THE FARMER who has spent almost a year in prison in a row over a 40 acre plot of land in Templeglantine was dramatically released this Wednesday, despite refusing to purge his contempt of court.
Daniel Doherty was jailed last July for refusing to keep away from the farm at Rathcahill, which he claims was promised to him by bachelor farmers Matt and Eddie Roche before their deaths.
However, despite still refusing to obey a court ruling which found that the farm is the property of the Roche brothers’ next of kin, Mr Doherty was set free this Wednesday by Judge Carroll Moran, who said that he could not keep him in jail “indefinitely”.
Speaking outside the court immediately afterwards, Mr Doherty was overcome by emotion as he thanked the friends and family who had supported him.
“I would like to thank all my supporters and the staff in the prison that looked after me very well; they understood what I’d done. I looked after Matt and Eddie to the last.
However, the judge’s decision received an angry reaction from members of the Roche family. Mary Sexton, a first cousin of Matt and Eddie Roche, said they were “absolutely disgusted”.
“That man [Doherty] has torn that farm asunder. It has been very difficult, of course it’s been very difficult. That man should be where he was for the last twelve months”.
For the full story, see this week’s Limerick Leader weekend edition