A young farmer, who runs his farming enterprise in Tourmakeady, South Co. Mayo has appeared in court and received a fine of €150 after his bulls broke out and began fighting on a public road.
The farmer from Gortmore, Tourmakeady, Christopher Hughes (25), appeared before Castlebar District Court last Wednesday, December 5th, and pleaded guilty to an offence under Section 7 of the Animals Act 1985, as reported by the Mayo News.
The courts were told that on November 7th, Garda Tom Fleming was on patrol in the Tourmakeady area at approximately 12:30pm, when he discovered two bulls fighting on a public road. The courts heard that Garda Fleming, with the help of a member of the public, then managed to separate the bulls and return them to the nearby field.
Garda Fleming then identified the herd number of the animals and traced the ownership back to the young farmer, Christopher Hughes. The farmer was away at the time of the incident but was arrested by Gardaí upon his return home, when he was then charged.
The defence for Mr Hughes, Cathy McDarby, told the courts that her client was a Kilkenny native who had only moved to the area to farm the land owned by his grandfather. She said the farmer had bought the 14 bulls with the aim of farming the land but said he had misjudged the work necessary to do so.
‘His idea was a lovely few hours work here and there, not being up at 6am getting cold and wet’ she said.
Ms McDarby added that her client had made attempts since the incident to move away from livestock farming and into the organic sector. Upon taking the stand, Mr. Hughes said he was “happy” to get out of farming cattle, citing that there is “too much work in animals”. He told the courts that all animals would be sold within a two-week period.
Judge Fiona Lydon stated that the farmer was lucky that Garda Fleming came onto the scene and issued a fine of €150 to the farmer. She wished the farmer good luck in his new organic farming venture.
‘Good luck in your new venture as an organic farmer, which is much more environmentally friendly’ said Judge Lydon.