Convicted and fined €1,000 for destroying vegetation during the bird nesting season

Date Released: Thursday, September 9, 2021

On Monday 19th July 2021, Mr Desmond Bagnall a farmer with an address at Killellery, Geashill, County Offaly was before Tullamore District Court charged with a breach of Section 40 of the Wildlife Acts, involving the destruction of vegetation during the bird nest season.  Mr. Bagnall pleaded guilty to the offence. The case was prosecuted by Ms Sandra Mahon, State Solicitor for Co. Offaly.

The court heard that National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) Conservation Rangers Colm Malone and Kieran Buckley followed up a complaint made by a member of the public that hedgerow vegetation was been destroyed at Killellery, Geashill, Co Offaly. Over a period of two days the extent of the destruction was documented by the NPWS and presented in evidence to the Court. A total of 109 meters was completely destroyed, piled into a corner of a field and burnt by Mr Bagnall. The vegetation that was destroyed contained old native hedgerows including mature Ash and Whitethorn trees.

In his evidence to the Court Conservation Ranger Malone stated that the vegetation was destroyed during the peak bird of the bird nesting season. He went onto say that he could not see any reason why it could not have been done from September to February of any year.  Judge Catherine Staines said she was convicting Mr. Bagnall and imposing a fine of €1000 with four months to pay.