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Woman admits sending hoax mass cards

A woman sent three mass cards for the dead to officials who came to her farm to investigate animal cruelty cases, a court heard yesterday.

Breda Moloney (54), of Ballymalone, Tuamgraney, east Clare, pleaded guilty at Killaloe District Court to causing a breach of the peace in December 2008 by sending the mass cards and causing distress.

Ms Moloney sent the mass cards to Clare's ISPCA dog warden, Frankie Coote, and two others, Grainne Keating and Mary Burke after they visited Ms Moloney's farm on December 10, 2008.

The court heard that on the day following their visit to the farm, the three received the mass cards with their names written in the place where the deceased's name would be.

Solicitor for Ms Moloney, Chris Lynch said that on December 10, Ms Moloney arrived back at her farm to find that a number of her animals were put down.

He said: "This caused her grave upset and she did the very, very foolish thing of sending the mass cards. She accepts completely that it was the wrong thing to do."

The court heard that Ms Moloney had one previous conviction for criminal damage for which she served two months in prison in 1996.

Insp John O'Sullivan said that Ms Moloney had come to the notice of gardai as recently as last Sunday when gardai were called to her home due to wandering animals.

Insp O'Sullivan said that there were a number of outstanding charges against Ms Moloney that had yet to come before court.

Judge Joseph Mangan told Ms Moloney: "This nonsense has to stop."

The court heard that Ms Moloney was currently receiving treatment for a suspected tumour in her colon.

Judge Mangan imposed a two-month suspended jail term in relation a charge of obstructing traffic at Ballymalone, Tuamgraney on January 10, 2009. He told her: "You are not out of the woods yet."

Judge Mangan adjourned the 'mass cards' cases to April 4 to allow the Probation Service compile a report. Ms Moloney was remanded on bail.

Irish Independent