SCENES of rotting carcasses and dead calves covered in slurry were discovered across a Skibbereen farm which resulted in a man being prosecuted for animal neglect and failing to properly dispose of dead animals.
Colm Geaney (47) of Curravally, Golf Links Road, Skibbereen pleaded guilty to six charges and was remanded in custody ahead of sentencing later this month.
Department of Agriculture official Liam Evans told Judge James McNulty that he first inspected Mr Geaney’s farm on March 21st last year and saw a dead cow in a shed that was infected with maggots and its carcass had been eaten by vermin. He also saw a dead cow in a field being eaten by vermin, another dead cow covered in slurry that had died days previously, as well as another dead cow in a shed.
On his second inspection of the farm on April 5th 2019, Mr Evans found three dead calves in a shed that had died three to seven days previously. He found another dead calf in the farmyard and adult cattle standing in slurry.
On his third inspection on April 9th he found a dead calf in a shed, having died a few previously and he also found a dead calf in another part of the farm that was covered in slurry. Mr Evans said that he visited the farm again on March 24th last and that six animals in one area had no water. He also saw a dead calf in a shed and a dead cow in a field. He said Mr Geaney had 57 cattle but that the skeletal remains of eight bovines are still on the farm. He added that the slurry tank is full, there is no hay or silage for the coming winter and that animals were wandering onto the public road.
‘There has been no improvement on the farm, it’s abandoned as far as I’m concerned,’ said Mr Evans, who added that no charges had been brought in relation to these latest matters.
Solicitor Flor Murphy said his client ‘was a very good farmer’ but something went very wrong, including the death of his mother, and he started to neglect his animals.
The court heard he now works as a lorry driver and that his elderly father lives with him on the farm.
Judge James McNulty convicted him of all charges and remanded him in custody.
He requested a preliminary probation report ahead of sentencing and then adjourned the case to September 17th.