THE IRISH Farmers’ Association (IFA) has offered to act as a mediator in the row over a farm in Templeglantine which has seen Daniel Doherty, 40, spend four months in prison for contempt of court
The Limerick Leader has learned that the farmers’ body has made contact with the Roche family, who own the 40-acre site at Rathcahill, Templeglantine, and members of the Doherty family about the possibility of it acting as an intermediary in bringing to an end a bitter dispute which has seen public protests, allegations of intimidation and a steadfast refusal by Daniel Doherty to back down.
Doherty was jailed by Judge Carroll Moran at Limerick Circuit Court on July 29 after he refused to obey a court order to stay away from the farm, which he claims was promised to him by bachelor farmers Matt and Eddie Roche before their deaths.
The Roche brothers died without leaving a will and their estate passed to their nephews and nieces, who subsequently won a lengthy court battle against Doherty over the ownership of the farm.
Despite this, Doherty refused to set aside his claim to the land or remove his cattle from it. Since he was imprisoned, Doherty has refused on numerous occasions to purge his contempt, insisting that he is staying true to “Matt and Eddie’s wishes”.
Emmett O’Brien BL, counsel for the Roche family, previously described Doherty in court as a “land grabber”.
Sources close to the Roche family said that both they and the Doherty family are currently “considering” the IFA’s offer and are expected to respond shortly.
It is not known if any potential discussions will involve face-to-face talks or indirect negotiations through IFA officials.
An IFA spokesperson confirmed that an offer to mediate in the case has been made. “No one wants to see a man in jail over it”, the spokesperson added.