Animal appeared distressed, garda said

A FATHER OF SEVEN who was beating the horse he was driving with a stick was convicted of engaging in threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour at Kilkenny court.

A FATHER OF SEVEN who was beating the horse he was driving with a stick was convicted of engaging in threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour at Kilkenny court.

James Carty, Wetlands Halting Site was convicted of the offence at Sheafield North, Gowran on January 16. A charge of driving an animal drawn vehicle while drunk was dismissed because of a legal technicality.

Garda Damien Rafter told the court that at 8.10pm on January 16, 2010 he was on patrol when a passing motorist stooped him. “He said that there was a man driving a horse and cart on the road from Gowran to Kilkenny dangerously. At Talbots Inch in Gowran I encountered a man driving a horse and cart. I nearly drove into it, it wa sp poorly lit up and it was a very bad night. I came around the bend and had to jam on the brakes. He had a stick and he was beating the horse who appeared to be frantic. There were oncoming cars coming against the horse and cart. I had to slow down and as the horse and car were veering to the other side. I put on the blue lights and pulled up alongside him and told the driver to pull in. Not only did the driver not stop but he also attempted to strike the garda with the stick and hit the roof of the car. I went ahead to stop the traffic as potentially there could have been a very serious accident. I waited for the horse drawn car to come around the bend. He came around and he was walking with the horse and cart. I stopped him and spoke to him and he appeared to be very drunk and unsteady on his feet. I arrested him and handcuffed him and placed him in the patrol car. I took the horse and walked with it for a mile to find somewhere safe to tie it up. The horse was sweating and it was a cold January night. The animal appeared to have been very distressed from the way he had been treated,” he said.

Solicitor Michael Lanigan said that his client admitted that there was ‘no lighting in the carriage’. “He accepts that he was in a drunken state and that he made a bad decision to head back into Kilkenny when darkness had fallen. He would have been better off putting the pony and trap in a field and getting a taxi into Kilkenny,” he said. Judge David Anderson dismissed the charge of driving an animal drawn vehicle while drunk and convicted him of engaging in threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour and fined him €500.