Truck driver denies starving great danes for four weeks.

Irish Independent, 25/9/1997

Eight Great Dane dogs were found in an emaciated condition in a truck drivers yard a court heard yesterday. see more

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

Priest gives kennels a pounding.

Sunday People, 7/1/2001

A parish priest announced that the ISPCA was to be booted out of a dog shelter for neglecting dogs in its care.  see more

ISPCA gets dogs abuse over pound

Evening Herald, 8/2/2001

A Wicklow priest called for a public investigation into the operation of the counties dog pound. Fr. Campbell chairman of the Wicklow SPCA told a packed meeting in Ashford that the ISPCA needed to be taken apart from top to bottom. The meeting was held in the wake of an incident over Christmas when members of the WSPCA broke into the pound, which is run by the ISPCA and rescued two dogs. David Coulson told the angry meeting that the ISPCAs record in running dog pounds had been appalling. He claimed that unwanted dogs had been electrocuted since 1975 in Cork and that in Louth they had been shot until mid 1999 and that dogs from Leitrim had been sent to a rendering plant in Longford and eventually fed to pigs and chickens. However, since the BSE scare unwanted dogs now went to a rendering plant in Cavan, he said.

Man left dog to starve in garden

Irish Star, 26/4/2002

(Main parts of the article)

 David Hendrick (40) of 9 Cherry Orchard Parade, Ballyfermot Dublin 10 was banned from keeping a pet for life after an emaciated dog was found almost starved to death at his home. He was also fined €150 after he pleaded guilty to charges of neglect in Dublin District Court (25/04/02). DSPCA Inspector Robert Kenny told the court he found the starving dog at Hendrick’s home on the 4th March 2002. The dog, two-year-old Rattweiller crossbred was in an “advanced stage of neglect” in the back garden of the defendant’s home. The dog has since recovered from his ordeal.

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

€1,000 fine for neglecting animals

Evening Herald, 9/12/2003

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

104 dogs rescued from puppy farm.

Irish Independent, 29/3/2004

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

Farm probe garda tells of ordeal with animals

Irish Examiner, 4/1/2002
A garda investigating the suspected neglect of cattle on a farm in Cork had to arm himself with a pike as the animals approached him in the yard, a court was told yesterday.  see more

Guilty of neglecting animal

Kildare Nationalist, 19/5/2000

A farmer who cruelly ill-treated a cow was told to pay £120 to the vet who carried out an examination on behalf of the gardaí, Athy District Court heard last week.  see more

Irish Independent, 23/3/2001

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

Examiner, 16/10/1999

Brendan Murphy (46) Derryasna, O’Briensbridge Co.Clare was convicted at Ennis District Court on the 15/10/99 for allowing to animals in his care to die of starvation. He was jailed for four months. Judge Albert O’Dea said that Mr. Murphy had let the animals die in the most cruel, miserable fashion.

Court bans farmer after starving
, dying sheep found.

Irish Independent, 9/1/2003

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.

Slaughter on a sunny afternoon

Down Democrat, 8/4/2003
Over 100 dead and dying sheep have been discovered on a farm near Maghera.   see more

Ordered not to keep animals

Tipperary Star, 27/3/2004

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

Worst case of animal cruelty seen in Ireland

Irish Sun, 9/10/2007

(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."

Ballyglunin farmer banned from keeping animals after cruelty conviction

Tuam Herald, 29/10/2009

Animal cruelty organisation welcomes judge's verdict  see more

Man jailed for cruelty to at-risk horses

Irish Times, 20/4/2012

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

Sligo man charged with keeping a pony tied up for so long the rope tore her face
The, 21/6/2013
William ‘Jack’ Conway admitted to the offence at Sligo District Court and has until September to pay a fine or face prison.  see more

Graphic images show horse’s mauled body in North Dublin, 16/5/2013

Two horses were killed in two separate incidents in the Darndale area of Dublin yesterday.  see more

Activists campaign after donkey dies

Irish Times, January 04/01/2012

Animal lovers have started a campaign to erect a statue in memory of a donkey starved to death in Co Donegal. It was found starving and wasting away in a bed of mud in sheds beside Fanad Lighthouse last Friday.

