By Gordon Deegan

An east Clare farmer was left with a “large piece” of his ear missing after a farm yard altercation with an older brother, a court has heard.

At Ennis District Court today (Wednesday, December 15), Dublin-based medical professional, 39-year-old, Conor O’Halloran appeared in connection with being charged with assault causing harm of his younger brother, 35-year-old farmer, Daniel O’Halloran at a farm yard at Liscullane, Tulla on May 5, 2021.

In court, Sgt. Aiden Lonergan outlined the state case against Conor O’Halloran to allow Judge Alec Gabbett determine if the case should be heard in the district court or the circuit court where more serious sanctions apply.

After viewing colour photographs of Daniel O’Halloran’s left ear in the aftermath of the alleged assault, Judge Gabbett declined jurisdiction and ordered that the case be heard in the circuit court.

Judge Gabbett commented that “there is a large piece of the ear missing in this photo. It is a significant injury”.

Sgt. Lonergan stated that the medical report outlined that there was “a noticeable piece” of the left ear missing.

Dispute over land

Sgt. Lonergan stated that Conor O’Halloran of Rosebank, Old Bawn, Tallaght, Dublin 24 is a Dublin-based medical professional and is married with two children, while Daniel O’Halloran resides at the Liscullane farm with his wife and son.

The sergeant stated that the background to the incident is that the two brothers “are in disagreement due to tensions over land owned by Conor O’Halloran and farmed by Daniel O’Halloran and a suggestion on how an area of forested land should be used and owned”.

Sgt. Lonergan stated that it will be alleged on May 5 this year at Daniel O’Halloran’s farm yard, Daniel O’Halloran saw that Conor O’Halloran was there “in what could be described as a rage”.

The sergeant said that an altercation ensued with both men tumbling and tussling on the ground, where it will be alleged that Conor O’Halloran bit the top of the alleged injured party’s ear.

Sgt. Lonergan stated that in a prepared statement provided to Gardaí last July, Conor O’Halloran stated that during the incident, he alleged that he was being choked by his brother, Daniel.

Daniel O’Halloran was brought to University Hospital Limerick for treatment and a medical report was handed into court.

Court jurisdiction

Sgt. Lonergan stated that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has recommended that the case be heard in the district court taking into account the injury, the incident, the character of both parties and bringing this matter to a quick conclusion and that the sentencing powers available to the district court would be able to deal with the case.

However, Judge Gabbett declined district court jurisdiction, transferring the case to the circuit court and the case was adjourned to February 16, 2022.

Judge Gabbett further remanded Conor O’Halloran on bail to that court date.