Minister Madigan Welcomes Conviction for Laois Finch Trappers

Minister Madigan today welcomed the 20th of July Portlaoise District Court conviction of two men on charges relating to the trapping and possession of protected wild goldfinches.

In welcoming the conviction Minister Madigan said “The outcome of the case should act as a deterrent to individuals engaged in these abhorrent illegal activities. It shows that the National Parks & Wildlife Service will actively enforce wildlife legislation to aid the conservation of our wild species.”

On Friday the 20th of July two men appeared before Portlaoise District Court to face a number of charges relating to the trapping and possession of protected wild goldfinches. Appearing before the court, one was accused of trapping wild goldfinches, possession of wild goldfinches and the possession of rat glue, which is a banned substance. The co-accused was also in court facing the same charges and an additional charge, of aiding and abating these activities.

The court heard that the accused had in their possession 22 wild trapped goldfinches, 2 tubes of rat glue and other devices capable of being used to trap protected wild birds. Outlining the details of the case to Judge Catherine Staines, Kieran Buckley of the National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) told the Court that premises were searched under warrant with 3 other NPWS officers, who were assisted by Gardaí from Portlaoise. The Court heard that all of the goldfinches were in a stressed state and being kept in very poor conditions. Also presented in evidence was a square board with the remains of a dead goldfinch glued to its surface. The court heard the board was baited with bird seed to lure the goldfinches, while the rat glue is used to stick the goldfinches onto the board. In summing up Mr Buckley stated that the dead goldfinch found on the board may have smothered in an attempt to free itself. The judge convicted the first accused on all 3 charges, banned him for life from keeping birds and sentenced him to 3 months imprisonment, suspended for 1 year. The co-accused was also convicted on all charges and fined €100.

Minister Madigan echoed the sentiment of Judge Catherine Staines who described the offences as senseless acts of cruelty on defenceless wild birds that are protected by the law and thanked the tireless work of her NPWS staff and the Gardaí in bringing these criminals to justice.

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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