  Members of the Donegal Donkey Sanctuary rescued the terrified animal but it died a short time later at the sanctuary in Raphoe.  The group also wants to gather as many signatures as possible calling for effective measures to stop this kind of cruelty once and for all.  The petition will be taken by donkey and cart and delivered to Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney at Leinster House.

The Derry farm neglect that leaves horses to die like this.

Sunday People, 20/02/2000

see more

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 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.

Jail for men who starved and ill-treated their dogs

Irish Independent, 13/04/1999

Two Dublin men have been sentenced to 30 days imprisonment and banned from keeping dogs as pets for 10 years in two separate cases which a judge yesterday described as appalling cruelty.

  Both cases were taken at Dublin District Court by the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and involved a German shepherd and a pitbull terrier. Each animal was in such an appalling condition it tad to be destroyed by a vet.

  In the first case, Thomas Conwasy of Ashowood Drive, Clondalkin, Dublin 22,failed to appear in court to answer charges relating to cruelly ill-treating and causing unnecessary suffering to a German shepherd.

  A DSPCA inspector said she called to examine the dog following complaints about its condition.

  The dog, which had a serious leg injury, was lying in its own excrement in a garden and was too weak to stand.

  After hearing the animal weight only 20kgs instead of the 33kgs it should have, Judge James McDonnell described the case as “cruel and unnecessary” and said it obviously stemmed from neglect over a substantial period.

  In the second case, the court heard that William Murphy, of Stanaway Road, Dublin 12 had told an inspector that he did not have a pit bull terrier.

  However, on checking the back garden, the animal was found there, chained up. it was emaciated and very dehydrated and was so weak it had to be carried to the DSPCA van.

  A vet who examined the dog described it as one of the worst cases of ill-treatment he had ever come across. Murphy also failed to appear in court.

Costs of £250 were awarded to the charity in each case.

Legal action threat over foal’s death

Irish Independent, 21/04/1998

A Dublin man claims his mare was badly neglected by a Cork horse pound, reports Aidan Kelly.

  A Dublin horseowner is planning to take legal action against a horse pound following the death of his newly born foal.

  A mare belonging to Ballymun man Robert Curran foaled while it was in the pound in Glenville, Cork – used by both Fingal County Council and Dublin Corporation.

  When Mr Curran went down to the pound to pay £375 for the release of his horse, he claimed the foal – two days old at the time – was lying on the ground “totally neglected.”

  Three days after giving the foal constant care, supervision and treatment, it died.

  “It was a collection of skin and bones,” Mr Curran said. “I have never seen anything like it. They totally neglected the mare and the foal and the conditions down there were a disaster.”

Swords based vet Conor O’Scanaill, who attended to the foal, said the death could have been prevented.

  “My report said that the whole situation could have been avoided if the foal had been looked after since birth,” said Mr O’Scanaill. The mare is gradually improving but it is very hard to reverse the health of a very sick three to four day old foal, even if it was in Sheikh Mohammed’s stables.”

Mr Curran feared the worst for his horse after he and other horseowners watched a secret video shot at the pound, which shoed dead and dying horses in filthy conditions. The video, also screened on news channels recently, featured Mr Curran’s mare.

  The two Northside men who shot the video – Gerald Fitzgerald and John Farrell – went to court over the cruel treatment of horses at the pound as “unsanitary, inhumane and unacceptable.”

  Dublin Corporation agreed to certain proposals, one of which was that the pound would not be used again until it is certified fit for the job.

  Frank Murray, head of the corporation’s environment and culture department – which also implements the Control of Horses Bill – said farm land in Kilkenny is now being utilised as a pound until Cork is deemed fit enough to use again. All horses have been moved there with the exception of one, he said.

