Farm Ireland

Thursday 23 November 2017

Bankruptcy extension requested for farmer whose 'dangerous' cattle were shot

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Tim Healy

The High Court has been asked to extend by ten years the bankruptcy of a Co Monaghan farmer whose cattle were shot by members of the Defence Forces last year.

John Hoey, from Carrickmacross, was declared a bankrupt in February of last year and was due to be discharged from the process later this month.  

However, the official in charge of bankruptcy, official assignee Chris Lehane claims Mr Hoey has failed to co-operate with the process and wants the period extended.

Hoey was declared bankrupt in 2016 on foot of a petition brought by John Kelly Fuels Ltd for €262,000. 

In July five cattle on his farm were shot dead because, while most of the rest of the animals had been removed, these five proved difficult to catch.

Those animals were “wild and dangerous” and after “exhausting all possibilities”, the Defence Forces were brought in to shoot the animals “in a controlled environment”, Mr Lehane said.

Mr Lehane now seeks an order under Section 85 of the 2015 Bankruptcy (Amendment) Act that the bankruptcy be extended by 10 years.

The maximum period of extension that can be sought under the act is 15 years.

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The matter was briefly mentioned before Mr Justice Paul McDermott at Monday's sitting of the High Court.

Representing himself, Mr Hoey asked the judge to adjourn the matter so he could fully respond to the application. He had only been recently served with the documentation, he said. 

He also told the judge that he was in the process of acquiring legal representation. 

The judge, in adjourning matter to after Easter, said he was also making an order temporarily extending Mr Hoey's bankruptcy until the matter returns before the court.

Last August, Mr Lehane also obtained freezing orders on bank accounts where cheques totalling over €85,000 had been made out to Mr Hoey but which were lodged into accounts of third parties after he was declared a bankrupt.

The cheques were made payable to Mr Hoey after he sold a number of cattle from his herd to a meat processor. 

Mr Lehane sought the orders over fears the lodgments may have been attempts to put monies beyond the reach of his office.  

The orders were vacated after the third parties agreed to pay over the monies held in the accounts to the office of the official assignee.

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