to end animal abuse in Ireland."


First successful prosecution under the Animal Health and Welfare Act as Donegal woman pleads guilty to abandoning dog with no food or water.

  ISPCA Inspector Kevin McGinley responded to a call on the 12th March 2014 following reports that a dog had been abandoned in a rented property at Leitir Ard, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.

  ISPCA Inspector Kevin McGinley visited the property and although he could hear a dog inside the house could not see one. He left a note asking the occupant to contact him. Inspector McGinley became increasingly concerned when there was no response to the note and returned to the property on the 14th March and contacted the Gardaí and Local Authority for assistance.

  A small female terrier dog was discovered living in the kitchen area, which was heavily contaminated with dog faeces and urine. The dog’s owner, Natalie McGranaghan was traced to her mother’s home and she claimed initially that the dog called Megan had been sold.  She later admitted she hadn’t, but claimed she had fed the dog two days earlier.  A bucket filled with water had been left beside the dog, however she was unable to drink from it as it was too tall for her to reach.

  The accused did not appear in court but pled guilty through her solicitor Ciaran O’Gorman.

  Sentencing was adjourned until 16th July 2015 and costs of €405 have been awarded. Judge Paul Kelly said:  “looking at these pictures, this was an appalling thing to do to an unfortunate defenceless animal.”

  Inspector Kevin McGinley said, “The dog was clearly in a poor state before being seized and we are pleased to be able to help before her health deteriorated further. Megan made a full recovery and has since been rehomed. This case clearly demonstrates how the new Animal Health and Welfare Act can work in practice to help a defenceless dog like Megan. We are satisfied with the conviction in this case of neglect, and would like to thank all involved for their efforts.”

  Dr Andrew Kelly, CEO said: “This is the first conviction under the Animal Health and Welfare Act which came into force in March 2014. All animal owners have a responsibility to provide for their animals’ needs. The ISPCA hopes that this case will send out a message that animal neglect is not acceptable and we will do all we can to end animal abuse in Ireland”.

  Minister of Agriculture, Simon Coveney said:  ”I welcome the diligent work of the ISPCA Inspector in bringing this case forward for prosecution under the Animal Health and Welfare Act”.

  If you suspect an animal is being cruelly treated, neglected or abused, please contact the ISPCA National Animal Cruelty Helpline in confidence on 1890 515 515 or report online on

Donegal man convicted of ‘horrific’ animal cruelty

UTV Ireland, 17/11/2015

A 44-year-old Letterkenny man was fined €500 and ordered to pay €456 in costs before Leterkenny District Court by presiding Judge Paul Kelly after he was convicted of eleven counts of animal cruelty.

Adrian Browne pleaded guilty on Monday to causing unnecessary suffering to eleven horses at a property in Trentaboy, Letterkenny.

  The case emerged when ISPCA Inspector Kevin McGinley and local Gardaí responded to concerns raised at Trentaboy, Letterkenny, Co Donegal on 30 December 2013 when the eleven horses were discovered.

  Four of the horses were humanely euthanized on veterinary advice to prevent any further suffering for the animals.

  Inspector McGinley said that there was no grass available to the horses at the property, and he also noticed an absence of supplementary food.

  “The animals were in a poor to moderate condition with minimal shelter given the fact it was the end of December and the only water available was from a drain.

  “Some of the other horses were in very poor body condition with their back bones and ribs clearly protruding. The animals were living in hardship,” he added.

Inspector McGinley described the case as a “horrific form of cruelty,” adding that it was “unfortunate that defenceless animals had to endure such suffering.”

  When the equines were scanned for microchips, only one was found to be chipped and none were registered to the defendant.

  Mr McGinely admitted that it was more difficult to prosecute responsible parties with the absence of legitimate identification to link animals and their owners.

  "It certainly makes things more difficult, because we have to go and find out whose care the horses are in, and then try and link the landowner to the animals, it takes more time," he said.


