Irish Independent, 05/01/2002

David Reid, Caledon Co. Armagh was fined €1,000 at Monaghan District Court for failing to bury the carcasses of two dead sheep on lands in the Republic of Ireland. He pleaded guilty to the charges.

Two brothers charged with animal cruelty

Irish Time, 25/9/2003

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

Lamb was tied to tree beside ram’s head and trays of meat

The Nationalist, 19/05/2004
A lamb was found in Hanover Park, Carlow Town on Wednesday tied to a tree beside a skinless ram’s head and two trays of meat. The skull and meat were left in perfect symmetry facing towards Killeshin in what appeared to be a ritualistic set-up. The lamb was barely alive as its legs had been tied together so tight that circulation was cut off. Inspector Gerry Redmond said their immediate concern was the lamb. “There was no evidence of cruelty apart from the lamb and that was our major concern. It is being cared for now in a safe place. We are making inquiries to the abattoirs about the skull to see where it originated from but as yet we have received no complaints on the night of suspicious activity in the area.” The find came a day after two lights and a wooden cross were taken from the grounds of Levitstown Church. They were recovered in an adjacent car-park with four sheep’s skulls surrounding them. Brian took the animal home and the recovery has been slow but sure. The swelling has gone down but the lamb still has a limp. He reckons the lamb may never recover properly. The ISPCA are considering a move which could unite the mistreated lamb with another unfortunate creature. Bertie, a lamb from Sligo, was found being used as a football by youths and the ISPCA are now considering uniting the two lambs. Mr. Keating has encouraged local children to come up with a name for Bertie’s new Carlow playmate.

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

The Nationalist, 30/3/2001

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

Sheep dismembered in ‘sick act of cruelty’

The Nationalist, 15/09/2000

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

Irish Independent, 23/3/2001

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

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.

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

Carlow farmer disturbs livestock killers

Carlow First, 9/8/2007

(John Cleary)

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

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

Livestock man wins bail appeal

Irish Independent, 15/05/2001

A livestock dealer charged with illegally importing sheep shortly before the outbreak of foot-and-mouth and with revenue offences has been granted leave to apply for bail by the High Court.

Wicklow-born John Walsh (50), with an address in Carlisle, Cumbria, has been held at Cloverhill prison in west Dublin since he was arrested last month by detectives from the Criminal Assets Bureau and the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

At a previous hearing gardaÍ objected to bail because they believed hi would abscond.

He has been charged with illegally importing 279 sheep.

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.

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

Sunday People, 20/02/2000

see more

Cruelty case farmer is getting treatment

Sunday World, 14/11/1999

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

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

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

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

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

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

Judge Brophy adjourned the hearing to January 25 next.

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 raided for angel dust fined £5,000

Irish Independent, 30/05/1997

A farmer convicted of possessing the illegal growth promoter Clembuterol – commonly known as angel dust – was fined a total of £5,000 yesterday.

  Eamon Heagney (32) of Tully House, Eyrecourt, Co Galway, was also convicted by Judge Mary Fahy of possessing a hormone implant gun, sheep sponges and other prohibited substances at Eyrecourt on October 23 1991.

  Athlone court heard Heagney was joint owner of a farm of 2,000 sheep and 100 cattle and ran a fattening operation with his brother Con.

  A team of Department of Agriculture veterinary officers who searched the farm on foot af [sic] a warrant discovered a box of Clembuterol hidden in a shed wall recess.

  The hormone implant gun and other items were found in other sheds.

  Defending barrister Brendan Grehan said a large sheep fattening operation was going on at the farm. Heagney had developed a lucrative contract with a Spanish importer for supply of meat involving a huge capital investment but the entire contract was wiped out as a result of “what happened.”

  Paying tribute to the media’s role in highlighting “cases of this nature,” the judge fined Heagney £1,000 on each of five summonses.

  A number of similar summonses against Con Heagney of the same address were adjourned to July 28 for a hearing date.

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.

Twisted teens in farm slaughter

Animals burned alive in latest sickening attack on a quiet rural town

Sunday World, 07/04/2002

Callous youths set fire to a barn containing live sheep and lambs in the latest of crimes that has placed a quiet rural town under permanent siege, according to locals.  see more

Capital hit by lamb rustling ‘epidemic’

Evening Herald, 12/04/2007

It’s like a throwback to medieval times, but believe it or not, the theft of lambs from fields in C^Ounty Dublin is reaching crisis levels.

  Spring lambs are now being robbed from pastures in a spate of thefts, before being fattened up and slaughtered for dinner.

  The DSPCA has today reported a number of recent cases in which three-week-old lambs have been swiped from the countryside and reared in the city.  The farm animals are taken to housing estates where they are left to graze in bac6k gardedns before being killed.

  The revelation comes after it also emerged swans were taken from Dublin’s canals and eaten.

  Thousands of lambs have been born in recent weeks during the annual lambing season and thieves are helping themselves to a free meal in a relatively new crime to hit Ireland.

  In Lucan, two lambs were rescued from a back garden when a concerned neighbour alerted the authorities.

  The fence between two houses was taken down periodically to allow the lambs more grass to nibble on and DSPCA inspectors had to call Gardai to assist in retrieving the creatures after the occupants of the house denied they were there.

  They were eventually discovered hidden in a hut in a case that mirrored another one last year where a sheep was found concealed in a house in Tallaght.  In this instance non-national children were sitting on the animal, which was hidden under blankets. The animal had to be put down as its back was broken.

  On Tuesday morning, one stunned private homeowner near Harold’s Cross opened her door to find a lamb curled up on her porch and it’s believed the creature may have been abandoned by some rustlers as it was too young.

  The DSPCA said that the past month has seen increasing cases of lamb robberies and claimed that non-nationals from Eastern Europe were involved.

  “We have been inundated with lambs who have been nicked,” said Jimmy Cahill of the DSPCA shelter in Rathfarnham.

And four lambs are now being hand-reared with bottles by a volunteer with the animal group.

  Mr Cahill added that the issue posed a huge problem for its struggling rescue organisation because it can’t return the lambs to farmers and it has to care for them instead. He also told how swans have been taken from canals around Dublin.

And Mr Cahill also claimed that some immigrants are throwing drift nets in the canals to catch fish.

Cruelty rap farmers jailed

The Star, 20/10/2006

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

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

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

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

‘Sacrificial’ lamb tied and stuffed in plastic bag

Dying sheep in immigrant house

Evening Herald, 04/05/2006

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Mayo Advertiser, 06/03/2009

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

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

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

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