Court Charged

Kerry Farmer Jailed For Killing Neighbour Over Scare Crow Device

David Layde
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A 63-year-old farmer has been jailed for five years for killing his neighbour in April 2017 in a dispute over a device used to scare crows off his land. Michael Ferris of Rattoo, Ballyduff in Kerry stood trial for Anthony O’Mahony’s murder but was found guilty of manslaughter.

Mr Ferris never denied killing Anthony O’Mahony on a quiet country road near their neighbouring farms in what was described as a “picturesque” part of northCountyy Kerry.

His trial heard he blocked the single-lane road with his teleporter – a large farm vehicle described in court as a cross between a tractor and a forklift. When Mr. O’Mahony couldn’t pass in his car, he repeatedly honked his horn and Ferris drove at him. His trial heard the prongs of his vehicle went through the car and killed the 73-year-old instantly.

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Ferris said he “just snapped” after 30 years of provocation. He said Mr O’Mahony had a crow banger on his land that would let off a loud shotgun-like noise every few minutes. Following his trial in Tralee, he was acquitted of murder but found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Ms J Carmel Stewart described the killing as “truly gruesome and horrific” and said it defied belief and imagination before sentencing him to six years with the final year suspended.

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