The niece of a farmer who died after his car was rammed with the prongs of a teleporter has told of the family’s dismay at the brevity of the sentence handed down in the Central Criminal Court yesterday to the neighbour who pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Michael Ferris of Rattoo, Ballyduff was found guilty in October of the manslaughter of Anthony O’Mahony at Rattoo on April 4th last year. He was jailed for six years, with the final 12 months of his prison term suspended.
Anthony O’Mahony, a 73-year-old tillage farmer from Ardoughter, Ballyduff, died after Mr Ferris rammed his car multiple times with the prongs of a teleporter, causing him catastrophic injuries.
Ann O’Carroll told RTE’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show of her distress at having to listen to 25 pages of details of her late uncle’s injuries during the court case.
“He was my uncle and I loved him dearly. It upsets me to think of him dying, being crucified by prongs.”
The family was concerned about what will happen in the future when they meet Mr Ferris. “The reality is he’ll be out in two and a half years. He’ll be back in Ratoo. What will happen when Ferris out and about and they meet him on the road?”
Ms O’Carroll said the family had been especially upset at the “blackening” of Mr O’Mahony’s character during the trial and the perception given to the court that the crow banger “had been going off from January to December, all night, all day for 30 years.”
That was not the case, she said. It was used in March-April for a few weeks and again at harvest time for a few weeks, depending on the weather. She acknowledged that her uncle could be difficulty, but said that if neighbours were concerned they could have spoken to her other uncle or cousin who also worked on the farm with Anthony O’Mahony.
Ms O’Carroll said that Ferris should have been required to take the stand during the court case to explain his actions.
An apology had been offered to the family through his counsel, but she described this as “an absolute insult.”