Missing bulldozer found buried on farm

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Tom Shiel

A 22-ton bulldozer which had allegedly been stolen was discovered carefully buried beneath a patch of ground which was covered by silage bales in a Co. Mayo farmyard, a court was told on Wednesday.

At Castlebar Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Rory MacCabe and a jury was told that the Komatsu D65 machine, valued at €54,375, was hidden below ground at Curradrish, Foxford, in such a way as such a way as to prevent damage.

The outlets and inlets of the bulldozers were shuttered, prosecuting counsel Patrick Reynolds explained.

Mr. Reynolds outlined that the bulldozer was discovered on lands used by Edward McAndrew, Curradrish, Foxford, during a garda search under warrant on May 12, 2016.

Mr. McAndrew denies handling the bulldozer, on a date unknown between August 22, 2014 and May 12, 2016, knowing it to have been stolen.

A second accused, Vincent Lawless, Killmordaly, Athenry, Co. Galway, is also before Judge MacCabe and a jury charged with handling a Komatsu bulldozer (valued at €77,000) at Attymon, Athenry, Co. Galway, on September 4, 2013, knowing it to have been stolen.

Mr. Lawless has also pleaded not guilty.

Giving evidence today (Wednesday), Tuam-based Sergeant Tom Doyle, the lead investigator in the case, said that a missing bulldozer had been found under a patch of raised ground at Curradrish ground that had been covered by round bales.

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“The cab of the machine could be seen protruding through the clay due to the settlement of the ground over a period of time”, Sergeant Doyle stated.

Evidence was given to today’s hearing that the bulldozer had been used by a Co. Sligo firm under a lease agreement which had been entered into in 2008.

Subsequently, the court heard, with €133,000 owed on the bulldozer, the lease agreement had been terminated.

After a liquidator was appointed to the lessees, the machine could not be located – it went missing in 2012.

The trial is continuing.

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