A well-known Letterkenny cut-price shop has been fined for selling illegal bird traps.

Smart Value, which has stores in Galway, Cork, Sligo, Donegal and Longford, was accused of selling the traps at its store on Pearse Road.

Letterkenny District Court heard how wildlife officer Andrew Speer spotted the ‘glue traps’ at the store on April 29th, 2010.

He spotted a total of 39 of the traps which capture birds and also rodents when they land on them.

The court was told Mr Speer did not have his official identification on him when he spotted the items in the shop.

However he asked store staff to put the traps away to one side and he came back the following day to serve the shop with a summonse.

Solicitor for the chainstore, Mr Kieron Dillon, said staff at the store thought the traps were to be used for catching vermin such as mice and rats.

“They honestly didn’t know what they were for really. They were bought as an overall jobs lot and they were just included and put out on the shelves,” he said.

He said staff at the store so-operated completely and could have simply thrown away the items when first approached by the wildlife officer.

Judge Paul Kelly found the store, which has head offices at Moneenbraddagh Industrial Estate in Castelbar, Co Mayo, guilty under Section 34(6) of the Wildlife Act of 1976.

He ordered the store to pay €250 to the Donegal branch of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

AT HEARING

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