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Cooraclare farmer not guilty of criminal damage to mother’s home

A JURY has returned a verdict of not guilty at the trial of a west Clare farmer who had been accused of using a digger to cause €50,000 worth of damage to his mother’s home, reports Ronan Judge. At Ennis Circuit Court today, it took the jury 36 minutes to find John Morrissey (53) not guilty of a single count of criminal damage. The Cooraclare native embraced his wife and thanked his solicitor Stiofán Fitzpatrick after the verdict was read out. Discharging the jury, Judge Brian O’Callaghan said, “This has been a sad case in many respects.” Mr Morrissey, a married father of six, with an address at Clonreddan, Cooraclare, had pleaded not guilty to the charge of criminal damage. The charge stated he caused, without lawful excuse, damage to the external and internal structure of his mother, Mary Morrissey’s home in Alva, Cooraclare on December 13, 2019. The charge stated he damaged the contents of the house, an external …

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Mountshannon cattle rustler gets suspended prison sentence

A Mountshannon farmer has received a suspended three year jail term and ordered to pay a €3,000 fine after it was uncovered using DNA tracing that he was responsible for three separate thefts of a total of 15 cattle from his neighbour. Ahead of delivering his sentence at Ennis Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Gerald Keys told Padraig O’Brien, (42), of Magherigh “what you have done to your neighbour is unforgivable”. O’Brien had pleaded guilty to 15 counts of theft of the cattle worth €17,000. The offences involved the theft of five in-calf heifers from Bohatch, Mountshannon between January 17 and 18, 2015; the theft of six heifers from Kilrateera, Mountshannon between May 23 and 24, 2013, and the theft of four cows from Bohatch between December 8 and 9, 2013, a total of 15 charges. The court heard that gardaí were led to O’Brien after they found “sporadic hoof marks on the ditches” in frost, leading to his farmyard in …

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Frustrated farmer could lose 30 acres

A Ballynacally farmer has expressed his frustration at the lack of progress in repairing the Shannon Estuary banks along 30 acres of his land in Lisheen. Vincent O’Shea, who farms up to 120 acres, has been unable to cut silage on the affected land and has had to sell 30 cows. The land was badly flooded more than 12 months ago and he says that no progress has been made in the interim with regard to alleviating the problem. Two neighbouring farmers, John Slattery and Seán Carrig, are similarly affected. “The two sluices went in January of 2014. There is no one coming near us. They are saying they are doing this and doing that. Pat Breen (TD) reckons the council have the money but you ring the council and they say they have no more there for this. They have money for the tourists going to Lahinch and Kilkee but that’s no good to me. I can’t do any …

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