Ted O’Donoghue, an elderly farmer from near Kildimo in Co. Limerick, appeared in Limerick Circuit Court yesterday, December 19th, and was sentenced for shooting a fellow farmer in an argument over the right of way of a passageway.
The 74-year-old farmer was sentenced to a year in prison, after he admitted to shooting at John Hayes at Ballycasey, Kildimo, Co. Limerick in June 2017. The courts heard that pellets from Mr O’Donoghue’s gun travelled through the cab of Mr. Haye’s tractor, injuring him in the process. Mr Hayes’ dog was also hit by the pellets during the incident and subsequently died.
The incident, the courts heard, was the result of a long-standing feud between the two farmers over the right of way of a passageway. Gardaí told the courts that Mr Donoghue has had tensions with other farmers over the passageway for many decades. John Hayes, the injured farmer, told the courts that he thought Mr. Donoghue was going to kill him on the day in question and said the incident has left him fearful and distressed.
Mr. O’Donoghue pleaded guilty to all charges facing him. He pleaded guilty to one count of assault causing harm, one count of animal cruelty and one count of the reckless discharging of a firearm.
The farmer was sentenced by Judge Tom O’Donnell to two and a half years in prison, with the final 18 months suspended. He was also granted permission to spend Christmas with his family due to poor health and had his official sentencing deferred until January 7th.