Tuesday 22 January 2019

'The sentence should have been higher' - family of farmer killed with teleporter speak out

John O’Mahony was found to have ‘catastrophic injuries’ after the alleged incident
John O’Mahony was found to have ‘catastrophic injuries’ after the alleged incident
Killer Michael Ferris
Conor McCrave

Conor McCrave

The family of a pensioner killed by his neighbour with the prongs of a teleporter have said the 'disproportionate' sentence given to his killer is having a devastating effect on their lives.

The body of Anthony O’Mahony was discovered near his farm in Rattoo, Co Kerry after he had been attacked by farmer Michael Ferris on April 4, 2017.

Ferris claimed he had snapped following a row over a crow banger that had festered for decades.

In October Ferris was found not guilty of murder but guilty of the manslaughter of Mr O’Mahony (73).

Anthony O’Mahony and his brother Seamus pictured harvesting crops in the field in 1998
Anthony O’Mahony and his brother Seamus pictured harvesting crops in the field in 1998

During his sentencing last week, the judge said Ferris “deprived Anthony O’Mahony of his life in appalling circumstances” and caused the 73-year-old “horrific, horrific” injuries.

The family of Mr O’Mahony said the possible release of Mr Ferris by Christmas 2020 due to remission and time already served, was “disproportionate” for the nature of the crime committed.

“When he is released he is going back down to that farm to the road where James and my dad will have to pass through again and it’s a very narrow road,” niece Marie Clarke said on RTÉ’s Claire Byrne programme.

“They will pass him in the future and it’s a very difficult situation.

“We don’t feel it is sufficient… There was victim impact statements presented by both my father and my aunt and the impact that has had on their life.

Mr O’Mahony’s nephew James also spoke on the programme and told how he was unsatisfied with the sentencing which was explained to him during the court proceedings.

The dispute was over a crow banger. Photo: RTE
The dispute was over a crow banger. Photo: RTE

“We feel the sentence should have been higher and was disproportionate,” he added.

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