Longford man accused of failing to control dog

A man who appeared before Longford District Court last week charged under the Control of Dogs Act had his case adjourned to allow for a victim impact statement in the case to be furnished to the court.

Patrick Hannifin, Red Brick House, Dublin Road, Longford appeared before Judge Fiona Lydon charged with having an uncontrolled dog; a dog not wearing a muzzle and not having a dog licence in Longford last year.

Outlining the evidence to the court, Inspector Paul Kilcoyne said that on the date in question a woman left her home along Longford town’s Dublin Road to go to the shops and when she later returned was “set upon” by an alsatian.

“The dog had jumped over the wall to get to her and the lady was bitten on the arm and backside during the attack,” the Inspector continued.

“The lady was assisted at the scene and received medical attention.

“She later made a complaint to the Gardaí about the matter.”

The court went on to hear that Longford Gardaí subsequently conducted an investigation and the house from which the dog emerged was identified.

“Gardaí spoke to the defendant’s wife and it was she who stated that Patrick Hannifan owned the dog,” Inspector Kilcoyne continued.

“The Gardaí spoke to him and Mr Hannifin admitted that the dog belonged to him.”

The court then heard that the defendant was asked at the time if he had a licence for the animal and he told the gardaí that he did.

However, when the dog warden later investigated the matter further it emerged that the dog in question had never been produced for inspection nor was there a licence in place for it.

“The dog was not under control at the time of the incident on the lady nor was it muzzled,” the Inspector added.

In mitigation, the defendant’s solicitor John Quinn said his client had since taken the dog out to the countryside and it was therefore no longer a threat to the injured lady.

“Basically, he wants to make sure that something like this never happens again,” Mr Quinn continued.

“On the date in question, the dog jumped the wall - it was never meant to be in the public thoroughfare in the first place.

“Mr Hannifin called to see the injured lady after the attack to make sure that she was alright.”

Meanwhile, Judge Lydon asked if the lady in question had furnished the Gardaí with a victim impact statement.

When she was told that there was no statement but one could be secured if necessary she adjourned proceedings to allow for that.

The Judge also indicated that the court was to be informed about the financial impact on the victim.

The matter will appear back before Longford District Court next month.

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