Monday 17 June 2019

Farmer fined €25,000 for demolishing 1,000 year old ring fort

A FARMER has been fined €25,000 for destroying a 1,000-year-old ring fort on his land, which was a protected national monument.

John O'Mahony, 64, pleaded guilty to carrying out work on the fort on his farm in north Kerry, without first notifying the National Monuments Service

Mr O'Mahony farms around 40 acres at Clashmealcon, near Causeway.

A ring fort and series of souterrains or underground tunnels - which were said to over 1,000 years ago - were on the lands, and were of historic importance.

Mr O'Mahony hired workers, in February 2008, to demolish the majority of the ring fort.

The Tralee court heard that he knew of the existence of the ring fort as he had previously objected to a planning application there on the grounds that the land contained "an historical ring fort".

He had only bought the lands two months before.

Mr O'Mahony apologised through his barrister. He said he did not know he had to seek permission for the work.

Judge Carroll Moran said ownership of property is a right, but this right was not "unfettered".

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