Woman given one last chance to hand over sheep worrying German Shepherd to be ‘put down’
After a poignant court plea, a Co. Monaghan woman was given one last chance yesterday to hand her beloved German Shepherd over to the local authority, to be ‘put down’, following a long-running court battle.
The case at Monaghan District Court had been adjourned from May 2016, when Lorraine Hall of Lisaginney, Castleshane, Co Monaghan, was prosecuted for failing to keep proper control of a dog that was worrying sheep on 20th January of that year.
Frank McManus, her neighbour, had given evidence of how the dog had caused his sheep to be “scattered all over the place” on that occasion. The same dog had been causing him distress for some time, and was in his fields again on 10th and 17th February as well as on 3rd, 8th, 24th, 30th and 31st March 2016.
Mr. Enda O’Carroll, solr, prosecuting on behalf of Monaghan Co Council, had confirmed that the local authority was seeking an order for the destruction of the animal under Section 22 of the Control of Dogs Act, 1986.
The matter had been adjourned for a month by Judge Denis McLoughlin, who said he wanted to refer to the Control of Dogs Act in detail before making a decision.
But on 13th June 2016 the judge made the order for the destruction of the dog. That hearing was told by defence lawyer Paul Boyce, that Ms Hall was seeking an opportunity to keep the animal under effective control by constructing a pen including chain-link wire fencing of a sufficient height.
Mr O’Carroll, however, had pointed to evidence previously given about how the dog was “running freely” for a considerable period of time and that nothing seemed to have been done by the defendant even though she’d had “ample opportunity”. It was still “roaming the country at will”, even after the summonses were issued, he had argued.
When the matter came up again this week on foot of summons issued to Ms Hall for having no licence for the same dog on 18th September 2017, Mr O’Carroll, recalled for the court the order it had made for the destruction the animal in June 2016.