A FARMER told Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin, at a Circuit Court sitting in Macroom, that he was in fear for his life during a confrontation with his neighbour concerning a blocked entrance.
Martin Kelleher told the court that Cornelius Buckley had grabbed him by the throat and arm, that Buckley had struck his youngest son, Denis, and had pushed his eldest son Daniel following an argument about a jeep that was parked in front of a double gate leading to a field owned by the Kellehers.
Cornelius Buckley, of Glounaglough, Rylane was convicted of three charges of assault and one of threatening behaviour against his neighbour Martin Kelleher and members of the Kelleher family on Saturday June 24th 2017 at a District Court sitting in Macroom in December 2018.
Mr Buckley was fined €2,500 for the assaults on Martin, Denis and Daniel Kelleher and €1,000 for threatening behaviour at the District Court and appealed these convictions before Judge Ó Donnabháin.
Mr Buckley denied grabbing Martin Kelleher by the throat or striking his son Denis, or having any physical contact with any of the Kelleher family, including Daniel.
He said that he did raise his voice and agreed that he was shouting. He also told the court that he had parked his jeep at the gateway because he was having concrete spread in his yard.
‘He was always parking his jeep in front of the gate,’ Martin Kelleher said. ‘We were going to dose some cattle and when I saw the jeep in front of the gate again, I got out to get him to move it.
‘I got back into my car and it was then that Cornelius Buckley opened the driver’s door, grabbed me by the throat and arm and hit my son Denis who was in the car with me,’ Martin Kelleher told the court.
Both Daniel and Denis Kelleher, who also gave evidence, confirmed the account given by their father.
Judge Ó Donnabháin remarked that there seemed to be a lot of aggression coming from Cornelius Buckley, especially when he opened the door of Kelleher’s car to confront him.
Mr Buckley said that Martin Kelleher was blocking his gateway to his yard and was ignoring him so he opened the door ‘in a friendly way’.
The court was told that Cornelius Buckley had since sold his farm to get away from the issues with the Kelleher family which were going back over 20 years.
Judge Ó Donnabháin said that he would adjourn the case for one year.
‘These are grown men and I will give them time to reflect. I do think that the District Court handed down too many charges,’ Judge Ó Donnabháin said.
‘I will adjourn the case for one year to see how they get on and I may consider a certain course of action.’