  Mr Murray said the Cork pound was in “excellent condition” when they inspected it last October but during the winter months it “cut up very badly” and it was brought to their attention. However, he denied that any horses were ill treated at the pound.

  “A lot of the horses are in very poor condition anyway when impounded and the vet has to put them down humanely,” Mr Murray said.

Mr Murray added staff at his department have been subjected to “a very high level of intimidation” from some horseowners since they commenced impounding horses under new legislation, although he said other horseowners have disassociated themselves from these.

Recluse had 108 dogs in bungalow

Irish Times, 10/12/2004

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

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

Ordered not to keep animals

Tipperary Star, 27/03/2004

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pet owner who just didn’t give a shih tzu

The Star, 13/01/2004

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Cruel beyond belief

Top racing dogs left to die

Irish Daily Mirror, 07/02/2008

Sick thugs left this defenceless greyhound to die in agony from open wounds, it has been revealed.

  The terrified animal, who was starving and had bones protruding, had to be put down because she was in such an appalling state.

  A horrified litter warden found the award-winning bitch and another 12 dogs cowering in a shed in their own excrement near Dundalk, Co Louth.

  Louth SPCA inspector Fiona Squibb said: “she was totally malnourished.

  “She was emaciated and her ribs were protruding. She had open gaping sores the size of tennis balls from where she had been lying on the hard floor.

  “Two of them were so bad that you c6ould see the bones through the wounds.

  “The vet said she had terrible muscle wastage from not getting enough to eat.

  “We were able to identify the dogs from the tattoos on their ears and discovered that the bitch was actually an A1 racing dog which had won a number of races at Dundalk stadium.

  “It was very sad to see her end like this.

  “Some of the other dogs also had pressure sores although they were not in as bad a condition as the bitch.

  “The dogs were being kept in a shed in an isolated area and when we went in I thought there was a dead animal as the smell was so bad.

  “The c6onditions that the dogs were being kept were absolutely appalling.

  “There was excrement and urine everywhere and the whole place was soaking wet. It was disgusting. There was a river of effluent running down the middle of what would have been once an old milking shed.

  “The shed was divided into temporary compartments and the dogs had no bedding and were lying on bare concrete floors.” A Bord na gCon steward, Louth County veterinary Officer Garrett Shine and Louth local authority dog wardens and the gardai went to the scene after being alerted about the appalling conditions.

  Animal welfare authorities are set to take legal action against the dog owner.

  Fiona said the Bord na gCon steward was appalled at the condition the dogs were in and told her it was the worst he had ever seen.

  She added: “Bord na gCon have now taken the dogs and are looking after them and they will be rehomed.”

Heartless and cruel…how can anyone treat dogs like this?

Irish Independent, 21/09/2006

Animal welfare volunteers have described the discovery of two dogs in horrific conditions as an “all-time low” in 20 years of caring for abandoned animals.

  Both dogs are now in the care of Limerick Animal Welfare, and the organisation has appealed for donations to help keep them alive. Spolesperson Niamh Allen said that one of the dogs was in such a bad condition that the organisation was unable to confirm his breed, but believed he might be a poodle.

  The young dog – named Aesop after the writer of c6hildren’s fables about animals – was found wandering on the Cork/Limerick border. He was ravaged by mange, having lost nearly all the hair on his body, and was unable to open his badly infected eyes.

  Ms Allen said it would have taken many painful months of neglect for Aesop to end up in such a state.

  “His face was one of the saddest sights we have ever witnessed. His eyes were full of pain and he had to be the loneliest dog in the world.”

Another dog recently rescued by Limerick Animal Welfare – a lurcher named Lily – was suffering from malnutrition.

  Volunteers believe she was close to death when she was found. She had lost nearly all her hair from mange infection and volunteers believe that she may have given birth to pups recently.

  Ms Allen ha said there was no guarantee that either Lily or Aesop would live and appealed for donations to help look after them.

