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Men charged with hare coursing near Kilmaine

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FIVE men appeared before Castlebar District Court where they were charged with a number of offences in relation to hare coursing near Kilmaine.
The five defendants – Eric Ward of 46 Clareville, Claremorris; Martin Ward of 45 Gilmartin Road, Tuam; Patrick Sweeney of 35 Woodfield, Tuam; Eoin Ward of 143 Woodfield, Tuam; and James Reilly, 94 Cois na hAbhainn, Tuam – all appeared before last week’s sitting of Castlebar District Court.
They are all charged with hunting an Irish Mountain Hare (which is a protected wild animal), hunting with dogs and possession of an Irish Mountain Hare.
Mr Reilly faces three additional charges for giving false information, trying to conceal three dead Irish Mountain Hares from authorised persons and using a mechanically propelled vehicle in the commission of an offence under the Wildlife Act.
The prosecutions are being brought against the five defendants by the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht who alleges the offences took place on land in the townland of Kilquire Lower, near Kilmaine, on January 18, 2018.
Ms Cathy McDarby, solicitor for all of the defendants said she would be making a preliminary application where she will seek to dismiss the charges against her clients and sought an adjournment.
Judge Fiona Lydon agreed and adjourned the matter until June 18 to hear the preliminary application.