NewsCrime Desk

Man charged in connection with death of elderly farmer

Man charged in connection with death of elderly farmer

A man will appear before a Kerry court today in connection with the death of elderly farmer Anthony O'Mahony.

The man had been questioned at Listowel garda station since Tuesday.

On the instructions of the Director of Public Prosecutions, he will appear later today before a Tralee court charged in relation to the garda investigation.

Gardai fear a simmering row over the use of 'crow bangers' triggered the killing of the 74-year-old Kerry farmer with a teleporter machine.

Anthony O'Mahony (74) died when his car was struck side-on by the teleporter, a type of heavy agricultural haulage machine, as he visited his farm outside Ballyduff in north Kerry shortly before 9am.

Mr O'Mahony's brother, Seamas, said his family were "totally heartbroken."

He stressed that there was no inkling his brother was under kind of threat or in any danger.

"We don't know - we thought at the start he was involved in an accident. That's all," he said.

"We used to have a bird banger on below there. (Some people) don't like to hear that going.

"That is the only thing. He would go down there and turn it on at 8am and then turn it off again at 8pm. It was nothing out of the ordinary.

"But no, he absolutely was not (living in fear)."

Mr O'Mahony heard the news of his brother's death as he was travelling in connection with his pre-cast concrete business.

"Margaret (his wife) rang me at 10.30am and told me there was a bad accident over in Rattoo.

"It's been very, very difficult. Anthony was very quiet but very knowledgeable. He was totally dedicated to his work. If he could do a good turn for someone, he would do it.

"There was very few people would have the know-how about grain that he did.

"He was a genius I suppose."

Seamas said he last spoke with his brother on Saturday.

Mr O'Mahony, who was single and unmarried, died at the scene at Rattoo despite desperate efforts by local GPs and paramedics to save him.

While he farmed a holding at Rattoo, he lived around 3km away on the other side of Ballyduff village.

He is understood to have suffered catastrophic injuries to his head and torso in the impact between his car and the heavy agricultural machine, which had a pronged extension used for lifting heavy loads.

Part of the large wheels of the teleporter also mounted Mr O'Mahony's vehicle.

The collision occurred just 100 metres from a local GP surgery.

A man in his 60s, who was known to Mr O'Mahony, was arrested at the scene and taken to Listowel garda station for questioning.

By 11am, Gardai had launched a murder investigation.

Gardai immediately sealed off the narrow country roadway, some 2km from Ballyduff village, to allow for an examination by Garda Technical Bureau experts.

Uniformed gardai also began door-to-door inquiries to determine if anyone had witnessed the fatal collision.

Mr O'Mahony's body remained at the scene until it could be examined by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster.

The body was then transferred to Tralee for a full post-mortem examination shortly before 7pm.

The post-mortem exam is expected to conclude today.

Supt Dan Keane appealed to anyone with information to contact Listowel garda station to assist their inquiries.

Supt Keane confirmed that both the deceased and the man in custody were known to each other.

"We would appeal to anyone who may have information or who may have witnessed what happened to contact us," he said.

"This has been a huge shock for the area."

Ralph Riegel/Shane Phelan