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Saturday 23 September 2017

'Ya thick c*** ya': Farmer attacked by Department of Agriculture employee at mart

The court heard there was a long-standing animosity between the two men for over 30 years. Stock image
The court heard there was a long-standing animosity between the two men for over 30 years. Stock image

Anton McNulty

AN employee with the Department of Agriculture was convicted of assaulting a farmer in a Mayo mart after the judge found his evidence was not credible.

Patrick Sweeney (62) of Blackfort Close, Castlebar, Co Mayo was fined €500 and ordered to pay Gerry Carney €750 in compensation for assaulting him at Balla Mart, Co Mayo on April 23, 2016.

The court heard there was a long-standing animosity between the two men for over 30 years.

Patrick Sweeney, who works full-time with the Department of Agriculture in Wildlife Services, with responsibility for the culling of badgers, denied the charge when evidence was heard in Achill District Court in May.

Gerry Carney (49) said he was at the mart and was walking past various cattle pens when Patrick Sweeney swung a gate open and hit him on his left shoulder.

Tripped

He said he was stunned and said to Mr Sweeney 'ya thick c*** ya' but kept walking. Mr Carney said he then felt a foot between his legs and that he was tripped by Mr Sweeney and almost fell over.

After the trip, he said Mr Sweeney then came alongside him and elbowed him in the jaw.

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Another witness, Willie Faherty told the court he was present on the day, and saw Mr Sweeney hit Mr Carney with the gate and then shove him.

Mr Sweeney claimed Mr Carney's description of what occurred as a "fabricated cock and bull story". He said he opened a gate to get a wild cow into a pen and inadvertently collided his back with Mr Carney. He said that was the only physical contact between them.

However, at last week's sitting of Castlebar District Court, Judge Mary Devins found that Mr Sweeney's evidence did not strike her as credible and she convicted him of the offence.

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