Portlaoise man whose dogs killed sheep given until 2015 to pay compensation

A Portlaoise man whose two dogs escaped from their cage and killed 16 sheep was last week given until June of next year to pay €2,400 compensation to the injured party.

A Portlaoise man whose two dogs escaped from their cage and killed 16 sheep was last week given until June of next year to pay €2,400 compensation to the injured party.

Before last week’s district court in Portlaoise was Sean Muldowney, with an address at Old Mills, Oakleaf, Carlow Road, Portlaoise.

He was convicted back in June of having an uncontrolled dog, and being the owner of a dog worrying livestock, at the Bay Road, Mountmellick, on December 27 last year.

16 out of a flock of 58 sheep were killed, with a further 41 left in a seriously distressed state, when the two dogs escaped after the wind blew down the fence containing them.

At the June court, the case was adjourned to establish whether the injured party had insurance.

When the case returned last week, Inspector Aidan Farrelly told the court that the injured party had insurance, but it did not cover him for dog attack. The inspector said that damages came to €2,400.

Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick admitted it was “a very unsavoury case”. She told the court the dogs had broken free from their confines in stormy weather and killed the sheep.

Ms Fitzpatrick said her client was prepared to pay compensation, which came to €2,416.

Judge Catherine Staines put the matter back to June 4, 2015, for Muldowney to pay €2,400.

Full details of the case were heard before Judge William Early in the district court in June.

Inspector Kieran Keyes gave evidence that the injured party discovered the two Husky dogs in his field in the process of killing his sheep at 1pm on December 28.

One dog was wearing a collar which allowed the gardaí to subsequently identify the animals’ owner. Muldowney acknowledged that the dogs were his and said that the wind had blown down the fence where he kept them. The dogs were handed over to the dog warden and were eventually put down.

Among the costs incurred by the injured party was €121 for each slaughtered sheep, bringing a total of €1,936, and €30 per head for the removal of the 16 dead sheep, a total of €480. The injured party was also claiming damages of around €1,991 for the distress caused to the remaining flock. The total damage being claimed was in the region of €4,407.

Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said that her client had rescued the dogs in the first place and had been looking after them, but there had been stormy weather on the night and a fence blew down.

“What happened was the devastation we heard of,” said Ms Fitzpatrick.

Ms Fitzpatrick asked Judge William Early to adjourn the case, to clarify the distressed element of the claim and to check whether the injured party had insurance.