Fine for horse-lover who 'gave poteen to his nag'

Barry Duggan

IT'S a well-known fact that strong liquor can take warts off a mule but a court was told yesterday it can also soothe the muscles of sickly stallions.

A horse-owner caught with two bottles of poteen claimed they were strictly for veterinarian purposes as his beloved stallion was feeling poorly.

Daniel Bourke (53), of The Paddocks, Westbury, Co Clare, found himself before Limerick District Court after gardai found the two bottles of the hard stuff at his home.

But Mr Bourke insisted that the poteen was for rubbing into the muscles of his sick animal to make him feel better.

Garda John Kelleher of Ardnacrusha Garda Station said he went to investigate a domestic disturbance at Bourke's home on May 20, 2006.

When gardai arrived, the woman who made the complaint produced a bottle of poteen.

Garda Kelleher spoke to Mr Bourke who admitted ownership of the bottle in question.

Judge Tom O'Donnell heard that the horse-lover then produced another bottle of poteen from a press in the kitchen and handed it over to gardai.

"He claimed he had the bottles of poteen for a sick horse," said Garda Kelleher.

The poteen was sent for examination which found that one bottle contained 45pc alcohol, the other 38pc alcohol.

To the amusement of those in attendance, defence solicitor John Herbert said that poteen "apparently warms up the muscles of the horse".

Before Judge O'Donnell passed sentence, Mr Herbert said the poteen was only administered for medicinal purposes.

"I hope that you take into consideration, it was for the well-being of the horse," Mr Herbert said.

Judge O'Donnell ordered Mr Bourke to pay a ?100 fine for having two litres of poteen contrary to Section 23 of the illicit distillation (Irl) Act 1831.

Unfortunately for the poor horse, the judge also ordered that the poteen be destroyed.