Badger cull employee convicted of assaulting farmer

27 Jun

Badger Snaring Victim (Ireland)

‘Ya thick c*** ya’: A Department of Agriculture employee with responsibility for the culling of badgers has been convicted of assaulting a farmer in a Mayo mart. Convicting Patrick Sweeney at Castlebar District Court, Judge Mary Devins said his evidence did not strike her as credible.

Read the full report below and scroll down for more information on Ireland’s cruel badger cull in which an estimated 120,000 badgers have been cruelly snared and killed to-date.


‘Ya thick c*** ya’: Farmer attacked by Department of Agriculture employee at mart
Irish Independent Farming, June 27 2017
by Anton McNulty

An employee with the Department of Agriculture was convicted of assaulting a farmer in a Mayo mart after the judge found his evidence was not credible.

Patrick Sweeney (62) of Blackfort Close, Castlebar, Co Mayo was fined €500 and ordered to pay Gerry Carney €750 in compensation for assaulting him at Balla Mart, Co Mayo on April 23, 2016.

The court heard there was a long-standing animosity between the two men for over 30 years.

Patrick Sweeney, who works full-time with the Department of Agriculture in Wildlife Services, with responsibility for the culling of badgers, denied the charge when evidence was heard in Achill District Court in May.

Gerry Carney (49) said he was at the mart and was walking past various cattle pens when Patrick Sweeney swung a gate open and hit him on his left shoulder.


He said he was stunned and said to Mr Sweeney ‘ya thick c*** ya’ but kept walking. Mr Carney said he then felt a foot between his legs and that he was tripped by Mr Sweeney and almost fell over.

After the trip, he said Mr Sweeney then came alongside him and elbowed him in the jaw.

Another witness, Willie Faherty told the court he was present on the day, and saw Mr Sweeney hit Mr Carney with the gate and then shove him.

Mr Sweeney claimed Mr Carney’s description of what occurred as a “fabricated cock and bull story”. He said he opened a gate to get a wild cow into a pen and inadvertently collided his back with Mr Carney. He said that was the only physical contact between them.

However, at last week’s sitting of Castlebar District Court, Judge Mary Devins found that Mr Sweeney’s evidence did not strike her as credible and she convicted him of the offence.

Indo Farming


Ireland’s cruel badger snaring slaughter

An estimated 120,000 badgers have been cruelly snared and killed by the Department of Agriculture since 1984. The assault on this supposedly protected species takes place under licence from the National Parks and Wildlife Service and is part of a so-called bovine TB Eradication Scheme – a failed and discredited operation that has been described as “slaughter masquerading as science”.

Bernie Barrett of Badger Watch Ireland describes how badgers suffer under the Department’s scheme: “The method of capture is a barbaric wire snare which holds the helpless badger in excruciating pain until it is dispatched by gunshot. That’s provided the animal has not agonisingly strangled itself beforehand. When nursing female badgers are snared and shot, their cubs are left to starve to death underground.”

According to the Irish Wildlife Trust, 6,000 Department of Agriculture snares are set in Ireland every night and there are fears that the species is now endangered. The IWT is opposed to the badger cull and states on its website: “Badgers can die over extended periods struggling in these hideous devices while their young starve underground. Not only is it barbaric and unethical, recent findings have shown it to be ineffective in the war on bovine TB. Nobody has ever counted badgers accurately in this country and while it has always been assumed that they are common animals, this can no longer be taken for granted.”


Sign our petition
Ireland: Stop badger snaring cruelty NOW

Please appeal to the Agriculture Minister to show compassion and suspend the cruel badger snaring scheme. Remind the Minister that the badger is a protected species in Ireland and that the Animal Health and Welfare Act, for which he is responsible, clearly states: “A person shall not do, or fail to do, anything or cause or permit anything to be done to an animal that causes unnecessary suffering to, or endanger the health or welfare of, an animal”. Tell him that research has shown that “badger culling apparently has the capacity to increase badger-to-badger transmission of infection, potentially undermining anticipated reductions in badger-to-cattle transmission.”

Minister Michael Creed
Minister for Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: +353 (0)1-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: +353 (0)1-661 1013.
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