Evening Echo, 31/08/2015

A DOG had its four paws cut off while it was still alive in a case which is under garda investigation in west Cork.

  The recent incident also involved the skinning of the animal. The matter has been reported to vets and gardaí in west Cork.The story is revealed today as animal welfare workers report that five files about animal cruelty incidents in Cork are currently being considered by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

  The cases related to the discovery of three unlicenced puppy farms and two incidents of deliberate cruelty to dogs.

  The three puppy farms were discovered in the past three months in different areas of the county, according to the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

  The society’s inspector for Cork, Lisa O’Donovan, said she could not reveal specific details but she said that in one case, 13 dogs were removed from a premises.

  She added: “A puppy farm, or a breeding establishment, is somewhere with six bitches or more. One of the places we came across had 30 to 40 dogs.” Ms O’Donovan said that files for the DPP were completed with cooperation from gardaí and the Department of Agriculture.

  The Department of Agriculture has a hotline for those wishing to report instances of animal cruelty. It can be contacted at 1850 211 990 or

  The recent killing of Marvin, a Jack Russell dog in Mayfield, resulted in a huge outcry among the horrified public. He was found badly injured by gardaí in a ditch on August 15 and died from his injuries.

Cork pig farmer pleads guilty to cruelty and neglect

Irish Examiner, 05/02/2015

Defendant failed to treat or euthanise a pig after it was left in pen to be eaten alive

  The owner of a Mitchelstown pig farm pleaded guilty yesterday to cruelty and neglect in relation to animals, including one count of an animal being left in a pen to be eaten alive.

  A jury of nine men and three women was sworn in yesterday morning after Rory O’Brien and his wife Monica O’Brien of Killicane, Mitchelstown, Co Cork, and the farm manager, Seamus Curran of Kiltrislane, Mitchelstown, pleaded not guilty to a total of 88 counts related to alleged cruelty to animals.

  However, lawyers in the case spent the following hour in discussions outside the courtroom on Washington St, Cork, and, by the time they returned to court, there was no longer a need for a trial. Alice Fawsett, prosecution senior counsel, said the Director of Public Prosecutions was entering a nolle prosequi on all charges against Monica O’Brien and Seamus Curran. That saw them cleared of all charges and free to go.

  Rory O’Brien, who had pleaded not guilty to 32 counts on the indictment, was then re-arraigned on five counts and he pleaded guilty to all five.

  Kenneth Fogarty, defence senior counsel, said that sentencing was likely to take longer than normal and that a number of witnesses would have to be called.   He intends to call the defendant’s accountant and a veterinary expert in mitigation.

  Sentencing was adjourned by Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin until February 12. He asked the prosecution if they had had any objection to the accused, Mr O’Brien, being remanded on bail.

  Ms Fawsett SC said he had been on bail, there was no objection to him being on continuing bail, and there were no prosecution fears about the accused not turning up for sentencing.

  Two of the charges to which O’Brien pleaded guilty carry maximum penalties of three years imprisonment and/or a €100,000 fine. The other three carry maximum penalties of two years and/or a €10,000 fine.

  Mr Fogarty SC suggested he might apply for a probation report at the time of sentencing. Judge Ó Donnabháin asked what he hoped to achieve by this. The senior counsel said that it would be a factor if community service was a possibility.

  “They [the probation service] might say he would be better on the side of the road picking up pieces of paper than sitting in prison,” said Mr Fogarty.

Before the jury was selected yesterday morning Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin warned the panel that the case could last seven to 10 days.

  The five charges to which Mr O’Brien pleaded guilty were, as follows:

  1. That he did between May 3 and Sept 8, 2011, at Killicane, Mitchelstown, fail to take the necessary steps to ensure the welfare of pigs in his possession or under his control and that he failed to ensure the animals were not caused unnecessary suffering or injury by failing to treat or euthanise them.
  2. That at the same place during the period June 7 to 10, 2011 he failed to comply with a welfare notice dated June 7, 2011, relating to animals in his possession or under his control or care.
  3. That on May 9, 2011, he caused unnecessary suffering to a pig by failing to treat or euthanise it after its flesh was extensively eaten on its ribcage.
  4. That on June 3, 2011, he caused unnecessary suffering to a boar by failing to treat or euthanise it when it had swollen joints and chronic abscesses.
  5. That on July 25, 2011, he caused unnecessary suffering to a pig by failing to treat or euthanise it after it was eaten alive, damaging its left side, leaving a large bleeding wound.

