Galway

₤1,500 fine for vet drugs

Evening Herald, 06/12/1996

A distributor of veterinary products has been fined ₤1,500 for possession of illegal animal drug promoters. Patrick O’Dea, Oakfield Estate, Oranmore, Co. Galway pleaded guilty at Galway District Court to having a veterinary medicine, Trenbolone Acetate, a prohibited substance, at his home on November 12th 92 and bottles of the antibiotic Oxytetracyline on his business premises at Waterslade, Tuam.


Irish Examiner, 05/05/2003

(Main parts of the article)

Patsy Costello, aged 63 of Anbally, Crummer, Tuam Co.Galway pleaded guilty to leaving the dead animal (a bull) lying above ground in a field for two weeks. Superintendent Martin Lee told Tuam Co.Galway District Court (3/05/03) the accused had two previous convictions for cruelty to animals and one for assault of a neighbour. Judge John Garavan imposed a fine of €400 and warned that the defendant was lucky not to be going to prison given his previous convictions.


 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 Corcoran (57) unmarried of Clashaganny, Kiltullagh, Atherny, Co.Galway 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. He was ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service failing that the Judge would impose a 6 month jail sentence. The accused had appeared totally indifferent to the suffering that he had caused….the animals had no feed whatsoever, some were so weak they could not stand, Some were eaten away by dogs, while 20 bales of sileage were rotten and 6 bags of lamb nuts remained unopened.


Drunken Farmer cruelly beat, tortured wifes dog.

Irish Independent, 10/12/1999

A drunken farmer that beat his wife’s dog so badly that it had to be put down was told to continue attending an alcohol treatment course when he appeared before a court in Galway yesterday. Michael Creaven, 40, Tumnahulla, Corrandulla, Co. Galway pleaded guilty to cruelly beating and torturing the black and white collie outside his estranged wife’s house. His wife got a safety order against him in 1996.He was accused of breaching the order while beating the dog, he put his wife Mary in fear of such violence being used against her.



Ballyglunin farmer banned from keeping animals after cruelty conviction

Tuam Herald, 29/10/2009

Animal cruelty organisation welcomes judge's verdict  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.



Farmers ignored block on animal moves in virus scare

Irish Independent, 15/06/2001

Two Co Galway farmers ignored the animal movement permit regulations introduced at the height of the foot-and-mouth disease emergency.

Pat Fleming (67) of Corofin, with his son John, was moving about 50 sheep to an out-farm about two miles away on April 26 last when he ran into a Garda checkpoint.

At Hearford District Court yesterday Judge John Garavan noted the date of the offence was at the height of the emergency and nobody should have taken such a chance. He imposed a £500 fine.

Martin Joe Flaherty of Knockdoe, Loughgeorge, was taking a 13-year-old pony to tease a mare he wanted to get into foal when he was stopped on April 30 last.

Sergent Clarke told the court that Mr Flaherty insisted that he had a valid permit to move the pony, but when he checked the records, it emerged that no such permit had been issued. The judge imposed a £1,000 fine.



Farmer is fined for the reckless use of shotgun

Irish Examiner, 16/01/1998

A Galway man who blasted in a neighbour’s front door with a shotgun while attempting to shoot a god he believed was worrying his sheep was fined and had his gun confiscated at Athernry Court this week.

Indeed, the dog did not even belong to the owners of the house in which the door was blasted with the shotgun and local Gardai said it was amazing that nobody was injured in the midnight shooting.

Dermot Monaghan, Ivy Mount, Knochaunglass, Athenry, was convicted at the local court this week of reckless discharge of a firearm after he had tracked down a dog he had shot to a neighbour’s door and fired at it.

The Court was not informed as to how the dog fared or if it survived the ordeal but the blast did considerable damage to the door the dog was standing outside and the defendant was ordered to pay £400 compensation to the owner of the damaged house.

Giving evidence Garda Sgt Michael Corry said that at approximately 3.30 am on September 21 last he responded to a call and arrived at the home of James Ruane at Knockaunglass, Athenry.

He saw that the front door of his house was shattered and Mr Ruane handed him five pellets he had found inside. On investigation a large number of pellet marks were found.

