A 59-year-old Rathkeale woman has been warned to clean up her act after being found guilty of throwing dog poo into her neighbour’s yard.
Nora Slattery of 13 Fairview Terrace, Rathkeale was bound to the peace for six months at Newcastle West District Court after being found guilty of litter pollution.
And she was warned that if she repeated the offence, she could find herself in even deeper doo-doo.
The court heard that she was spotted throwing dog faeces over the adjoining wall and into the back garden of her neighbour, Bidel McCarthy at 14 Fairview Terrace, at around 7am on October 26 last year.
Ms Slattery - who was described by her solicitor as a “devout woman” - denied the charges, claiming she was the victim of persecution by her neighbour.
She admitted being responsible for the dog - a pug - but insisted that she always cleaned up after it.
“I have a shovel and a bag outside and I put it in the dustbin,” she said.
She added that the dog was walked regularly and suggested that it didn’t produce a great deal of faeces.
“He goes to the toilet in the morning and probably won’t go again till the evening,” she said. And she denied she would ever pick up “dog nuisance” and throw it into a neighbour’s yard.
“You don’t catch nuisance in your hands; you eat your food with your hands,” she added.
She also claimed that Ms McCarthy could not have seen her at 7am as “I don’t get up till 10 o clock in the morning”.
In her evidence, Ms McCarthy told the court that she had been in her kitchen at about 7am that morning when she saw Ms Slattery throwing the faeces over the wall and into her garden.
“I seen her throwing in the dog poo,” Ms McCarthy told the court.
She added that she was “100 per cent” sure it was Ms Slattery she had seen.
She told the court that she subsequently called the gardai to report the incident. She added that this was not the first time something like this had happened.
“She is constantly doing it. At first it was bread, then it was dog dirt, then it was paper,” the witness said.
Under cross examination from defence solicitor Michael O’Donnell, the witness said she had installed CCTV in her property to monitor this alleged dumping activity but that the incident on October 26 had not been picked up by the cameras.
Garda Paudie Cronin also gave evidence to the court of receiving a complaint from Ms McCarthy and her mother on the day in question.
“I spoke to the two ladies at length and they outlined their complaints. They observed the defendant throwing dog foul over the wall,” Garda Cronin said.
He added that he had previously received complaints about Ms Slattery’s dumping, as a result of which he had issued her with an adult caution, ordering her to desist throwing rubbish and dog foul over the wall.
“There had been a number of complaints,” the garda added.
Mr O’Donnell described Ms Slattery as a “devout woman” who was a full time carer for a sick child.
Judge Mary Larkin said she was satisfied on the basis of the evidence presented to find the defendant guilty of the charge and she bound Ms Slattery to the peace for six months.
She also warned her that, should the offences continue, the Section 24 of the Litter Pollution Act allows for the offender to be fined up to €100 for each day the contravention continues.
“I expect the parties to behave and conduct themselves towards each other in a Christian manner and get over whatever difficulties they have,” Judge Larkin added.