Farmer admits to cruelty after pig is eaten alive

Irish Independent, 05/02/2015

A LARGE-scale Irish farmer pleaded guilty to animal cruelty after admitting he caused unnecessary suffering to a pig by failing to treat it after it was found eaten alive.

  Pig farmer Rory O'Brien pleaded guilty to a total of five animal cruelty charges before Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

  Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin was told that O'Brien of Killicane, Mitchelstown, Co Cork was admitting five charges brought under animal welfare regulations.

  Rory O'Brien and his wife, Monica, and their farm manager, Seamus Curran, pleaded not guilty to a total of 88 charges relating to various allegations of animal cruelty on dates between May 3 and September 8, 2011. Rory O'Brien faced a total of 32 counts.

  Curran has an address of Kiltrislane, Mitchelstown, Co Cork.

  Judge Ó Donnabháin was told, after a jury was sworn in to hear the case, that Rory O'Brien could be re-arraigned on five of the charges.

  He confirmed a guilty plea on all five charges and the court was told that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) was formally entering a nolle prosequi or 'no prosecution' order in respect of all outstanding charges against Monica O'Brien and Seamus Curran.

  Both were discharged.


The charges to which the farmer pleaded guilty included that on July 25 2011 he caused unnecessary suffering to a pig by failing to treat or euthanise it after it was found eaten alive with a large bleeding wound on its left side at Killicane, Mitchelstown.

  He also admitted that, between May 3 and September 8 2011, he failed to take the necessary measures to ensure the welfare of the pigs under his control and that he failed to ensure the animals were not caused unnecessary suffering or injury by failing to treat or euthanise them.

  O'Brien also admitted that, between June 7 and 10 2011, he failed to comply with a welfare notice relating to the animals in his possession or under his control and care, the notice being dated June 7.

  The farmer admitted that, on May 9 2011, he caused unnecessary suffering to a pig by failing to treat or euthanise it after it had its flesh extensively eaten out of its ribcage.

  Finally, he admitted that, on June 3 2011, he caused unnecessary suffering to a boar by failing to treat or euthanise it when it had swollen joints and serious abscesses.

  Judge Ó Donnabháin was asked to adjourn sentencing in the matter to allow for the preparation of expert reports.

  He was told the State had no objection to O'Brien being remanded on continuing bail.

  Judge Ó Donnabháin remanded him for sentencing on February 12.

  The most serious charges against O'Brien carry a maximum penalty of a fine of up to €100,000 and/or up to three years imprisonment.

  The three lesser charges carry penalties of a fine of up to €10,000 and/or two years imprisonment.

  Rory O'Brien ranked as one of the largest-scale pig farmers in Ireland.

  He waged a high-profile campaign against the closure by Dairygold of its Galtee Meats plant in Mitchelstown back in 2007.

  The plant - one of Ireland's biggest pigmeat processing facilities - closed with the loss of almost 500 jobs as part of the rationalisation of Dairygold operations.

Man sent for trial accused of kicking small dog to death, 26/05/2015

A MAN has been sent for trial accused of kicking a small dog to death in a city park.

  Liam Dowling (44) is charged with animal cruelty offences following an incident in which a terrier was allegedly killed on a sports field.

  He had a book of evidence served on him at Dublin District Court.

  Mr Dowling, of Fitzgibbon Court, Fitzgibbon Street, in the north inner city, is charged with killing a protected animal and causing unnecessary suffering or endangering the health or welfare of an animal.