He went to tell the Court that the defendant had visited the Ruane household the previous evening to complain about dogs worrying his sheep. At about midnight on the night of the incident the defendant shot and wounded a dog which he believed was worrying his sheep.

He tracked the wounded animal and discharged shots at it.

Emmet Fitzgerald solicitor (defending) said his client was recognised as an up-standing member of the community but he had been having ongoing problems with dogs worrying his sheep and he had lost some sheep because of this in the past. He said this did not excuse his recklessness with a firearm but explained why he felt he had to take action to protect his flock.

Judge Al O’Dea imposed a fine of £500 for the reckless discharge of a firearm and ordered the confiscation of the shotgun and ammunition. He also fined Mr. Monaghan £350 for causing damage to property and ordered to pay £400 in compensation for the damage caused. He was allowed two months to pay or two months in jail in default.

When the defence solicitor asked for a review on the gun confiscation order the Judge said it would be better to leave that matter in the hands of the Garda sergeant.



Farmer is fined for the reckless use of shotgun

Irish Examiner, 16/01/1998

A Galway man who blasted in a neighbour’s front door with a shotgun while attempting to shoot a god he believed was worrying his sheep was fined and had his gun confiscated at Athernry Court this week.

  Indeed, the dog did not even belong to the owners of the house in which the door was blasted with the shotgun and local Gardai said it was amazing that nobody was injured in the midnight shooting.

  Dermot Monaghan, Ivy Mount, Knochaunglass, Athenry, was convicted at the local court this week of reckless discharge of a firearm after he had tracked down a dog he had shot to a neighbour’s door and fired at it.

  The Court was not informed as to how the dog fared or if it survived the ordeal but the blast did considerable damage to the door the dog was standing outside and the defendant was ordered to pay £400 compensation to the owner of the damaged house.

  Giving evidence Garda Sgt Michael Corry said that at approximately 3.30 am on September 21 last he responded to a call and arrived at the home of James Ruane at Knockaunglass, Athenry.

  He saw that the front door of his house was shattered and Mr Ruane handed him five pellets he had found inside. On investigation a large number of pellet marks were found.

  He went to tell the Court that the defendant had visited the Ruane household the previous evening to complain about dogs worrying his sheep. At about midnight on the night of the incident the defendant shot and wounded a dog which he believed was worrying his sheep.

  He tracked the wounded animal and discharged shots at it.

  Emmet Fitzgerald solicitor (defending) said his client was recognised as an up-standing member of the community but he had been having ongoing problems with dogs worrying his sheep and he had lost some sheep because of this in the past. He said this did not excuse his recklessness with a firearm but explained why he felt he had to take action to protect his flock.

  Judge Al O’Dea imposed a fine of £500 for the reckless discharge of a firearm and ordered the confiscation of the shotgun and ammunition. He also fined Mr. Monaghan £350 for causing damage to property and ordered to pay £400 in compensation for the damage caused. He was allowed two months to pay or two months in jail in default.

  When the defence solicitor asked for a review on the gun confiscation order the Judge said it would be better to leave that matter in the hands of the Garda sergeant.



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.



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.



Farmer fined for ill-treating sheep

Irish Independent, 13/02/2004

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



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.



Swan Save: concern in Galway over ‘tame and trusting’ birds

Death of Claddagh swan being investigated

Irish Times, 02/08/2006

Gardai in Galway are investigating the apparent dismemberment of one of the swans from the Claddagh – home to the State’s largest flock of the birds at the mouth of the Corrib.

  The swan’s remains were discovered b8y a walker on the shoreside in the area known as “the Swamp”, close to the Claddagh, late last week. The carcase and entails were located near a group of tents which were pitched without authorisation on local authority land.

  The finding was reported to the Garda and to Galway and Claddagh Swan Rescue and several of its volunteers identified a trail of blood from the tent back to the Claddagh slipway. The 200 swans in the flock are very tame and congregate at the slipway to be fed and admired by the public, including young children.

  Gardai subsequently visited the campsite and it is understood that one man was questioned. The man subsequently said that he had found a dead swan and had decided to cook it and eat it.