  It costs approximately €1,000 every day for Limerick Animal Welfare to look after up to 70 dogs and 40 cats that are currently in its care. The rescued animals are boarded in commercial kennels across the midwest region, but the first phase of a long-awaited sanctuary on lands purchased in Kilfinane, Co Limerick, is due to open next month.

  Phase one of the sanctuary is estimated to cost up to €500,000, and Limerick Animal Welfare is seeking donations to meet the shortfall.

  Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so online at or at the organisation’s charity shop at 12b Upper Cecil St, Limerick.

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.


National hero Guest caught in row over neglected race horse

News of the World, 27/03/2005

Grand National legend Richard Guest is at the centre of a courtroom mystery involving a racehorse that vanished – and was then found in appalling condition.

  The News of the World has obtained shocking pictures which show the horse – whose name had been changed – with large amounts of hair missing from its back, a damaged hoof wrapped in black tape and an untreated gash on a rear leg.

  An injunction has now been served against Guest – and the horse’s current owner Seymour Reed – which bans them from selling the horse until the mystery is resolved in court.

  Guest, who won the 2001 National on Red Marauder, last night insisted he had done nothing wrong, stating “When Seymour brought the horse to me, he wanted it renamed.

  “So my secretary sent the necessary forms to Weatherbys and I trained it for a while.

  “Then the horse went home – Seymour took it away from me. At the time I believed that Seymour was the legal owner of the horse. Now I know that’s in dispute.

  “I’m completely innocent. I had no reason whatsoever to question him when he brought the horse to my stables.”

Reed was unavailable for comment but his solicitor, Chirsopher Stewart-Moore, said: “My client is defending the action vigorously.”

  The horse was originally called Cast the Net and was bought by Richard Aylward for £6,415 in 2001.


He put it into training with Simon Magnier in Malton, Yorkshire. But after Magnier lost his licence in May, 2003, the horse disappeared.

  Alyward reported it stolen to police and contracted Watherbys, who keep all Jockey Club records. It was then he learnt the horse’s name had been changed to Carpe Momentum, the owner was Reed and it was in training with Guest.

  To his horror, Alyward later discovered the horse on a farm in Northumberland, where he went with a vet and two police officers.

  Aylward a bloodstock breeder, said: “The horse’s ribs were showing and he had a nasty injury on a leg.

  “He had lost lots of hair and there was also a big split in a hoof.

  “I’ve never met Seymour Reed and I’m baffled how he became the owner.”

Alyward is now suing both Guest and Reed for loss of earnings on the horse, with a preliminary hearing set for Friday.

Mother and daughter plead guilty to cruelty to horses

Irish Times, 27/01/2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Freezing dog left to die giving birth to her eight pups

Cruelty beyond belief as new-borns perish on St Partick’s Day

Evening Herald, 31/03/2006

This pitiful pregnant dog and her eight pups have all perished because the mother’s cruel owner left her vainly fighting for life.

  The exhausted and heavily pregnant dog was discovered freezing and crouching under bushes in south Dublin waiting to give birth.

  She was covered with severe mange, with bad cuts and sores and was trying to find a little shelter where she could deliver her pups on one of the coldest nights of the year.

  The gentle 10-year-old Lurcher eventually did give birth to eight tiny, undernourished pups, buut they were too weak to survive and had no chance.

  And their withering mother died in the massive effort trying to deliver the large litter.

  The dog, named Fossa by workers in the DSPCA HQ in Rathfarnham, was rescued from the bushes near an industrial estate in south Dublin on a day when the nation is celebrating all that is great about the Irish – St Patrick’s Day.

  All nine died as a result of “inexcusable neglect”, said Inspector Penny White of the DSPCA, who attended to the bitch when the charity was urgently contacted by a distressed passer-by who spotted the dog’s ordeal.

  “This dog had obviously been kept in a very bad condition over a long period of time and would have been emaciated,” said Inspector White.

