A man has been warned he must keep his dogs under control or risk losing them after a complaint by a neighbour of “excessive barking”.
Thomas O’Brien, aged 57, of 47 Ogham Rian, Ballinorig, Tralee, Co Kerry, was ordered to keep his dogs muzzled and under control.
His next-door neighbour David Reidy, who brought the civil proceedings of a nuisance caused by barking, was directed by Judge James O’Connor “to monitor and take recordings of any barking at night”.
The matter is due before Tralee District Court again on Jun 26 for review.
Mr Reidy, aged 30, who lives with his 67-year-old mother at 46 Ogham Rian, said he had taken the court action as “a last resort” after appeals to Mr O’Brien, the town council, and dog wardens at Kerry County Council “all fell on deaf years over the past three years”.
His neighbour kept up to 10 dogs in a back garden and they barked all the time, Mr Reidy said.
“This has been going on for years. There is noise 24 hours a day. Everyone is being driven insane from the barking,” he said, under cross-examination from solicitor Pat Mann.
The barking would annoy any reasonable person, he said.
Mr Reidy, an engineering graduate who works as a roofer, handed photographs of the dogs into court. The breeds varied all the time, he told the court.
Representing himself, he told Judge O’Connor of having to get up for work in the morning after being kept awake all night by dogs barking.
“Thomas is not even there all the time and the dogs are out of control and unattended. The dogs come and go all the time, it’s like a kennel house,” Mr Reidy said.
Mr O’Brien, who is licensed currently to keep three terriers, said the most he had was six dogs. He had got rid of an Alsatian.
He said the dogs barked, but not excessively. Other dogs in the estate barked more, he told the court.
Mr O’Brien kept dogs for hunting rabbits and for deterring rats from the railway at the back of the house. He also occasionally bred dogs.
However, asked by his solicitor Mr Reidy where did all the dogs come from, he admitted he “swapped around” dogs.
Judge O’Connor told Mr O’Brien: “You can’t have seven or eight dogs. You are not entitled to keep seven or eight dogs in the manner you are keeping them. You cannot allow your dogs to annoy the people next door — get real, you cannot do this.”
Meanwhile, Mr Reidy is to record and photograph the dogs over the next month and the judge is to decide at the next sitting whether Mr O’Brien may be allowed to keep just one dog or none at all — if the nuisance continues.
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