A north Clare farmer today escaped jail after a judge heard that he had complied with a 24-hour ultimatum that all sheep be removed from the farmer’s brother’s land.
At Gort District Court today, a Veterinary Inspector with the Dept of Agriculture, Mary Bourke told Judge Patrick Durcan that following an inspection of the lands this morning, no sheep or lambs were to be found on the lands.
The swift removal of the 14 ewes and their lambs followed Judge Durcan telling the 51-year-old farmer in relation to the sheep in court on Wednesday “I don’t care where they go - if they are not gone, you are going to jail".
He told the farmer at Ennis District Court on Wednesday: “You must have every ewe and lamb removed from the lands by tomorrow. If they are not removed you are going down to Limerick prison.”
Ms Bourke told Judge Durcan at Gort District Court today that the farmer's 29 cattle have also been removed from the 1.5 acre piece of land to Coillte-owned lands.
Judge Durcan said: “That is a matter for Coillte. The lands are now stock free.”
The farmer in question was late for the court hearing today and arrived with the ownership cards of the 29 cattle as demanded by Judge Durcan.
The man is before the court after breaching a barring order concerning his brother by entering his brother’s property on March 21. As the case relates to a domestic violence order, the names of the parties cannot be disclosed.
The farmer has pleaded guilty to breaching the barring order and the matter remains before the court over his undertaking to remove the stock from the land.
The farmer told Judge Durcan today that a dead calf of his remains on the land.
Judge Durcan told the farmer: “I want that calf moved. Let me make it very clear. I want Garda Lorraine Higgins to inspect the lands later today. I want Garda Higgins to be satisfied that there is total clearance of everything belonging to you from the lands.
Judge Durcan said: “If everything is not removed today, I will be revoking bail tomorrow and you will be going to prison. I want everything cleared. I want this saga finished today. If is not finished today you are going in for a period.”
Judge Durcan told the farmer: “Get on with life. You can’t get on with life if you are coming into court every day and I will keep you coming into court and I will put you into whatever prison I have to put you into. I will have no hesitation in doing that."
Judge Durcan ordered the man to appear before Ennis District Court on Friday to confirm the removal of the dead calf and tools he has on the lands.