Dying cow ‘moaning and shaking’

A judge has fined a farmer €600 for animal cruelty after a garda found a dying cow lying down and shaking and moaning uncontrollably in the farmer’s yard.

At Ennis District Court, Judge Patrick Durcan convicted Ciaran ‘Joey’ Cullinan, 60, of Ballycoree, Ennis, of breaching the Protection of Animals Act, at his farm at Drumcliffe, Ennis, on Sunday, February 22.

Mr Cullinan pleaded guilty to the offence of leaving an animal barely alive, with a large injury, in mud and water, in very wet conditions and overnight, contrary to the Protection of Animals Act.

Insp John O’Sullivan said gardaí and the ISPCA went to the farmyard after an anonymous tip-off from a person who saw the cow lying down in a muddy part of the yard.

Insp O’Sullivan said that Garda Denis Stack found a cow lying down. The cow was “shaking and moaning uncontrollably”.

Garda Stack said that the cow was struggling to breathe and could not lift its head.

According to Insp O’Sullivan, Garda Stack said Mr Cullinan agreed it was unacceptable that the animal was left in the yard like that.

After ISPCA officer Frankie Coote and Garda Stack arrived, Mr Cullinan contacted a local vet, who came to put the animal down.

Solicitor for Mr Cullinan, Daragh Hassett, said that Mr Cullinan had already made contact with the local animal collector to come and put down the animal and that was the reason the animal was in the yard.

Mr Hassett said that the animal had broken her hip five days previously and, as is the practice with some farmers, Mr Cullinan had brought the cow to higher land, with a brace, in an effort to get the animal moving again.

He said: “Mr Cullinan was trying to do best by the animal. He fed the animal nuts and water for the five days, but the animal wasn’t going to survive.”

He said Mr Cullinan rang for the animal to be collected on a Saturday, but that day the animal collector stops working at 12pm.

Mr Hassett said that Mr Cullinan farms 45 acres and rents out a further 45 acres and has never been in court before.

The solicitor told Judge Durcan: “I know you won’t see him again.”

Mr Hassettpleaded with Judge Durcan not to record a conviction against his client.

However, Judge Duran said: “I am not going to go down that route” and fined Mr Cullinan €600, saying that the court takes allegations of animal cruelty very seriously.


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