Ballybofey farmer in court on raft of animal cruelty and welfare charges

September 27, 2023

A Ballybofey man has appeared in court on a raft of animal cruelty and welfare charges.

Farmer Neil Doherty, of Sessaighoneill, appeared before Letterkenny District Court.

The 64-year-old faces 36 charges of animal cruelty and a further 13 charges of animal welfare.

Among the charges are that on January 7th, 2022 at Mullandrait, Stranorlar, being a person who had protected animals in his possession, failed to have regard top the animal’s nature, type, species, breed, development, adaptation, domestication, psychological and behavioural needs and environment, and in accordance with established experience and scientific knowledge, failed to take all the necessary steps to ensure that the animals (mainly sheep) was kept and treated in a manner that safeguards the health and welfare of the animal.

On the same date at Sessiaghoneill, Ballybofey he is charged that he did fail to remove animal carcasses or part of the carcase of an animal from lands under his control to which a dog may have access.

Garda Sergeant Jim Collins told the court that the Director of Public Prosecutions had directed prosecution by indictment to Letterkenny Circuit Court.

He said the court was now seeking a date to present a book of evidence in the case.

Sgt Collins said that Gardai had no objection to bail in the case.

However, among the conditions he asked for is that the accused comply with al animal welfare and health notices served on him.

Doherty’s solicitor, Mr Rory O’Brien, said this was somewhat of a strange condition saying that his client enjoyed the presumption of innocence.

Judge Eiteain Cunningham said the accused did enjoy the presumption of innocence but noted that these notices had to be complied with.

The case was adjourned to November 27th to allow for the preparation of a book of evidence.