Hourigan v Judge Neilan and Others

JurisdictionIreland
CourtHigh Court
JudgeJustice Roderick Murphy
Judgment Date30 November 2000
Neutral Citation[2000] IEHC 85
Docket NumberNo. 156JR/1999
Date30 November 2000

[2000] IEHC 85

THE HIGH COURT

No. 156JR/1999
HOURIGAN v. JUDGE NEILAN & ORS
JUDICIAL REVIEW

BETWEEN

CORNELIUS HOURIGAN
APPLICANT

AND

JUDGE JOHN NEILAN, JUDGE CARROLL MORAN, THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS, IRELAND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
RESPONDENTS

Citations:

PROTECTION OF ANIMALS ACT 1911 S1

PROTECTION OF ANIMALS ACT 1965

CONTROL OF DOGS ACT 1986 S10

CONTROL OF DOGS ACT 1986 S24

PROTECTION OF ANIMALS ACT 1911 S2

PROTECTION OF ANIMALS ACT 1911 S3

M'MONAGLE V DONEGAL JUSTICES 1905 2 IR 644

PETTY SESSIONS (IRL) ACT 1851 S24 CLAUSE 6

HEALY, STATE V DONOGHUE 1976 IR 325

PROTECTION OF ANIMALS ACT 1911 S1(1)

CONTROL OF DOGS ACT 1986 S20(1)

PROTECTION OF ANIMALS ACT 1911 S1(1)(a)

PROTECTION OF ANIMALS ACT 1911 S1(1)(2)

Synopsis:

Criminal Law

Criminal; applicant did not attend Circuit Court appeal hearing; Circuit Court heard case; applicant's solicitor was present during appeal; whether Circuit Court should have heard appeal in absence of applicant; whether listing of the Appeal to the Circuit Court was an unreasonably early date; whether Court could impose prison sentence under Section 1 of the Protection of Animals Act 1911; whether offences were minor.

Held: Application refused.

Hourigan v. Judge Neilan - High Court: Murphy J. - 30/11/2000

The applicant had been convicted of offences relating to cruelty of animals and the non-burial of carcasses of animals. The applicant was convicted in the District Court and the convictions were affirmed in the Circuit Court. Judicial review was sought in respect of the convictions on various grounds. It was claimed that the applicant did not get a fair hearing in the District Court. In addition it was contended that the Circuit Court judge did not have the jurisdiction to hear the appeal as the applicant was not present. Murphy J held that the applicant had failed to establish a clear departure from fair and constitutional procedures. Both the District Court judge and the Circuit Court judge were entitled to have recorded the verdicts in question. The relief sought by the applicant would be refused.

Justice Roderick Murphy
1

dated the 30th day of November 2000.

1. APPLICATION
2

The Applicant is a sheep farmer with an extensive holding in Dysart, Mullingar, County Westmeath. He claims Order ofCertiorariquashing Orders made by Judge Neilan at Mullingar District Court on the 25th of January 1999 and similar Orders made by Judge Moran at the Mullingar Circuit Court on the 10th of February 1999.

The grounds upon which the Applicant seeks relief's are:-
3

(i) The fundamentals of justice and fair procedures were disregarded by the Judge of the District Court;

4

(ii) The Order as issued by the District Court were misleading on their face as they recited that the Applicant was convicted on the 29th of January 1999 rather than on 25th of January

5

(iii) The date of the listing of the Appeal to the Circuit Court was an unreasonably early date;

6

(iv) The Circuit Court Judge acted on irrelevant and inadmissible evidence in the hearing of the Appeal;

7

(v) Section 1 of the Protection of the Animals Act 1911 provides that if an owner of animals is convicted of cruelty contrary to that section, such owner shall not be liable to imprisonment;

8

(vi) Both the District and the Circuit Court Judge heard in the exercise of jurisdiction in convicting the Applicant on eleven different offences of allowing carcasses to be unburied;

9

(vii) Bearing in mind the totality of fines imposed, the offences were no longer minor offences.

10

These grounds can be classified as jurisdictional, procedural and statutory grounds.

PREVIOUS PROCEEDINGS
11

The Applicant was summonsed on two counts of cruelty to animals and eleven counts of unburied carcasses of sheep on his farm.

12

The counts of cruelty related to the alleged ill-treating of ten sheep by omitting to provide such animals with adequate food and water and failing to provide adequate animal husbandry practices to such an extent as to cause such animals unnecessary suffering and to cruelly ill-treat forty sheep by omitting to shear such sheep and allowing the build-up faeces to such an extent as to cause the animals unnecessary suffering, contrary to Section 1 of the Protection of Animals Act, 1911 as amended by the Protection of Animals Act, 1965 and Section 10 of the Control of Dogs Act,1986.

13

In respect of unburied carcasses the several summonses related to the permitting of carcasses of dead sheep to remain unburied without reasonable excuse, in a place to which a dog could gain access contrary to Section 24 of the Control of Dogs Act,1986.

14

The Judge of the District Court convicted the Defendant, ordered him to be imprisoned for a period of three months and, in respect of the counts of cruelty, to pay a fine of £500.00 within thirty days, and in default of such payment to be imprisoned for a period of 5 days.

15

In respect of the unburied carcasses the Judge of the District Court convicted the Defendant and Ordered the payment of a fine of £500.00 in respect of each charge

16

On the hearing of the Appeal at Mullingar Circuit Court on the 10th of February 1999, the Circuit Judge dismissed the appeal, affirmed the conviction and Order of the District Court and further Ordered the destruction of the animals the subject matter of the convictions pursuant to Section 2 and 3 of the Protection of Animals Act, 1911.

17

On the 25th of April 1999 the Applicant was arrested. On the 28th of April 1999 Budd J. granted leave for Judicial Review and granted the Applicant bail two days later.

18

The Judicial Review was heard on the 27th of June 2000 before this Court.

2. APPLICANT'S CASE
19

The Applicant's Affidavit sworn the 6th of April 1999 refers to the Applicant being engaged in sheep farming since 1982. The Applicant's avers that on the 26th of May 1998 his farm was visited the Veterinary Inspector, Mr. Patrick McArdle, accompanied by Gardai. The Applicant says that some of his sheep died and the Veterinary Inspector was not happy with the operation of his farm. On the following day his farm was visited by a Veterinary Officer, Mr. Sean O'Laoide and by Sergeant Dennis Shields. Sergeant Shields visited again on the 29th of May 1998 accompanied by Mr. Raymond Finn, Veterinary Inspector. Summons issued on the 26th of November 1998, six months later. These were returnable for Mullingar District Court on the 11th of December 1998. The Applicant does not make any reference to what happened during that six month period.

20

The Applicant says he was unable to organise legal representation for the 11th of December 1998 as he was in prison from the 2nd to 7th of December, on foot of committal warrants for the non payment of fines. It is unclear from his Affidavit as to the reason for his committal.

21

He appeared in Court, sought an adjournment and obtained the services of a Solicitor. A further adjournment was granted due to hospitalisation and the matter came before the District Court on the 25th of January 1999.

22

The prosecution called both veterinary and Garda witnesses. Mr. McArdle, Veterinary Surgeon, gave evidence partly by showing a video tape that had been taken on the 26th of May 1998.

23

The Applicant, in his Affidavit, avers that the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
1 cases
  • Byrne v Judge James O'Donohoe
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 9 December 2016
    ...There was, therefore, not merely a striking out of the applicant's appeal. In this regard counsel relied on Hourigan v. Neilan & Ors [2000] IEHC 85. Counsel submits that while the applicant had not turned up, his counsel was in attendance on 11th November, 2014, and thus the first named re......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT