Rabbits in headlights lead to trespassing

CATCHING rabbits to use in greyhound training last week landed a Portlaoise man in court.

CATCHING rabbits to use in greyhound training last week landed a Portlaoise man in court.

Barry McStay, Pallas Little, Portlaoise, was charged with entering land to hunt animals without permission, at Moneyquid, Killeigh, on October 30 last year.

Inspector Martin Harrington gave evidence that a white van was parked at the edge of an equestrian centre on that date, and when gardaí investigated they found McStay with a couple of dogs and several dead rabbits.

Defence, Mr Philip Meagher informed Judge Catherine Staines that the rabbits were actually alive and were to be used in the training of greyhounds. Mr Meagher explained that his client and another individual were out on the day with “lurchers”, dogs who were trained to catch rabbits alive and return them to the handler. Mr Meagher said that McStay had permission to be on a nearby farm and when he was returning from the area the lights of the van caught a number of rabbits, which McStay then went after.

McStay was fined €200.