Dog at repossessed house was in distress before being euthanised, eviction trial told

David Lawlor, Martin O'Toole, Paul Beirne and Patrick Sweeney are accused of involvement in an alleged violent incident in Falsk, Strokestown, Co Roscommon in December 2018
Dog at repossessed house was in distress before being euthanised, eviction trial told

Declan Brennan

A vet has told the Roscommon eviction trial that an injured dog at the scene of an attack was in distress before he gave it a lethal injection.

The property at Falsk, outside Strokestown, was repossessed on December 11th, 2018 and security men were left to guard the farm house and lands. It is the State's case that five days later, at around 5am on December 16th, 2018, a group of approximately 30 armed men, some wearing balaclavas, arrived at the rural property and attacked four of the security guards present.

Patrick Sweeney (44) of High Cairn, Ramelton, Co Donegal, Martin O'Toole (58) of Stripe, Irishtown, Claremorris, Co Mayo, Paul Beirne (56) of Croghan, Boyle, Co Roscommon and David Lawlor (43) of Bailis Downs, Navan, Co. Meath have pleaded not guilty to 17 charges each at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Each man is separately charged with false imprisonment of and assault causing harm to four security personnel at Falsk on December 16th, 2018. Each man is also charged with aggravated burglary, as well as four charges of arson in relation to a car and three vans which were allegedly set alight.

The four men are also each charged with criminal damage to a door of a house, violent disorder, robbery of a wristwatch from security guard John Graham and, finally, causing unnecessary suffering to an animal by causing or permitting an animal to be struck on the head.

John Gilmore, a veterinarian, told Ann Rowland SC, prosecuting, that he was contacted on the morning of December 16th, 2018 and asked to attend to euthanise a dog.

He said during a brief examination he observed the dog had open wounds to the top of his head where the skin had been stripped back. He made the assumption that the dog had suffered some kind of trauma.

He said that the dog was in distress and there wasn't the facilities at that location to treat him. He said he administered a lethal injection and the dog passed away very quickly after that.

He told the court that he earlier being requested by a garda to euthanise the dog.

The trial continues before Judge Martina Baxter and a jury.

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