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Monday, Feb 1, 2010
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Defendant/Suspect: James Curley
A CO Sligo farmer is due be sentenced on Thursday after admitting cruelty to animals which a judge heard were so hungry that they were eating fence posts in a field. Pending his sentencing the judge remanded him in custody.
James "JP" Curley of Cooga, Culleens, Easkey, Co Sligo, pleaded guilty at Sligo District Court yesterday to three counts of cruelly ill-treating two donkeys and a horse in February 2010.
He also admitted one count of allowing a carcass to remain unburied on his land.
Curley claimed that animals were being fed hay and meal by his teenage son but Judge Kevin Kilrane told the accused that he was blatantly lying.
The judge said that the animals were "utterly and absolutely starving".
Remanding the accused in custody, the judge said that he felt that Curley was showing no remorse but would come to his senses when he had time in custody to reflect.
Sligo County Council veterinary officer Conal Colleary told the court that, when he visited the farm, he found the carcass of a donkey at the gate and he discovered other animals that were emaciated.
A six-month-old donkey was in such poor condition that it had to be put down.
He saw a brown gelding whose bones were sticking out, while another female donkey was emaciated and had a bad fungal condition.
The feet of all the animals were in bad condition.
The court heard that the grass in the field had been eaten back to nothing.
It also heard that there was no sign of any supplementary food and no water for the animals to drink.
Judge Kilrane did not accept the defendant's suggestion that the animals were getting hay or meal.
He said all they were getting was frost, snow and bark.
The court heard that the bark of the hedges had been eaten and the animals had also chewed back the fence posts because they were so hungry.
Judge Kilrane said it seemed that nobody had been visiting the land.
He expressed concern about the fact that Curley had other livestock and horses.
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