May 22, 2022

Civil servant convicted of animal neglect ‘no longer works’ for Agriculture Department

An agriculture official, who appealed some of his convictions by the minister after being found guilty of “the greatest form of cruelty” to animals on his own farm – no longer works for the Department.

The department’s spokesman confirmed the development to The Sunday World this week but was unable to say whether Bernard Brian Kilgariff (64) had retired or had his job terminated following his convictions.

In June, The Sunday World confronted Kilgariff, who carried out animal welfare investigations for the Department, after he was found guilty by Sligo District Court of animal neglect and welfare violations animals.

He was additionally convicted of two counts relating to violations of the Carcass Disposal Regulations 2015.

The court heard how inspectors who visited his farm in Bricklieve, Sligo, found:

*Animal carcasses left unburied for up to four weeks;

*A cow with a broken leg that had to be slaughtered;

*A black bull and two Charolais cows that were so emaciated and weak that they also had to be euthanized;

* And land littered with trash including oil cans, batteries and bags of ashes that would have been poisonous to animals if eaten.

Images and video obtained by the Sunday World also showed how the hooves of two donkeys – rescued from hellish conditions at Kilgariff Farm – were so overgrown they could barely walk.

Sentencing judge Kevin Kilraine sharply criticized the Department of Agriculture in imposing a four-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, for each of the animal carcass and welfare charges. to be animal.

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One of two donkeys found with hooves in appalling condition

One of two donkeys found with hooves in appalling condition

Mr Kilgariff was also found guilty of two other counts and fined €1,000 in relation to these matters.

“The only thing that surprises me is that this man is still a senior agriculture officer in the department, and secondly, during this period he was still on full pay,” he said. .

“A gentleman overseeing the very cases to which he pleaded guilty.”

The judge called the department’s lawsuit too lenient and said it should have been more “robust.”

When confronted by the Sunday World and asked if he had anything to say about the conditions on his land, Kilgariff, 64, declined to comment.

“No, I have nothing to tell you,” he said.

“Everything is understated, you know.”

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One of two donkeys found with hooves in appalling condition.


One of two donkeys found with hooves in appalling condition.

One of two donkeys found with hooves in appalling condition.

The animal carcass conviction was later appealed by the Minister of Agriculture who claimed that the District Court erred in law and exceeded its jurisdiction by imposing a concurrent sentence of four months suspended prison sentence for offenses involving the disposal of animal carcasses.

The High Court has been told that the maximum penalty that can be imposed for offenses relating to the disposal of animal carcasses is a fine.

As a result, the lawyer said, the minister initiated proceedings to have the suspended sentences and convictions for the two offenses against the 2015 regulations overturned.

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