  Charges were brought under the Animal Health and Welfare Act and the incident is alleged to have happened at Clonliffe College last August 19.

  The DPP had consented to summary disposal of the case at district court level, but Judge Ann Ryan refused to accept jurisdiction to deal with it after hearing a summary of the allegations.

  The case was subsequently re-listed at the request of the DPP, and a state solicitor asked Judge Ryan if she would re-consider.

  She refused, saying: "You do not get two bites of the cherry."

  A book of evidence was subsequently served.

  Judge Ryan gave Mr Dowling the formal notice that he must provide to the prosecution details of any alibi he intends to rely on.

  She sent him forward to the next sittings of Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, remanding him on bail, under existing conditions.

  Mr Dowling did not address the court.

  It was previously reported that animal cruelty workers and gardai were called to Clonliffe College.

  On arrival, they found the dog's body, which was removed by the DSPCA.

  A post mortem was later carried out.

Pig farmer jailed after starving pigs ate each other alive has sentence reduced

Irish Independent, 24/07/2015

A pig farmer, who admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a pig by failing to treat it after it was found eaten alive on his farm, has had his 18 month jail term reduced to 12 on appeal.

  Rory O'Brien (60) of Killicane, Mitchelstown, Co Cork, had pleaded guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to five counts of animal cruelty at his farm on dates between May and September 2011.

  O'Brien had been indicted on 32 counts – three in respect of the welfare of animals, two for failing to comply with a notice and 27 for cruelty – and similar charges were brought against his wife and the farm manager.

  However, on the morning of his trial he pleaded guilty to five counts on a full facts basis and the remaining charges against all three accused were withdrawn by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

  He was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment by Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin on February 12 2015.

  Moving to appeal his sentence Friday, Ken Fogarty SC, for O'Brien, submitted that the trial judge was “clearly influenced” by facts relating to counts which were not before the court.

  The sentencing judge referred to 17,000 pigs and 'cruelty on an industrial scale' but there were only three animals involved in the cruelty to which O'Brien had pleaded guilty, Mr Fogarty said.

  Speaking on behalf of the three-judge Court of Appeal today, Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan said the court wished to emphasise that it acknowledged these offences as “extremely serious”.

  “That goes without saying and the facts of this case speak for themselves.”

However, it was undoubtedly a fact also that O'Brien was under considerable pressure at the time, Mr Justice Sheehan said.

  The court heard he was €22 million in debt, was effectively “bankrupt” and struggling to wind down his business at the time.

  Mr Justice Sheehan said the sentencing judge was “perfectly correct” in holding that a custodial sentence was necessary and the Court of Appeal endorsed that view.

  However, in identifying an error in his sentence, Mr Justice Sheehan said O'Brien was entitled to have his personal qualities and contributions to his community taken into account as mitigating factors.

  O'Brien was a 60-year-old married man with a grown-up family who had clearly worked hard all his life and had a previous good character, the judge said.

  At one stage he employed 40 people and he was making a serious contribution to a particularly important agricultural industry, he added.

  Mr Justice Sheehan, who sat with Mr Justice George Birmingham and Mr Justice Alan Mahon, said the court would leave the original sentence of 18 months in place but would suspend the final 6 months.

  O'Brien had admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a pig by failing to treat or euthanise it after it was found eaten alive with a large bleeding wound on its side at his farm on July 25 2011.

  He had also admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a pig by failing to treat or euthanise it after it had its flesh extensively eaten out of its ribcage on May 9 2011 and that he caused unnecessary suffering to a pig by failing to treat or euthanise it when it had swollen joints and serious abscesses on June 3 2011.

  O'Brien had also admitted failing to take the necessary measures to ensure the welfare of pigs under his control and that he failed to ensure the animals were not caused unnecessary suffering or injury by failing to treat or euthanise them between May 3 and September 8 2011.

  Furthermore, O’Brien had admitted that between June 7 and 10 2011, he failed to comply with a welfare notice relating to animals in his possession or under his control and care.