An Garda Síochána and the National Parks and Wildlife Service secure a conviction for Deer poaching in Wicklow Mountains National Park
A wildlife offence prosecution was secured at Wicklow District Court on Tuesday 16th July 2019.
An individual was convicted under the Wildlife Acts or hunting deer on land in the Wicklow Mountains National Park without permission after a lengthy vigorously contested case before Judge David Kennedy.
Garda Darragh McEvoy stopped the defendant in his vehicle in Laragh Co Wicklow on 10th November 2017 and found him in possession of a recently shot and gralloched large male Red/Sika Hybrid deer. A detailed joint agency investigation ensued with the support of Mr. Wesley Atkinson, Wildlife Inspector with the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. They, with the assistance of the public, were able to identify the location of the suspected kill near the Sally Gap on the Military Road. Elements of the deer, which were carefully concealed, were uncovered and samples extracted proved through DNA analysis tendered to the court to emanate from the seized animal.
In the court case in which the witnesses were examined for over three hours, both Garda McEvoy E and Mr. Atkinson articulated the detail of the seizure and subsequent analysis which pieced together the investigation.
Upon conviction, the defendant received a €300 fine and was disqualified from holding a firearm licence for five years.
This is a prime example of the joint operations between An Garda Síochána & the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department and the collaborative investigation techniques to support a prosecution against poaching which is a lucrative illegal industry. Such joint agency operations will continue in cohort to tackle this criminal activity.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service and An Garda Síochána would like to remind hunters that all deer species found in Ireland are protected under the Wildlife Acts. They are prepared to fully investigate cases in conjunction with other authorities where it is suspected laws may have been broken and any protected animals are killed illegally.