  “It’s disheartening to think that because of the neglect and cruelty, a total of nine dogs died. Without the call from the concerned member of the public, this dog and her puppies would have died suffering and alone.”

The appalling waste of life follows another cruelty case heard in court last week involving the inhumane and terribly painful docking of three puppies’ tails.

  Docking is a cosmetic procedure used in dog breeding, but causes major hardship for the canine as the tail withers and falls off.

  The dogs’ owner, Raymond Costello of Chapelizod Road, Dublin, was fined €850 in his ab8sence for ill-treating three Yorkshire Terrier pups at his home on September 7 last year.

  In the case of the frightened pregnant Lurcher – a breed that’s popular among Travellers – it was admitted to the DSPCA pound on March 17th.

  “Unfortunately, due to complication at birth caused by her poor physical health and advanced age, Fossa had to be put to sleep, the puppies who were so weak, they did not survive either,” said Inspector White. Fossa had been bred many times before and had never been neutered by her owners, who basically left the animal for dead.

  When Fossa was brought to the shelter, the animal was made as comfortable as possible so she could give birth to her puppies in safety and peace.

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.

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.

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.

 The horrifying picture was laid bare this afternoon as Antrim Courthouse heard how horses and ponies were found living among animal carcasses.

 Robert James McAleenan, 55, and 28-year-old son Conor both pleaded guilty last month to 16 counts of causing unnecessary suffering to horses, ponies and donkeys.

 The court heard how PSNI officers and a veterinary surgeon were confronted with horrifying scenes at the defendants’ farm on Lisnevenagh Road outside Antrim on November 22, 2011.

 Horses and ponies were living amongst an unknown number of decaying animals and many of those found alive had little to no access to food and water.

 George Chesney, prosecuting, told the court the vet “found a heap of bodies of horses and ponies” which had been dead for some time. It was too difficult to assess the actual number of dead animal carcasses.

 Those which were alive were emaciated, severely underweight and some had the respiratory disease strangles, the court heard.

 Mr Chesney said there were 63 animals found on the farm, nine were dead, with three of that number being put down, and 54 were seized and sent to animal sanctuaries in Northern Ireland.

 Judge Desmond Marrinan slammed the father and son in court and questioned the difference between the animals’ treatment and those of prisoners of war in places like Japan.

 Speaking of pictures he was given by the prosecution, Judge Marrinan said: “They are utterly horrifying, they are like something from a charnel house with live animals standing among dead animals, animals dead, decaying carcasses that are left lying around in filth. When you say they were not applying the same standards it is true but it is a gross underestimation of what those standards were.”

 He said that denials of deliberately causing suffering to the animals, were akin to the denials of guards on the Burhma railway who allowed their prisoners to waste away to become living skeletons.

 Mr Chesney described a two-year-old pony which was found severely underweight, with its spine, ribs and bones protruding and serious muscle wastage. It needed support from a fence to stay on its feet and wounds did not appear to have been treated. It had chronic skin irritation, hair loss and when examined after its death, was found to be infested with worms.

 He said Conor McAleenan had showed a lack of awareness of the condition of the animals when interviewed by police.

 Mr Chesney added: “He stated he was in the business of buying and selling, these animals were to be sold for slaughter. He did not want to treat them because he did not want to penicillin and anti-biotics to enter the food chain.”

 The court was told the father and son had moved from the trade of horses for work and show purposes to the trade of horses as a food commodity.

 Desmond Fahy, mitigating for Conor McAleenan, said: “It would appear, from all available information, that they were ill-equipped to deal with the transition to dealing with live horses for show and work to the food trade business and it would appear from the manner in which the farm was being managed when police and the veterinary surgeon arrived they were not farming animals to required standards.”

 But Judge Marrinan questioned how animals in that condition could be accepted for slaughter.

 The court heard the pair had not kept horses since the investigation started three years ago.

