At Mullingar District Court, Patrick Nannery, aged 32, of Ballybrien, Granard, in Longford, was charged with handling the pigs, estimated by Teagasc to be worth in the region of €176,000.
When Nannery was charged he replied: “I didn’t know they were stolen. I wouldn’t have had them,” prosecuting Garda John Daly said.
Answering Judge Seamus Hughes’ questions about the background to the case, Garda Daly said the pig farmer, who could have up to 8,500 pigs on his farm at any one time, contacted gardaí about the suspected theft. He said an employee is alleged to have stolen the animals and sold them to Nannery for €70,000-€80,000.
Garda Daly said the pigs were sold to local factories and slaughtered.
Nannery was remanded on bail to March when a book of evidence is due to be ready. The DPP has directed trial on indictment.
A second man is due to appear in court today on related charges.