Farm Ireland

Wednesday 20 March 2019

'Next time it will be the back of your head' farmer told after tractor attack

(Stock image)
(Stock image)

A businessman attacked a farmer's tractor with a hammer and told him he would get it in his head the next time.

Derek Long appeared at Falcarragh District Court in Co Donegal yesterday, charged with attacking neighbour Neil Boyle.

The court heard that there was a long-running dispute between the pair over land.

On November 30, 2016, Mr Boyle was in his Massey Ferguson tractor at Magherablade, Creeslough, when he was approached by Long.

Long, who operates a second-hand furniture business, lunged at the tractor and managed to interfere with wiring in the engine.

A short time later, Long attacked the rear of Mr Boyle's tractor with a hammer.

There was then a hissing sound from the tractor.

The court heard that as he was running away, Long shouted at Mr Boyle "The next time it will be the back of your head."

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Garda Inspector Sean Grant said the total amount of damage to the tractor was €110.

Solicitor for the accused, Mr Donough Cleary said the issue arose out of a dispute over land boundaries which is scheduled to be heard at a civil court.

He added that his client, who was charged with assault and causing criminal damage, was a man in his 50s who had no previous convictions.

He said he had hired a digital land surveyor in a bid to determine the issues over land boundaries between the parties.

Judge Paul Kelly said that both parties may well end up in a different court to settle their civil dispute.

But he added "Even if he thought he was in the right he has no right to do what he did."

Mr Boyle said his tractor had been out of action for three or four days as a result of the incident.

Judge Kelly ordered Long to pay a total of €200 compensation to his neighbour and said he would be disposed to striking the matter out if this was done.

The Judge added "He's getting off very lightly at that."

The case was adjourned to allow for payment.

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