 Mr Fahy added some of the animals had died due to diseases a short time before the arrival of the authorities and the situation had become “overwhelming” for Conor McAleenan. He said steps had already been made for the removal of the animals beforehand and the horses had been sold in that condition.

 Stephen Mooney, representing Robert James McAleenan, said he owned the farm and suggested that the animals were the responsibility of his son. However, as the owner, he still bore some responsibility for them. The court also heard the defendant was in poor health after being diagnosed with bowel cancer and was dealing with other ailments.

 Judge Marrinan warned the father and son that due to the “serious and shocking” nature of the charges they could face jail when they are sentence on Tuesday.

Farmer fined for starving horse

Irish Times, 12/04/2008

A farmer who allowed an old horse to starve on his land has been fined and ordered to pay more than €3,300 in expenses to the ISPCA. The animal was described by an examining vet as being "the skinniest horse" he had ever seen.

 John Dunphy (53) with an address at Knockanoran, Durrow, Co. Laois appeared before Portlaoise District Court yesterday.  

  Brendan Hughes, an animal welfare inspector with the ISPCA, told the court the only reason the horse was not destroyed was due to the care given by vets at UCD.  

 Josephine Fitzpatrick, solicitor for Mr. Dunphy said her client had separated from his wife and that he had "put his head in the sand in relation to the horse".

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

Times, 28/04/2009

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

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

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

  The case was adjourned until May 6th.

The Clare People,13/10/2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Dogs left for days without food and water in ISPCA run shelter

The charity say they have suspended two staff members in the Roscommon shelter., 10/08/2014

THE ISPCA HAS suspended two staff members after 10 dogs at a Roscommon dog shelter were left without food and water for a number of days.

  The dogs were left abandoned for at least the August bank holiday weekend and were found after members of the public contacted gardaí expressing concern for the animals’ welfare.

  The shelter is run by the ISPCA and is part funded by Roscommon County Council with the animal welfare charity saying that they are treating the incident “extremely seriously”.

  Gardaí and a council employee entered the shelter last Monday after they were alerted by a member of the public that it was left unattended.

  The concerned person is understood to have initially noticed that the shelter was closed the week previously.

  The ten dogs which are believed to include huskies, labradors and collies were then removed from the shelter and nine were taken to a veterinary clinic in Cloverhill.

  All of the dogs are now understood to be healthy and are ready to be re-homed. Five are currently in the ISPCA dog shelter in Longford.

  One of the dogs was deemed to be aggressive and was assessed by an animal behaviour specialist but is now suitable for re-homing.

  The ISPCA’s chief executive Dr Andrew Kelly told that the dogs were not in a bad condition when they were were found but that it is “completely unacceptable” that they were left alone:

  The dogs were actually in good condition but they were slightly dehydrated and they were hungry. There is absolutely no truth the story that’s being reported that one of them was found with a wire around its neck.

  “They were however left without food and water which is completely unacceptable,” he said.

  Kelly added that they are “investigating the sequence of events” that led to the dogs being left left unattended and expected to complete the investigation in the coming days.

  All local authorities are required to provide services for the care of dogs and Roscommon County Council pays the ISPCA a yearly fee to run the shelter and to employ a dog warden

ISPCA worker is fired after leaving dogs without food

The ISPCA has confirmed that a member of staff has been dismissed after 10 dogs were left without food or water over a bank holiday weekend.

Irish Independent, 06/11/2014

The staff member was dismissed for gross misconduct, chief executive Dr Andrew Kelly said.

  The action followed an investigation by the society into the incident at Roscommon Dog Pound over two days of the August Bank Holiday period. The ISPCA has held the contract for managing the pound for Roscommon County Council for the last 27 years.

  A preliminary investigation was carried out after a member of the public alerted gardai to the situation at the pound in Rockfield, Donamon, on Monday August 4. Gardai and vets removed the 10 dogs from the shelter.

