TWO brothers involved in cattle trading, who allegedly obstructed Department officials, and pleaded guilty to breaches of the regulations by the illicit movement of livestock in counties Monaghan, Louth, Meath, and Dublin, two years ago, were fined a total of €6,800, and ordered to pay €8,000 in costs and expenses, when convicted at a sitting of the District Court in Monaghan on Monday of last week.
Both were remanded from an earlier sitting at Carrickmacross in November to Monaghan District Court.
Niall Rice, 35, with addresses at Broomfield, Castleblayney, and Faughill Road, Jonesboro, pleaded guilty to a series of charges of obstructing Louis Reardon, a veterinary officer attached to the Department’s Special Investigations’ Branch; providing false information to the official; and the movement of livestock on various dates between March 14, and August 12, 2009, contrary to the Diseases of Animals Act.
He was fined a total of €6,000 and also given a suspended sentence of 12 months imprisonment for a breach of the regulations. He was further ordered to pay €500 in compensation to the Department official who was obstructed.
In suspending the jail term, Judge Sean MacBride warned Mr. Rice that if he was involved in any fresh offence, within a two-year period, he would be certain to face a prison term.
Brian Rice,31, Bree, Castleblayney, was fined €800 for obstructing the Department official, and he was also directed to make a payment of €750 in compensation to the official. All the charges related to the illicit movement of cattle in respect of locations at Heynestown, Co. Dublin; Stamullen, Co. Meath; Riverstown, Co. Louth; and Broomfield, Co. Monaghan, between March 14th and August 12th 2009.
He said their actions threatened the national effort to eradicate brucellosis from the Irish cattle herd.