Man left sheep ‘tied-up, bleeding and malnourished’ at Bonniconlon farm

Judge Mary Devins has asked for a veterinary inspection at the Bonniconlon farm of a man who admitted animal cruelty in Ballina District Court on Tuesday.

Sean Graham, 48, Riverside Grange, Ballina, was before the court after gardaí came to his farm at Newtown, Bonniconlon, last April on foot of an anonymous phonecall.

Garda Tom McManus described finding a number of sheep in distress. He said there were five ewes, two lambs, and a dead sheep in a pen with no fodder or water. Three more sheep were tied-up and bleeding in a shed.

Another five sheep were in a field nearby, “hobbling and limping”.

The defendant, who also works in Ballyhaunis, said he was spending a considerable amount of time helping in the care of his ill father, who was at that time in the Sacred Heart Hospital, Castlebar. The defendent also experienced health problems himself.

“I wasn’t feeling myself and I didn’t pay attention,” he said.

Mr Graham said the sheep were provided with water but they had kicked it over. He was also feeding the sheep but the fodder had run out when the garda arrived to his farm.

Some sheep were tied-up as a temporary measure because he had problems with them roaming.

The court heard a Department vet has since inspected the farm and found the conditions of the animals improved.

“Your sheep were left tied-up, bleeding and malnourished?” the judge asked Mr. Graham. “Yes,” he answered.

Judge Devins has adjourned the case for decision until April and requested a new report on the current situation at the farm from a Department vet.


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