Suspended sentence for sheep farmer who assaulted neighbour after row 

Suspended sentence for sheep farmer who assaulted neighbour after row 

The case came before Cork Circuit Criminal Court where sheep farmer John Murphy of Cahirbarnagh, Rathmore, Co Kerry, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault causing harm to Peter Cronin, 54. Picture: iStock

A sheep farmer and his son assaulted a neighbour near Rathmore, Co Kerry, following a row over the injured party’s dog worrying sheep on commonage.

Garda Anthony Flynn gave evidence of the neighbour being struck and falling from his quad bike and then being struck with a stick and kicked.

The case came before Cork Circuit Criminal Court where sheep farmer John Murphy of Cahirbarnagh, Rathmore, Co Kerry, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault causing harm to Peter Cronin, 54.

John Murphy’s 30-year-old son, Michael Murphy, of the same address, played a lesser part in the incident.

He pleaded guilty to the charge of simple assault on Mr Cronin.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed a six-month suspended prison sentence on John Murphy, suspended on condition that he would keep the peace for the next two years.

Michael Murphy was given the benefit of a dismissal, under the Probation of Offenders Act, on the simple assault on the basis that he had no previous convictions.

Garda Anthony Flynn said the parties were using commonage for grazing and a verbal disagreement occurred in respect of a dog belonging to Mr Cronin chasing sheep belonging to the Murphys.

“Mr Cronin was struck in the face by Michael Murphy and he fell from his quad bike,” said Gda Flynn.

The garda said John Murphy then struck Mr Cronin, “possibly with a stick”, and with some kicks.

The incident occurred close to the Cork/Kerry border, on the Cork side of Rathmore.

Prosecution barrister Brendan Kelly said it started as a result of a dog worrying sheep, but that there had been no further issues.

Defence barrister Ray Boland said Michael Murphy was just there helping his father on the day.

He gathered €2,000 compensation for Mr Cronin. John Murphy gathered €2,500 for the injured party.

Donal O’Sullivan, barrister, said that John Murphy and Mr Cronin had been friendly over the years, but that this disagreement occurred.

He said John Murphy and Mr Cronin were making sure to stay away from each other now to avoid any difficulty.

Imposing the six-month suspended sentence on John Murphy, Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said that between the kicks and the use of a stick, John Murphy “lost the run of himself” on the day.

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