  The pound's members of staff were initially suspended by the ISPCA pending a full investigation into allegations that the animals had been left without food or water for 48 hours.

  Yesterday Dr Kelly confirmed that the incident had been fully investigated and one staff member had been dismissed. He also revealed that, as a result of the incident, the county council had accepted the society's offer to terminate its long-standing contract.

  "We took full responsibility for the incident that occurred over the bank holiday weekend in August and we took decisive action and we carried out a full investigation. As a result of that investigation a member of staff was dismissed for gross misconduct.

  "It was part of a review of services generally, but really the incident in August drove us to offer to terminate the contract and Roscommon gracefully accepted our decision", he said.

Dr Kelly explained that he felt the best thing to do after the incident at the Roscommon facility was for the charity to withdraw from its involvement there.

  He stressed that the decision to terminate the contract was driven by the ISPCA and it would not be bidding for the new one.

  Roscommon County Council is now re-advertising the contract for the operation of the county dog pound. Tenders are currently being invited for the operation of the service and a site visit to view the facilities at Rockfield will be held on November 11.

  Tenders have to be returned to the council by November 20.

Dogs left for days without food and water in ISPCA run shelter

The charity say they have suspended two staff members in the Roscommon shelter.                        , 10/08/2014

THE ISPCA HAS suspended two staff members after 10 dogs at a Roscommon dog shelter were left without food and water for a number of days.

  The dogs were left abandoned for at least the August bank holiday weekend and were found after members of the public contacted gardaí expressing concern for the animals’ welfare.

  The shelter is run by the ISPCA and is part funded by Roscommon County Council with the animal welfare charity saying that they are treating the incident “extremely seriously”.

  Gardaí and a council employee entered the shelter last Monday after they were alerted by a member of the public that it was left unattended.

  The concerned person is understood to have initially noticed that the shelter was closed the week previously.

  The ten dogs which are believed to include huskies, labradors and collies were then removed from the shelter and nine were taken to a veterinary clinic in Cloverhill.

  All of the dogs are now understood to be healthy and are ready to be re-homed. Five are currently in the ISPCA dog shelter in Longford.

  One of the dogs was deemed to be aggressive and was assessed by an animal behaviour specialist but is now suitable for re-homing.

  The ISPCA’s chief executive Dr Andrew Kelly told that the dogs were not in a bad condition when they were were found but that it is “completely unacceptable” that they were left alone:

  The dogs were actually in good condition but they were slightly dehydrated and they were hungry. There is absolutely no truth the story that’s being reported that one of them was found with a wire around its neck.

  “They were however left without food and water which is completely unacceptable,” he said.

Kelly added that they are “investigating the sequence of events” that led to the dogs being left left unattended and expected to complete the investigation in the coming days.

  All local authorities are required to provide services for the care of dogs and Roscommon County Council pays the ISPCA a yearly fee to run the shelter and to employ a dog warden.

ISPCA warns horse owners after ex-racehorse found starving in Westmeath

Newstalk, 22/04/2014

The ISPCA is warning horse owners to properly update ownership details after a former racehorse was found starving and close to death. The horse - whose racing name was 'Suspect' - was discovered on vacant land in Athlone in Co. Westmeath in November.

  The horse was so emaciated he could barely stand before being rescued by ISPCA Inspector Karen Lyons. She found him discarded on disused development land in the Athlone area after a call was made to the ISPCA confidential animal cruelty helpline by a concerned member of the public.

  While his registered owner was located, it has been claimed that he was sold at the Banagher Fair last September. The ISPCA says efforts to establish who was responsible for his care are on-going and so far proving unsuccessful.

  But details on his micro-chip confirmed he was a racehorse.

  He was due to run in Roscommon in May of last year, but was withdrawn due to injury. Cisco was taken to the ISPCA National Animal Centre for urgent veterinary care and rehabilitation and has made a good recovery.

  ISPCA CEO Dr. Andrew Kelly believes the horse, who has now been re-named 'Cisco', was abandoned after his racing career ended because of injury.

