Farmer who shot son in row over silage bales escapes jail
A FARMER has escaped a jail term after accidentally shooting his son in a row over silage bales.
Patrick Groome (78), pictured above, had initially denied shooting his son Greg, blaming another son whom he claimed had had an affair with Greg's partner.
Tullamore Circuit Court heard yesterday how the pensioner and father of eight had been in a dispute with his sons on June 19, 2010, about where to leave silage bales.
His sons favoured bringing them to a gravel yard but Mr Groome wanted to leave them in a field near a river.
He drove to where they were loading the bales, but as his son Greg leaned across him to retrieve the shotgun from the passenger seat, it discharged during a struggle, shooting him in the upper thigh.
Greg Groome spent four days in hospital and lost a layer of skin and muscle at the site of the 10cm by 6cm wound.
Mr Groome initially denied shooting Greg, and blamed his other son Declan. He said he wouldn't trust Declan because he'd had an affair with Greg's partner.
He said his sons had been driving at him with tractors when he went to the field and he didn't believe Greg could have been badly injured, "the way he was lepping around, banging on the windscreen".
Mr Groome, of Garr, Rhode, Co Offaly, later accepted accidentally shooting Greg. He admitted recklessly discharging a double barrelled shotgun and to having that gun and two others without a licence.
Mr Groome, who has cancer, has been away from the family home as part of his bail conditions and this made life difficult because his wife Eileen has been ill for a long time.
Judge Yvonne Murphy noted that Greg Groome's injury could have been much more significant, but said Patrick Groome is a caring man in the way he looks after his wife.
She handed down four three-year sentences, which she suspended for five years.