A farmer who accused his neighbour of mistreating his sheep by not watering them in scorching weather was found to be the real culprit.
William Barr appeared before Carndonagh District Court in Co Donegal charged with two charges of cruelty to animals.
Barr had accused his neighbour Patsy Barr of not filling up his water barrels during stifling summer heat in the summer of 2018.
He contacted animal welfare inspectors in Letterkenny to make the accusations again Patsy Barr.
The court heard the two men, who are not related, had been involved in a long-running dispute.
Between June 26th and 29th, 2018, William Barr contacted the Department of Agriculture in Letterkenny claiming sheep on his neighbour’s farm at Ballymacarthur, Greencastle were not being watered.
Garda Sgt Sean McDaid told the court that it was a very hot period and on the day in question, temperatures in the area had reached 25.1 degrees celsius or 77 degrees fahrenheit.
There were 13 sheep on Patsy Barr’s land and some of the sheep were in distress.
The court was told that when the initial complaint was made against him, Patsy Barr decided to install a covert camera.
When Gardai viewed the footage they saw William Barr dumping the water out of his neighbour’s water-feeding barrels.
Sgt McDaid said the water was filled up again an hour after it was dumped out and also commented that Patsy Barr looked after his animals well.
Solicitor for the accused, aged 54, Mr Frank Dorrian, said his client was a vulnerable man who was trying to get at Mr Patsy Barr through his sheep.
However, he stressed that this was not an effort to injure the animals in any way.
This was part of an ongoing disagreement and this was a form of protest against his neighbour.
There had been no incidents between the two men since this had happened almost two years ago, the court was told.
Judge Paul Kelly said he planned to deal with the matter by way of a peace bond but would like to speak to Mr William Barr.
He adjourned the case until September.