A 53-year old west Clare farmer caused over €50,000 worth of damage to his mother’s home with a digger over two years ago, a court has heard.
t Ennis Circuit Court on Monday, counsel for the State, Lorcan Connolly BL told a jury that John Morrissey “took the digger to his mother’s house for reasons that are best known to himself”.
Mr Connolly said the damage to the home “was to the tune of over €50,000”.
Mr Morrissey of Clonreddan, Cooraclare, has pleaded not guilty to the criminal damage of the external and internal structure of the home of his mother, Mary Morrissey at Alva, Cooraclare on December 13, 2019.
Mr Morrissey also pleaded not guilty to the criminal damage of the house contents and to the external garage and external septic tank belonging to Mary Morrissey on the same date that formed part of the single charge.
Opening the State’s case, Mr Connolly said: “There is a family background to the case.”
He said Mrs Morrissey, the mother of 13 children, died last year. The eldest of her children is John Morrissey.
Mr Connolly said the alleged criminal damage on the home took place on Friday, December 13, 2019.
He said Mrs Morrissey’s health was fading in 2018 and 2019 and in late 2019 she had gone into respite care at a nursing home as she had some dementia.
Mr Connolly said that prior to going to the nursing home, she had been residing at her home with her son, Tom Morrissey.
He said Mrs Morrissey’s husband, also named Tom, had died in the late 1990s and it was after that when John took over the running of things at the farm.
Mr Connolly said it was intended after Mrs Morrissey’s respite care at the nursing home that she was would return to her home to spend Christmas with her family.
He said no one saw John Morrissey carry out the damage and there is no CCTV of the what is alleged to have occurred.
However, Mr Connolly told the jury that they will arrive at the “inescapable” conclusion that Mr Morrissey intended to deliberately cause the damage after hearing the evidence in the case.
He John Morrissey hired a digger from a local plant hire firm.
The trial is the first criminal trial to take place at Ennis Circuit Court in over a year since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
The trial continues on Tuesday.