Men made farmer feel ‘revengeful’

A Longford pig farmer who denies falsely imprisoning two men said he was "revengeful" after being knocked to the ground and directed the men to recite the Our Father to "reflect" on what they had done.

Donal Connaughton, aged 54, said he wanted the men to strip to "humiliate" them. He told them to kneel and recite the Our Father, to "instil in them what it says in that prayer not to trespass". "I was defending my property in the best way I knew," he said.

Mr Connaughton faces eight charges, while his wife Margaret, aged 52, faces six charges, arising out of an incident on Apr 29, 2010. These include false imprisonment, threatening to kill or harm, and assault.

The Connaughtons, from Elfeet, Newtowncashel, Co Longford, claim they were assaulted by the two men after they arrived at their pig farm to repossess a generator and power washers.

Patrick Mulvey and Justin Tighe went to the farm to repossess items on behalf of GE Money.

Mr Connaughton told the trial at Longford Circuit Court yesterday that his wife told him that a "dog of a man" was after pulling a door on her hand. "I was angry, as angry as I’ve been in my entire life. I told them to get the fuck off the property, simple as that," said Mr Connaughton.

Mr Mulvey then flattened him on the ground, he said, adding that "the other guy jumped out of the lorry and put his boot on my chest".

He said it was two against one at that time and that a person who was on the farm at the time "pulled them off me". He said he told this individual and another man "to kick the shite out of the [repossession] boys". There was a "fair fight" and a "hefty exchange" between the four men, he said.

Mr Connaughton got into a teleporter and said he was going to drag the lorry out on to the road but the men put on the brake in the lorry. He said he wanted the men to strip "to humiliate them like they humiliated me. I wanted them to go down the road stripped to humiliate them that no one would give them a lift".

He said: "They were free to go. I had my speech made to them... I had intended on getting them to say Our Father to reflect on what they had done.

"I was revengeful at that particular time. My wife had a hand streaming blood. I was put to the ground in my own farmyard.

"It did cross my mind if I was beat to it the only asset I had in my favour was the boars and they might get out of the yard then. Boars have a tendency to open their mouth and close it on a regular basis in a chopping fashion. It was an intimidating aspect, that was the intention of the boar."

It was put to him in cross-examination that the men were entitled to go on to his property to repossess the machinery. He replied: "In a lawful manner."

The trial continues today.