THE owner of two dogs, whose barking is at the centre of a legal dispute, has been given a month to reach “some form of settlement” with his neighbour.
Details of the dispute emerged when Sarah Jane Barrington made an application, at Limerick Court, to have the Collies disposed of under the provisions of the Control of Dogs Act.
In her evidence Ms Barrington, who has lived in Ferndale on the Ennis Road for more than 20 years, claimed the dogs are “incessantly barking” during the day when Richard Malone and his partner are at work.
She told Judge Eugene O’Kelly she has recorded the barking patterns of the dogs in recent weeks and she outlined specific details of when and how long they were barking
Ms Barrington said she had initiated the court proceedings as a last result of having previously contacted the gardai, Limerick City Council and the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.
“I’m exhausted, it has stressed me enormously,” she said adding that she is regularly woken early in the morning by the barking dogs.
The court was told when Mr Malone moved in over a year ago he had a single dog but later acquired a second one from Limerick Animal Welfare to keep the first dog company.
Ms Barrington said on one occasion, one of the dogs had broken into her back garden and was “aggressively barking” at her when she opened her back door.
In his evidence, Mr Malone agreed the dogs bark on occasion, but he rejected Ms Barrington’s assertion that they bark incessantly.
“The do bark but not excessively,” he said adding that they sleep indoors at night.
Mr Malone told the court that his neighbour had previously complained to him about the dogs but he said he believed she was being unreasonable.
“She is overreacting, they are not barking incessantly,” he said adding that he and his partner “are two very quiet people looking to keep to ourselves.”
Judge Eugene O’Kelly said he accepted the evidence of Ms Barrington saying: “It is unacceptable to have to live with constant and incessant barking”.
He adjourned the case until March 6, next indicating he will order the disposal of the dogs if agreement cannot be reached between the parties.