Two men have appeared before Mullingar District Court charged with handling €176,000 worth of stolen pigs.
The DPP has directed that Patrick Nannery (32 ) of Ballybrien, Granard in Longford be tried on indictment for the offence alleged to have taken place at Ballybrien between January 2012 and January 8, 2013.
He appeared before the court on Thursday last and Patrick Cullen (32 ) of Ballyhaw, Killucan appeared on Friday charged with stealing the animals.
It was alleged that the animals were stolen from a Westmeath pig farm by one of its employees and passed on to Nannery who paid between €70,000 and €80,000 for them.
Prosecuting Garda John Daly told Mullingar District Court that close to 1,200 piglets and grown pigs were stolen from the premises which could have up to 8,500 pigs at any one time.
It was the pig farm owner who contacted gardaí about the suspected theft.
Answering questions from Judge Seamus Hughes, Garda Daly said the pigs appear to have been sold on to different pig factories in the locality and subsequently slaughtered.
He said Nannery’s reply after charge was: “I didn’t know they were stolen. I wouldn’t have had them.”
Cullen made no reply to his charge.
Both men were released on bail to appear before the court again in March for service of the book of evidence.