Gardai remove cattle from land at centre of legal wrangle
GARDAI yesterday helped to remove cattle from a farm at the centre of a seven-year legal dispute.
The 15 dry stock cows and one dairy cow were removed from a 40-acre holding at Rathcahill in Templeglantine, which is located between Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale in west Co Limerick.
The cattle belong to 40-year-old farmer Daniel Doherty, also from Rathcahill, Templeglantine, Co Limerick, who was returned to prison last week for refusing to vacate the property owned by the late brothers Mattie and Edward Roche.
Mr Doherty maintains that he has a right to live on the lands because he was promised them prior to the brothers' deaths despite a court ruling ordering him to vacate the property.
The bachelor brothers died without leaving a will and their nephew Eamon Roche was appointed administrator on behalf of the beneficiaries who are relatives of the Roche brothers. Proceedings were brought against Daniel Doherty at Limerick Circuit Court to vacate the property.
He lodged a counterclaim, which he lost, and was subsequently ordered by the court to vacate the property on March 4, 2010. An appeal by Mr Doherty against this judgment was thrown out by the High Court last November.
When he appeared before Limerick Circuit Court again last week, the farmer repeatedly refused to purge his contempt of court order and was returned to prison.
Barrister for the Roche family, Emmet O'Brien, said his clients had been very patient but "enough is enough".
Yesterday, members of the Roche family, assisted by gardai from Abbeyfeale garda station, successfully removed the cattle from the farm.
Fears that the operation might be disrupted proved unfounded.
An excavator was used to remove boulders and a 4X4 which were blocking access to the land.
A sign which read 'Disputed lands Daniel Doherty' with a telephone number could be seen inside the 4X4.
The removal operation, which took just under an hour, involved two trips to the farm.
The cattle were taken to a farm around six miles away belonging to the Doherty family.
Meanwhile, Daniel Doherty remained in Limerick prison.
Last week, he was told by Judge Carroll Moran that he would have to stay in jail until he was willing to purge his contempt and abide by the court ruling.