North Kerry farmer jailed for 5 years for killing neighbour

A North Kerry farmer has been jailed for five years for the manslaughter of a neighbouring landowner in 2017.

63-year-old dairy farmer Michael Ferris of Rattoo, Ballyduff was found guilty in October of the manslaughter of Anthony O’Mahony at Rattoo on April 4th last year.

His sentencing hearing took place in the Central Criminal Court in Dublin this morning, from where Radio Kerry’s Eamonn Hickson reports:

Anthony O’Mahony, a 73-year-old tillage farmer from Ardoughter, Ballyduff, died after Mr Ferris rammed his car multiple times with the prongs of a teleporter, causing him catastrophic injuries.

At the sentencing hearing this morning, Ms Justice Carmel Stewart said the circumstances of this case and manner of death was unique, and particularly gruesome.

She added the effect it’s had, and continues to have, on the victim’s family is difficult to quantify.

The issue of provocation was to the fore; Ms Justice Stewart said the court judged the strength of provocation on a number of factors, including the severity and duration of the provocation.

It was noted during the trial that accused and victim had previously fallen out over the crow banger.

Ms Justice Stewart imposed a headline sentence of 12 years, however, after taking Mr Ferris’ co-operation, certain admissions made on the morning of the incident, character references made during the trial, along with no previous convictions, she reduced the sentence.

She reduced the sentence by one third, followed by an additional two years, and suspended the final 12 months.

She also backdated Mr Ferris’ sentence to April 2017, when he went into custody.

Signs of exasperation were heard from the victim’s family when Ms Justice Stewart gave the final sentence of six years, with the final 12 months suspended.

Mr Ferris remained motionless as the sentence was handed down, while a member of Mr O’Mahony’s family left the courtroom in tears.

Afterwards, the family of Anthony O’Mahony spoke outside the court about the sentence handed down.

Ann O’Carroll, niece of the victim, spoke to the media.