Farmer (80) walks free in one of 'worst cases of animal cruelty' witnessed by judge
Dept inspector said horses had started to graze the bushes because no grass was available
An 80-year old farmer has walked free from court after being at the centre of one of the worst cases of abuse of animals a district court judge has ever come across.
At Ennis District Court, Judge Patrick Durcan strike out the five animal neglect charges that Thomas O’Neill of Caherea, Lissycasey, had pleaded guilty to.
Before striking out the charges against the west Clare man, Judge Durcan said that the case “was one of the worst cases of abuse of animals that I have come across as a lawyer and a judge”.
A number of Dept of Agriculture inspections on the farm last year detected eight horse carcasses and a total of 46 horses running wild on two parcels of land owned by Mr O’Neill with a number being emaciated.
Judge Durcan said that it was “a very tragic case”.
Judge Durcan said: “The evidence is that the inspections were distressing for the officers involved”.
Addressing Mr O’Neill, the judge said that he accepted that there was “no intent on your part” in the neglect.
He said: “Matters simply got beyond you.”