A local farmer who appeared before Longford District Court under orders by the court to get his cattle tested, told the presiding judge that the test had been carried out by an authorised vet during a hearing into the matter.
James Casey (47), Lismacmanus, Lanesboro, Co Longford appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes convicted of trespassing at the home of James Mullooly at Gurteegan, Lanesboro and stealing milk replacer on May 15, 2016.
He was also further convicted of allowing his cattle to wander on the road at Fermoyle, Lanesboro on June 1, 2016; stealing seven bags of animal feed from a meal bin at Gurteegan, Lanesboro on May 8, 2016 and driving without insurance at Gurteegan, Lanesboro on May 22, 2016.
During a recent hearing, Judge Hughes together with the help of the Department’s veterinary inspector Anthony Sweeney ordered Mr Casey to get his cattle tested; get tags; have a BVD test carried out and reduce his stock to 10 animals.
Last week, the court was told that Garda Noel Egan had further charged Mr Casey in connection with other matters just prior to the court hearing.
Mr Sweeney then told the court that progress was finally being made with the orders of the court in respect of the matters before the Judge.
“Progress is slow but nonetheless we are making a bit of progress,” he added.
“The untagged animals are now tagged and I believe they were tested last Monday; they will be coming off test on Thursday so we will know the results of the BVD test then.
“Tissues samples will then have to be sent to the lab.”
Meanwhile, the court went on to hear that Mr Casey would provide the vet with those samples later this week.
However, while Mr Sweeney told the court that he was happy with the progress that has been made thus far, Garda Egan said he had concerns over fencing at Mr Casey’s farm.
“There is an electric fence up at the moment and it is just not a good enough arrangement out there,” added the Garda.
Mr Sweeney then pointed out to the court that while they had all finally reached the bottom of the hill in relation to matters, the hard work would begin once everyone began to climb!
“I need James (Mr Casey) to cooperate with me because he is going to need me,” said Mr Sweeney.
“These cattle are coming off test on Thursday so there will be work to be done once that materialises; the cattle will need to be sold then and that could take two to three weeks.”
Mr Casey then addressed the court directly and said he would prefer if another department official could deal with the matter from thereon so that he could dispose of Mr Sweeney’s services.
“You cannot dictate Mr Casey,” remarked Judge Hughes after he heard what the local farmer said.
“You just get on with what you have to do; sell those animals and keep only ten like I asked you to do.”
Meanwhile, Mr Casey’s solicitor John Quinn asked for the legal aid certificate in the case to be extended to include the new matters before the court.
Judge Hughes then asked the farmer how much money he would make when the cattle were sold.
“We have been through all this already,” sighed Mr Quinn, before pointing out that his client was impoverished and only a couple of months ago had to borrow money from his brother in order to survive.
During the previous court sitting, Judge Hughes said that he didn’t think that Mr Casey was capable of the husbandry of animals nor did he instil any confidence in the court.
“He is just not capable of running a farm,” the Judge continued.
It was at that point that Mr Quinn then asked the court to afford Mr Casey just one week to get the affairs of the cattle in order and if he failed, his client would be at the peril of the court.
Mr Sweeney then pointed out that all the animals needed to be tagged, TB tested, BVD tested and all calves born since January 1, 2013 registered.
“It will take longer than a week to sort all that out,” he told Judge Hughes.
The Judge then told Mr Casey that he wanted to see a genuine effort made by him to have the animals registered and once the matters were complied with, all animals bar 10 were to be disposed of.
He said he was affording Mr Casey “one final chance” to get his agricultural affairs in order.
“This is your last shot Mr Casey, otherwise Mr Sweeney will have to take on the responsibility of disposing of your animals,” the Judge said.
Meanwhile, following last week’s hearing Mr Casey was subsequently remanded on bail in relation to the new charges and Judge Hughes ordered him to appear back before Longford District Court on September 5 next. The Judge also extended legal aid in the case.