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Tuesday 16 October 2018

Kerry dairy farmer pleads 'not guilty' to murdering neighbour

Michael Ferris (blue shirt, no tie) who appeared at Tralee District Court in May 2017. Anthony O'Mahony (inset) Pic:Mark Condren
Michael Ferris (blue shirt, no tie) who appeared at Tralee District Court in May 2017. Anthony O'Mahony (inset) Pic:Mark Condren

Anne Lucey

A north Kerry farmer has pleaded not guilty to the murder of another farmer at the Central Criminal Court, sitting in Tralee, in a trial that is expected to last two weeks.

A jury of seven men and five women were sworn in yesterday and the trial is expected to get underway today in Tralee.

Michael Ferris, a 63-year-old farmer from Rattoo, Ballyduff pleaded not guilty to the murder of John Anthony O'Mahony of Ardoughter, Ballyduff April 4, 2017.

The prosecution is alleging that Mr Ferris, a dairy farmer, murdered 74-year-old John Anthony O'Mahony on the public road leading to Rattoo round tower at around 8am on the date, the court heard.

Presiding judge, Ms Justice Carmel Stewart, advised the jury to pay little or no attention to media coverage of the case.

She warned the jury not to discuss the case with anyone or do any research on it for the duration of the trial.

It is expected the case will last for two weeks and will hear from family members of both the accused and the deceased, neighbours, Gardai and medical experts, Tom Rice, prosecuting junior counsel outlined.

Mr Rice told the jury panel that the late John Anthony O'Mahony, a farmer, had lived in Ardoughter up to his death where he had a 40-acre farm. In the late 1980s he bought a 100 acres of land with his brother in Rattoo.

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The court heard the accused, Mr Ferris is also a farmer and has a dairy farm in Rattoo, which he runs with his brother.

The trial is set to get underway today.

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