Brother fears the day when killer is freed and they meet on lane again

John Anthony O'Mahony
John Anthony O'Mahony

Patrick O'Connell

The brother of slain farmer John Anthony O'Mahony, who was killed by a neighbour using a teleporter, has said he fears the day the killer will be freed and he meets him again.

Seamus O'Mahony said he was shocked and devastated when Michael Ferris (63) was found not guilty of murder but guilty of his brother's manslaughter at Tralee Circuit Court on Friday.

Ferris, of Rattoo, Ballyduff, Co Kerry, admitted to gardaí that he intended to kill John Anthony O'Mahony (73) when he drove a teleporter into his car on April 4, 2017. He will be sentenced next month.

Ferris was angry at Mr O'Mahony's use of a "crow banger" on his farm for the previous 30 years and said he finally "snapped" on the day of the killing.

Speaking to the 'Sunday World', Seamus O'Mahony said: "I will live in fear knowing the likelihood is he will only serve between five and seven years in jail - knowing the day will come when we will pass each other on that lane again.

"He said he snapped. If he can snap once, how can we know that he won't do it again? How could I feel safe going up and down to that farm?"

Mr O'Mahony said he was horrified by the way in which his brother, a hard-working and passionate farmer, had been "criminalised" during the trial.

The court was told how the dead man had allegedly shot at members of a local gun club after they trespassed on to his land in 1993.

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"My brother who was killed was the one who was put on trial, the one who was made out to be the guilty one," said Mr O'Mahony.

"But my brother was the one who was totally and utterly ambushed. He had no chance."

He said the trial had been "a total character assassination".

Seamus's son James said: "They made out the use of the crow banger justified what was done to him, but they are used by farmers widely all over the country."

Irish Independent