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Three Dublin men to be tried for badger hunting

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
They each face prosecution on three charges under the Wildlife Act
They each face prosecution on three charges under the Wildlife Act

Three Dublin men are facing trial over an alleged unlawful badger hunt using an electronic device and tracking dogs.

Gavin O'Dowd of Lambay Drive, Ballybrack, along with Dean and Gavin Fitzpatrick both of Coolevin, Ballybrack appeared at Dublin District Court today.

They each face prosecution on three charges under the Wildlife Act but have not yet indicated how they intend to plea.

Judge John O'Neill made a discovery order and agreed to a defence request to adjourn the case to allow time for the prosecution to provide disclosure of evidence to the defence.

The three men are being prosecuted by the office the Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in connection with an alleged unlawful badger hunt in the Cabinteely area in Co. Dublin on October 22nd last.

The first two charges state it is alleged they hunted a badger which is a protected wild animal and this was not in accordance with any licence of permission given and that they “wilfully interfered with” a badger's breeding or resting place during the incident.

In the third count it is claimed they were not entitled to be at the named location and were not the owners of occupiers of the place and that they had spades and shovels as well as an electronic device “emitting sounds for tracking dogs hunting underground capable of being used for hunting wild animals”.

The defendants spoke briefly to confirm their identities and were granted free legal aid after statements of their means were handed in to court by their barrister.

They will be expected to enter pleas at their next hearing in four weeks, the court heard and the judge was assured by the prosecution that the discovery order would be complied with very soon.