Farmer walks free after one of worst animal welfare cases ever


A Clare farmer has walked free from court following an animal welfare case at Ennis District court.

Farmer walks free after one of worst animal welfare cases ever

  • ADDED
  • 2 years ago

A Clare farmer has walked free from court following an animal welfare case at Ennis District court.

The case was described as one of the worst animal abuse cases the presiding judge had ever come across.

80 year old farmer, Thomas O’Neill, appeared in court on five animal neglect charges.

Mr. O’ Neill, from Lissycasey, pleaded guilty to the charges.

He appeared in court after Department officials carried out inspections on his farm last year and found eight horse carcasses and 46 horses running wild on Mr O’Neill’s two fields.

Officials emancipated a number of the wild horses at the time of the inspection.

The court heard department officials saying there was no grass available for the horses to graze on, and this had left the animals with only bushes to graze on.


This was noticed upon the first visit to the farm in January of last year, following a complaint.

Mr. O’Neill was served notice by department inspectors on the day and arrangements were made to get feed for the animals.

The Inspector, Ms Tighe, carried out further inspections in February of the same year and found 8 carcasses along with two further ones that had died a long time previous.

She noted that there was bones tossed all over the land.

The case was described as tragic by the presiding judge Durcan who accepted that Mr. O’Neill showed no intent to neglect the animals.


The court heard of how the accused was incapable of asking for help with his animals, and how he ha dno previous convictions.

He struck out the charges against the farmer after a due fee of €14,491 was paid by the farmers nephew. This amounted to the cost of the states investigation into the farmer.

Mr. O’ Neill also paid a fine of €2000 to an animal welfare charity.

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