Farmer awarded huge damages over infertile bull
A Co Galway farmer was today awarded nearly €16,000 in damages when a court ruled he had been sold an infertile bull.
Judge Karen Fergus said that on the balance of probability the pedigree Limousin, Finboy Gino, was not fit for purpose when Co Offaly bull breeder Tom Harney sold him to Mountbellew suckler farmer Micheal Ryan nearly six years ago.
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Tullamore Circuit Civil Court heard last week that Mr Ryan bought the bull from Mr Harney, a Moneygall-based farmer, breeder and schoolteacher, on June 6, 2013 after seeing an advertisement on Donedeal.
He paid €2,750 for the animal, minus €50 “luck money”, on the understanding he was capable of breeding and brought him to his farm at Waterloo, Menlough where he had 22 cows.
When he had the herd scanned the following November none of the cows were in calf and a fertility tester, John McCabe, took semen samples on January 11, 2014 and concluded the bull was unsuitable for breeding.
Mr Ryan's vet, Tom Glynn, gave evidence that while he had not examined the animal, a bull's fertility should return even if it was lost for a period of time because of an infection, a high temperature or an injury.
The court also heard the bull had been put on the market by Mr Harney at a Limousin sale in Roscrea Mart in May 2013 but was withdrawn when it did not reach its €3,000 reserve.
It had been examined by Mr Harney's vet, Eamon O'Connell, at the mart, but its fertility was not tested because a test wasn't mandatory.