Man is fined for selling wild goldfinches in Kilkenny

Selling wild goldfinches has resulted in a conviction and fine for one man.

The birds were spotted caged and for sale by a wildlife warden and resulted in the man being charged with having live perching birds in his possession and having them for sale.

Robert Power, 8 Lismore Avenue, Dungarvan, pleaded guilty to the two charges.

Solicitor Gerald Meaney, for the state, told the court that on November 12, 2017, a wildlife ranger observed 13 goldfinches for sale at St Canice's School car park, Granges Road. There were six in one cage and seven in another. None of the birds had rings on their legs which indicated they were taken from the wild in contravention of the law.

Mr Power told the wildlife ranger that he had bred the birds himself and had run out of rings.

The ranger told Mr Power he was going to seize the birds. Some members of the public became aggressive and the ranger called the gardaí for assistance. When the gardaí arrived the birds were gone. Mr Power said they were taken when he turned his back.

When asked by the gardaí if he wanted to report a theft he did not.

Chris Hogan, solicitor for Mr Power, said his client bred the birds in captivity but ran out of rings. He had other birds for sale at the show but the goldfinches were put in by mistake.

Mr Power, the solicitor said, suffers from anxiety and depression and finds breeding birds therapeutic. He is not in the business to make any money.

Judge Colin Daly convicted Mr Power. He said this offence was at the low to mid point of the scale of seriousness. He took into account the early plea and that the defendant had no previous convictions however, he said, Mr Power could not be described to have cooperated fulsomely with the gardaí or the wildlife ranger on the day in question.

Mr Power was convicted of having 13 goldfinches for sale and fined €300. The charge of being in possession of the birds was taken into consideration.

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