BAL­LY­DUFF MUR­DER TRIAL UN­DER­WAY

FARMER ON TRIAL FOR THE MUR­DER OF NEIGH­BOUR­ING FARM OWNER

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - NEWS - By SI­MON BROUDER

THE trial of a north Kerry farmer who is ac­cused of mur­der­ing an­other farmer that owned lands neigh­bour­ing his own has com­menced at Tralee Court­house.

On Tues­day morn­ing be­fore the Cen­tral Crim­i­nal Court sit­ting in Tralee, Michael ‘Mike’ Fer­ris of Rat­too, Bal­ly­duff, pleaded not guilty to the mur­der of John An­thony O’Ma­hony from Ar­doughter, Bal­ly­duff at Rat­too, Bal­ly­duff at around 8am on the morn­ing of April 4, 2017.

The trial be­fore Ms Jus­tice Carmel Ste­wart is ex­pected to last for at least two weeks.

On Tues­day morn­ing a jury of seven men and five women was sworn in and the pros­e­cu­tion was due to for­mally open its case this morn­ing (Wed­nes­day) at 11am.

Be­fore the jury was se­lected, Pros­e­cu­tion Bar­ris­ter Mr Tom Rice out­lined the ba­sic de­tails of the case and those in­volved to the jury panel.

Mr Rice said it will be the pros­e­cu­tion case that 63-yearold diary farmer Mr Fer­ris mur­dered 74-year-old bach­e­lor John An­thony O’Ma­hony on the pub­lic road lead­ing to Rat­too Tower out­side Bal­ly­duff.

Mr Rice said that Mr O’Ma­hony and his brother owned a 100 acre plot of land ad­ja­cent to Mr Fer­ris’ farm and that Mr O’Ma­hony had farmed ap­prox­i­mately 40 acres of this land.

Mr O’Ma­hony and his brother – who lived a dis­tance away from the farm, on the other side of Bal­ly­duff vil­lage – had bought the land in the late 1980s.

The jury panel was told that the trial will hear from a num­ber of wit­nesses, in­clud­ing rel­a­tives of both the ac­cused and the de­ceased; neigh­bours who live on the road where the fa­tal in­ci­dent oc­curred; med­i­cal ex­perts in­clud­ing lo­cal GP Dr Richard O’Reilly and As­sis­tant State Pathol­o­gist Mar­got Bol­ster and sev­eral gardaí from Lis­towel and Tralee.

Mr Fer­ris will be rep­re­sented by solic­i­tor Frank But­timer and bar­ris­ters Bren­dan Gre­han SC and Brian McIn­er­ney.

The pros­e­cu­tion case will be pre­sented by bar­ris­ters Pa­trick McGrath SC and Tom Rice, who are act­ing for the DPP.

Dis­charg­ing the jury for the rest of the day Ms Jus­tice Ste­wart ad­vised the panel on Tues­day that they must not look up or research any as­pect of the case on so­cial me­dia, on­line or in the tra­di­tional me­dia and told them that they may not dis­cuss any as­pect of the case with any­one else.

The case was due to recom­mence at Tralee Court­house at 11am on Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin.

Mem­bers of Mr Fer­ris’ de­fence team, Cork based Solic­i­tor Frank But­timer (left) and Bar­ris­ter Brian McIn­er­ney, pic­tured out­side the Cen­tral Crim­i­nal Court sit­ting at Tralee Court­house on Tues­day

Photo by Michele Cooper Galvin

Coun­sel for the Pros­e­cu­tion Bar­ris­ter Tom Rice at the Cen­tral Crim­i­nal Court in Tralee on Tues­day.

De­fen­dant Michael Fer­ris

John An­thony O’Ma­hony

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