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.

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

WARNING: This article contains some graphic images.  see more 

Donegal woman fined after abandoning dog without food or water

Breaking, 21/09/2015

A woman from Co Donegal has been banned from keeping animals for four years, after she abandoned a dog with no food or water.

Natalie Mc Granaghan was also fined €200 at Letterkenny District Court earlier today.

ISPCA inspectors called to a rented property at Leitir Ard, Letterkenny, Co Donegal after reports that a terrier dog was abandoned there.

Ms Mc Granaghan was traced to her mother's home and initially claimed that the dog had been sold before admitting it hadn't.

The dog, called Megan, was in a very poor state when found but has since made a full recovery and has been re-homed.

ISPCA 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."

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".

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”.
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Man kept 18 dogs in a jeep and shed with no access to waterThe man was banned from keeping dogs for ten years.

The, 20/02/2014

A DONEGAL MAN has been banned from keeping dogs for ten years after he pled guilty to a number of counts of animal cruelty yesterday.

  77-year-old George Cavanagh, with an address at Carrowhugh, Greencastle, Co. Donegal pled guilty to seven counts of cruelty at Carndonagh District Court.

  At that time, ISPCA Officer Kevin McGinley and Gardai inspected Mr. Cavanagh’s home place and an out-farm where they found 18 dogs living in poor conditions.

  Some were tied on short tethers and others confined in sheds and a stationary jeep with inadequate ventilation.

  Many were deprived access to water and suitable shelter and bedding.

  As well as the living conditions of the dogs, the gardaí and inspectors discovered the decomposing and unburied carcasses of three other dogs.

  The court heard how Inspector McGinley had tried to persuade Mr Cavanagh to voluntarily surrender the majority of the dogs to the care of the ISPCA, but that he refused to cooperate.

  Judge Paul Kelly banned Mr. Cavanagh from keeping dogs for ten years and fined him a total of €500. He also ordered that Mr. Cavanagh pay costs of €400 to a vet that accompanied the Gardai and ISPCA on an inspection.

  The vet, Stuart Johnston, requested that his fee be paid to the ISPCA.

  Speaking after the ruling, ISPCA Inspector Kevin McGinley said

  “This case has taken a long time to be finalized and I am pleased that the conclusion was successful. The ban will prevent a similar situation arising again for the foreseeable future”.

This is why a woman was banned from keeping dogs for 2 years
An ISPCA inspector and gardaí found two emaciated boxer dogs at the woman’s house a year ago.

The, 06/02/2014

A DONEGAL WOMAN has been convicted of animal cruelty and told that she cannot keep dogs for two years.

  The ISPCA said that the Donegal woman was convicted of animal cruelty at Letterkenny District Court today.

  ISPCA Inspector McGinley said of the dogs that were found by him at the woman’s property:

  These dogs were as emaciated as any I have seen in my 14 years with the ISPCA. It is important that those responsible for such severe cruelty are held accountable to send out the message that it will not be tolerated.

  The Donegal woman submitted a guilty plea through her solicitor Frank Dorrian, said the ISPCA.

  They said that the case is related to a call made by ISPCA Inspector Kevin McGinley and Gardaí to the woman’s address on 15 January 2013, when two emaciated boxer dogs were discovered.

  The ISPCA said that the dogs were two-year-old brothers and were named Oscar and Elmo by rescuers. The canines were surrendered into the care of the ISPCA and taken for veterinary treatment.


The ISPCA said that Judge Paul Kelly banned Gallagher from keeping dogs for two years.

  He also adjourned the matter until 9 June for final sentencing.

  It was noted in court that the ISPCA had incurred costs of €652.26.

  When Oscar and Elmo were rescued, the vets who examined them gave them a body score of just one out of five.

  The duo went on to make a full recovery at the ISPCA’s National Animal Centre and were later rehomed.

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.

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.