Farmer charged with murdering neighbour with tractor

Michael Ferris (Pic Mark Condren)
Michael Ferris (Pic Mark Condren)

A FARMER has appeared in court charged with the murder of his Kerry neighbour using a teleporter agri-machine.

Michael 'Mike' Ferris (62) appeared before Tralee District Court today. charged with the murder of Anthony O'Mahony (74) shortly before 9am last Tuesday.

Mr Ferris of Rattoo, Ballyduff, Co Kerry is charged with the murder of Mr O'Mahony at Rattoo.

Judge James O'Connor was given evidence of arrest, caution and charge by Detective Sergeant John Heaslip.

Det Sergeant Heaslip told the court that after being cautioned and charged Mr Ferris made no reply to arresting Gardai.

Judge O'Connor was told that the State was applying for a remand in custody.

The issue of bail did not arise as bail in murder cases can only be dealt with by the High Court.

Judge O'Connor remanded Mr Ferris in custody to appear again before Tralee District Court next Wednesday, April 12.

Mr Ferris, who appeared in court wearing a grey suit and blue shirt, did not speak during the brief hearing.

He was represented by solicitor Risteard Pierse from Listowel.

Mr Pierse said his client would be making a bail application before the High Court in the immediate future.

He said his client understood that he would be remanded in custody at the present time.

Mr Pierse asked Judge O'Connor to make a recommendation that his client receive "all and appropriate" medical attention while in custody.

The solicitor said this was due to concerns over Mr Ferris' "mental state".

However, he told the court he did not want to go into further details at this point.

Mr Pierse confirmed he had met with Mr Ferris GP.

Mr O'Mahony died from multiple trauma injuries after his vehicle was in collision with a heavy teleporter agri-machine.

The incident occurred directly outside his Rattoo holding.

He was pronounced dead at the scene at Rattoo before he could be rushed to Tralee hospital.

Mr O'Mahony farmed a 25 acre holding directly across the road from Mr Ferris' home.

However, Mr O'Mahony lived around 3km away on the other side of Ballyduff village in Causeway.

Both men were known to each other for years.

Mr O'Mahony, who was described locally as "a genius" in the tillage farming sector, was unmarried and had no children.