North Kerry farmer tells trial he just snapped on morning of alleged murder

A north Kerry farmer told Gardai he just snapped on the morning of an alleged murder.

63-year-old Michael Ferris of Rattoo, Ballyduff has pleaded not guilty to the murder of John Anthony O’Mahony of Ardoughter, Ballyduff on April 4th 2017.

It is alleged Mr Ferris, a dairy farmer, intentionally rammed the 73-year-old tillage farmer’s car multiple times with the prongs of a teleporter causing him catastrophic injuries.


Detective Garda Paul Walsh told the court Michael Ferris told him during an interview at Listowel Garda Station “it was all over a crow banger really”; the device was in operation for around a week.

When asked what made the morning of the incident different, Mr Ferris said, “I just snapped, I suppose.”

Mr Ferris said this banging business was going on for the last 30 years; Mr O’Mahony was paying no heed to anyone when they asked him to turn it off.

When asked what were his thoughts, Mr Ferris said, “Just to get him, drop the fork down on top of him.”

When asked did he strike Mr O’Mahony with the teleporter, he replied, “Yeah.”

And when asked what his intention was Mr Ferris said,” I suppose to do away with him.”

When asked if he intended to kill him, Mr Ferris said, “Yeah.”

Garda PSV officer and Forensic Collision Investigator Garda James O’Brien told the court, in his opinion, prior to the incident, the yellow New Holland teleporter had been parked across the road for 40 to 60 minutes with the engine running.

He said the teleporter left that position under sudden acceleration and travelled 15 to 18 metres before the forks came into contact with the front of Mr O’Mahony’s Peugeot car.

The teleporter, Garda O’Brien said, lifted the car clear of the ground before dropping it and picking it up again a number of times due to the amount of piercing marks on the car and broken glass on the ground.

He said he formed the opinion that the movement and actions of the teleporter were as a direct result of a purposeful act or actions by the driver.

The trial before Ms Justice Carmel Stewart and a jury of seven men and five women continues.