A FARMER who was convicted of offences relating to the movements of cattle successfully appealed a court order requiring him to pay some of the costs of the Department of Agriculture.
At Kilmallock Court in October, John Hanly, aged 58, of Grange, Kilmallock pleaded guilty to eight offences.
Four related to the movement of animals from a mart while the other four related to the failure to notify the Minister of the movement of an animal to a premises within seven days of the movement taking place.
Judge Mary Larkin was told the prosecution was initiated following a Department of Agriculture investigation into the herd of a Waterford farmer which was being used by a number of people.
A veterinary inspector with the department said the farmer suffers from MS and can’t go to marts himself.
“He asked Mr Hanly to buy 40/50 cattle. Unknown to him 180 were moved into his herd. Various animals were moved from various marts,” explained John McConville.
The court heard details of incidents in 2011 when Mr Hanly bought and paid for an animal, put it down to go into the Waterford herd but which ended up on a Limerick farm.
After convicting Mr Hanly Judge Larkin fined him €2,000 and ordered that he pay €3,000 towards the costs of the
During an appeal at Limerick Circuit Court, solicitor Brendan Gill said his client - who has a 16-year-old daughter - earns between €250 and €400 a week.
He said the issue of costs had not arisen until the end of the district court case and that the amount had been “plucked out of the air” without any supporting documentation.
“It was just arrived at and I was caught completely unawares,” he said adding that the evidence gathered during the Department’s investigation had been used in two other prosecutions in Counties Tipperary and Waterford.
He said his client who is a licenced cattle agent was also running a pub business at the time of the offences.
He added that he met the case fairly and had indicated a guilty plea well in advance of the court hearing.
Vacating the order for costs, Judge Carroll Moran noted that Mr Hanly had no previous convictions and is of “very modest means”.