A FARMER caught with two stolen cattle feeders and who repeatedly allowed animals wander onto a busy road has been jailed for six months and fined more than €2,000.
Appearing in Nenagh District Court yesterday, Ger Brennan (52) claimed the two stolen cattle feeders found at his home and on his farm had been put on his land by an unknown party.
He said he found them thrown inside a field of barley at his outfarm at Ballycasey, Borrisokane, Co Tipperary.
In a separate charge, gardai were called to the scene of an accident at Ballycasey where a car had struck a horse at the entrance to Brennan's outfarm on February 2 last.
The gate leading to the road was open and two horses had wandered onto the public road.
Days beforehand -- January 27 -- Brennan had been convicted of six charges of allowing boar pigs to wander from the farm.
He claimed the two horses had to travel through three gates to make their way onto the road and that somebody else had opened them.
The farmer told the judge that two locks he had put on the main gate had been broken and stolen. Insp Bernard Barry said this was never reported to the gardai.
On the stolen cattle feeders, Noel Hogan -- a farmer from Aglish, Roscrea, Co Tipperary -- told Judge Elizabeth McGrath that they went missing from his farm between May 29 and 30 last.
Motorist Marguerite Murphy told the court that she saw the feeders in Brennan's jeep in north Tipperary on May 31.
Gda Mark Cullinane recovered one of the cattle feeders at Brennan's outfarm and the other at his home address at Druminure, Borrisokane, on June 2 last.
Brennan told gardai he took them out of the field -- which he had rented out -- for the sake of the combine harvester when it was coming to cut the barley.
He claimed that a lot of stuff had been thrown into his land over the years.
Judge McGrath found him guilty of having possession of the stolen cattle feeders and of leaving the horses to wander.
He pleaded guilty to motoring offences including driving with no NCT, no seat-belt, lights not working and using a trailer with a wheel missing.
Brennan -- who has nine previous convictions -- was sentenced to six months' imprisonment for possessing the stolen cattle feeders.
Fines for allowing the horses to wander onto the road and the motoring offences totalled €2,100. He must also pay witness expenses of €300.