  Suzanne Divilly of Galway and Claddagh Swan Rescue said the dead bird was a cob or male bird, who would have had a partner. “This was horrific, as these birds are protected under the Wildlife Act,” she said. “The Claddagh swans are so tame and trusting that all someone had to do was to put out their hand – which makes it even worse.”

Ms Divilly said it was the worst incident the voluntary organisation had come across in some time. However, she said that the body of a swan trapped in muslin was dug up by an animal – probably a fox or dog – in Rusheen Bay between Salthill and Barna two years ago. The organisation had also received reports of angling boats taking birds on Lough Corrib.

Galway city councillor Donal Lyons (Progressive Democrats) described the incident as a “new low” and said he hoped that the “full rigour of the law” would be applied to the culprit. Galway City Council said that camping was not authorised at the Swamp area, but the matter of bird protection would be one for the Garda.



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



Drunken farmer cruelly beat, tortured wife’s dog

Irish Independent, 10/12/1999

A drunken farmer who beat his wife’s pet dog so badly that it had to be put down, was told to continue attending an alcohol treatment course when he appeared before a court in Galway yesterday.

  Michael Creaven, from Tumnahulla, Corrandulla, Co Galway, pleaded guilty to cruelly beating and torturing the black and white collie, outside his estranged wide home on June 26 last.

  The farmer, in his forties, has been living in a shed near the family home since his wife got a Safety Order against him in the courts in 1996.  He was also charged with breaching this Order in that, while cruelly beating the dog, he put his wide, Mary Creaven, in fear of such violence being used against her.

Judge Murrough Connellan adjourned the case until February 10, to see if Creaven would stay off the drink, on condition that he continue receiving treatment.



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.



‘Vile’ killing of foal must be catalyst for action on horses in estates

SF councillor calls for stables to be develop for city horses

Galway Advertiser, 26/06/2014

The horrific killing of a foal on the city’s east side has led to calls for the development of community fields and stables, as a way to tackle the problem of horses in the city, and prevent any more horses coming to serious harm.

  Recently on the city’s east side, a young foal was beaten to death by a group of youths, and its body subsequently set on fire. The action has resulted in condemnation from local politicians and the establishment of an online petition calling on the Galway City Council to enforce existing animal welfare/protection laws.

  The killing of the foal has not only highlighted instances of animal cruelty in the city, but also raised again the vexed issue of horses being kept in residential estates.

 Sinn Féin councillor Mairéad Farrell, who described the incident as a “vile” and “horrendous and wanton killing”, said the only way to prevent such an instance from recurring is by tacking “anti-social behaviour and the presence of horses in housing estates”.

  Cllr Farrell said horses cannot be allowed to remain on housing estates and that there must be “no exceptions” made in this regard. However she acknowledged that many young people on estates are “deeply enthralled with horses” and that this interest should be supported and developed.

  As a result she is calling on the Galway City Council to develop a community project where fields are provided and stables developed for horses. “This would tackle both the horse problem and to a certain extent also the problem of anti-social behaviour,” she said, as it could lead to more interest in equine welfare among young people in estates where horses are a common sight.

  Cllr Farrell added that to further combat anti-social behaviour, more gardaí are needed “on the beat”, and local representatives given “a direct input into local policing plans”.

  The Galway City East councillor is seeking the support of her fellow elected representatives for her call for to develop stables and fields for city horses.

  “It is essential Galway councillors speak with one voice on this issue and seek the extra funding needed,” she said. “As the National Youth Council has observed, for every €1 invested in youth work €2.22 is saved in other services. The State would make major financial savings by investing in our youth.”

  The killing of the foal has also led to a petition thepetitionsite.com calling on the council to enforce animal welfare laws. The petition accuses City Hall of failing to enforce the microchipping of horses; and of not taking action over how horses are treated.

  The petition alleges that some horses are “often tied up for days on end in small fields in the middle of our housing estates and on wholly unsuitable hardstands, often with no water”.

Notification of the petition has been sent to all Galway City Council members, the Garda Superintendent in Mill Street, and the Garda Communications Office.



Charity worker fined €250 after starved dogs and animal skulls found

Journal.ie, 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.