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Suspended sentence for man who let two rats loose in office

December 7th, 2021 3:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

The illegal works resulted in the deterioration of water quality

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A FORMER council worker who released two live rats into Kinsale council offices had his six month conviction suspended at the appeals court in Bandon this week.

John O’Neill, 61, of Glanduff, Kilbrittain, was convicted and sentenced to six months in jail after he confessed to capturing two large rats, and releasing them in an office used as a canteen by council staff in Kinsale on February 2nd this year.

Judge James McCourt heard that Mr O’Neill made a ‘full and frank’ admission when he was arrested following the examination of CCTV by Gardai.

Solicitor for John O’Neill, Diarmuid O’Shea said his client had a grievance with a manager which had led to the incident but he was now ‘extremely remorseful.’

The court also heard that Mr O’Neill had retired early from his job following the incident and had paid €3,000 toward the costs of having the council offices deep cleaned.

The court heard that surfaces at the offices were ‘destroyed with excrement’ when employees arrived to the premises at Rathbeg, Kinsale following the release of the rats.

Judge James McCourt described what Mr O’Neill had done as ‘abominable and appalling.’

However, Judge McCourt said that he must take into account that he had no previous convictions, that he had confessed and co-operated with Gardai, and had paid €3,000 in compensation.

Taking these factors into account, he suspended the six month sentence handed down at the District Court for a period of 12 months.

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