15 July 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

The shooting dead of five cattle from a farm in South Monaghan last week was carried out by members of the Defence Forces for “public safety reasons”, Dáil Éireann has been told.

Minister of State at the Dept of Justice and Equality David Stanton said that what he termed “some particularly offensive suggestions” made about the role of the Defence Forces in the incident, which occurred on July 5 last, had no basis in reality.

The incident provoked outrage from animal rights groups and has elicited critical comment from politicians at both national and local level.

It occurred when attempts were being made to move cattle off the farm of John Hoey at Annacroft outside Carrickmacross at the request of the official assignee in charge of bankruptcies, Chris Lehane.

Mr Lehane told the media following the incident that he had very reluctantly approved the cull of the Red Limousin heifers following consultation and approval from the Dept of Agriculture. He said that the action was taken in the interests of the cattle, public safety and to prevent the spread of tuberculosis locally.

Mr Hoey, who was declared bankrupt in February, told the media that he was working on his farm on the morning of the incident while his partner and six-month-old son were in the house.

He became aware of what was happening when he heard shots being fired. He investigated and saw a number of armed men shooting at the cattle. He saw one animal shot after it ran through the meadow and out onto the road.

Mr Hoey said he would have received €5,000 for the animals if they had been sold, adding that he would have taken the animals in himself if he had been asked as they would have followed him.

He added that the…

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