Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture, Matt Carthy TD, has called on Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue to clarify why he has brought a High Court challenge seeking to set aside a suspended sentence imposed on a senior department official for animal neglect and welfare issues.
The Minister is appealing a 4-month suspended sentence imposed by the court arguing that the maximum penalty available was a fine. The court had also imposed fines totalling €2,000.
Teachta Carthy said:
“It appears bizarre that any employer would take legal action on behalf of a staff member convicted of grievous activities. More so given in this instance that it involves a Minister acting on behalf of the Irish people.
“Reports that the Minister for Agriculture has taken a legal appeal on a case that resulted in a conviction of a senior official for breeches of animal welfare rules on his own land have caused great concern and unease among the public.
“I am conscious that this is subject to legal proceedings. However, the public concern is such that it is imperative that Minister McConalogue provide clarity as to why he was brought this action and on what basis he did so.”