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Monday 28 May 2018

Farmer given one month to begin cleaning-up yard

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 Stock photo

Court Reporter

A farmer has been given a month to start works to clean-up his farm yard by a District Court.

The Kerryman reports that John Michael O'Sullivan, Ballynoe, Causeway, failed to meet a Council-imposed deadline of October 31 of 2016 to construct a slatted cubicle in the yard that would collect run-off from the farm before it could pollute the local ground water.

Mr O'Sullivan was prosecuted by Kerry County Council at Listowel District Court on Thursday, where Judge David Waters presided.

Kerry County Council solicitor James Morris told the Court that the authority had issued notice giving Mr O'Sullivan six months to construct the slatted cubicle. He said that the main polluting risk posed to the environment was to ground waters rather than water courses.

The Council had first carried out an inspection of the farm in 2015 on foot of a complaint from a neighbour, the Court heard.

Following that visit and the identification of the works required to protect the environment, Mr O'Sullivan sought and obtained planning permission for the construction of the structure.

However, as of the most recent inspection carried out on Tuesday of last week, the farm was 'much the same' as it had been at the time of earlier inspections, with no construction having been undertaken.

The council had, in the interim, between the deadline passing and last week's inspection served a section 12 notice - which compelled Mr O'Sullivan to undertake the works for which he had permission. He was prosecuted before the Court under section 12 of the Local Government (Water Pollution) Act 1977 having failed to comply with the terms of a notice dated on April 26 of last year.

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"When is he going to complete the works?" Judge Waters asked solicitor John Cashell, representing Mr O'Sullivan.

Mr Cashell explained that his client has now identified a contractor and had priced the concrete required for the job.

Mr Cashell said his client had also reduced his herd size - to 37 cattle. Judge Waters adjourned the case to May 17 to allow Kerry County Council to see if works are being carried out by May 17 next.


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