West Clare farmer pleads guilty to animal welfare charges
By Gordon Deegan
A 65-year-old west Clare farmer, who has already pleaded guilty to dumping 12 animal carcasses over 300ft-high cliffs, has now pleaded guilty to 20 sample animal welfare charges.
At Ennis Circuit Court, Martin Gerald Foley of Lislanihan, Kilkee pleaded guilty to 20 sample charges out of a total of 193 charges first brought against him.
Foley has pleaded guilty to breaching Section 11 of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 where animal owners shall keep animals in a manner that safeguards the health and welfare of the animal, and does not threaten the health or welfare of the animal or another animal.
Foley has also pleaded guilty to breaching Section 12 of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 where animal owners are prohibited from doing anything to an animal that causes unnecessary suffering.
Foley has also pleaded guilty to breaching Section 13 of the same act where animal owners must have a quantity of suitable and wholesome food sufficient to satisfy the reasonable requirements of the animal.
In a separate case, Foley earlier this year pleaded to dumping 12 animal carcasses over cliffs at Baltard, Doonbeg in west Clare in April 2014.
The cremation of the carcasses and disposing of the remains cost Clare County Council €7,372.
In the case, the state authorities carried out a painstaking investigation to identify the remains and pinpoint the culprit through DNA matching of the animals in the face of denials from Foley when he first questioned on the dumping.
Foley also put forward the theory that the animals were washed up by the sea.Also Read: Graphic images: Farmer dumps 12 carcasses on ‘spectacular’ Clare cliffs
However, an oceanographer employed by the state to comment on the theory said that this was very unlikely due to the motion of the sea and the wave action.
The court has heard that there is no suggestion that the animals were anything other than dead when disposed of at the cliffs.
Counsel for Foley, Patrick Whyms (barrister-at-law) told the court that the two cases would take half a day to complete and Foley was remanded on continuing bail to October 1 to fix date for hearing.