NPWS secure a successful prosecution for illegal possession of three hares in Co. Mayo
The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht’s National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) brought a Wildlife Act case before Judge Gearty in Castlebar District Court on 17 September 2019.
The case was prosecuted for the Minister by Brendan McDonagh, BL and the State Solicitor for County Mayo, Vincent Deane. Five individuals were summonsed for possession of three Irish Hares (Lepus timidus hibernicus), exempted wild animals, contrary to Section 45 of the Wildlife Acts.
The five accused entered a plea to the single charge of possession of an exempted wild animal on 18 January 2018 in the townland of Kilquire Lower, Co. Mayo.
The Court heard evidence of the offence from Conservation Ranger John Higgins. The five accused were found in possession of the three dead Irish Hares, on 18 January 2018, in a vehicle stopped by An Garda Síochána who were assisting Conservation Ranger Higgins. On completion of Mr. Higgins’s evidence, the Court heard pleas in mitigation on behalf of all five accused. Judge Gearty, having considered what was offered in mitigation by each of the five accused and in light of their early guilty plea, ordered that each of the five would pay the sum of €200 to the Irish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to be paid within 2 months with consideration then being given to applying the Probation Act.