A judge has ordered the surrender of a barking dog to the local dog warden due to the continual noise disturbance on a neighbour.
At Ennis District Court, Judge Mary Larkin directed Geraldine O’Loughlin deliver her "German Shepherd like” dog to the dog warden.
She made the order in response to an application by Ms O’Loughlin’s neighbour, Shane Shannon of Gort Road, Ennis, under legislation concerning the control of dogs.
Judge Larkin concluded that the barking dog “is interfering substantially with Mr Shannon’s life”.
She made the order under a little known provision of the Control of Dogs Act 1986 where a judge can make an order requiring the elimination of a nuisance caused by the “excessive barking” of an “unwanted dog”.
In evidence, Mr Shannon said that the “large dog has been barking for as long as I have been there and that’s 11 years”.
He said the dog’s barking goes on all day “for two and a half hour periods at a time”.
“The dog has been barking a hundred times a day,” he said.
Mr Shannon said he spoke to Ms O’Loughlin about the dog but the barking continued.
In response to his concerns, Mr Shannon said Ms O’Loughlin told him "that is what dogs do. Sure what harm is it?”
He told the court: “She laughed into my face.”
Mr Shannon said he works in horticulture and has a potting shed at the end of his garden. However he was forced to abandon working there due to the dog constantly barking from the garden next door.
He said the dog met the definition of an "unwanted dog” under the Act stating the dog “hasn’t got much affection and I would say he is lonely and not cared for”.
“To be honest it is immensely upsetting to listen to an animal like that. He is fed twice a day when food is thrown out the back door to him. I never hear anyone playing with the dog or saying hello to the dog,” he said.
Mr Shannon said the dog was never brought outside the garden over the past 11 years and never brought into the home.
Asked by Judge Larkin what is the dog’s name, Mr Shannon said: “I never heard the dog being called by its name or heard anyone being nice to the dog.”
At the outset of the case, Judge Larkin said the court registrar received an email from Ms O’Loughlin stating she wouldn’t be coming to court as the dog has been put down.
However, Mr Shannon said he would prefer to press ahead with the case saying: “I don’t trust anything she says.”
After hearing Mr Shannon’s evidence, Judge Larkin ordered that the dog be delivered to the dog warden to be dealt with by him in accordance with Control of Dogs Act as it is an unwanted dog.