A Co Mayo farmer was today found not guilty of the manslaughter of a father-of-11 on his farm. Padraig Nally, 62, denied unlawfully killing Traveller John 'Frog' Ward at his land in Funshinaugh, Cross, on October 14, 2004.
The jury of four women and eight men took almost 16 hours to find the farmer not guilty.
About time, tbh. Hopefully people in the rural area (esp the old folk) get rights re:burgurly, instead of having to retreat if they encounter a burgurlar. I wonder if burgurly near traveller encampments will drop after this?
Mods - could we maybe turn off the naughty words filter for a moment in order to even try to properly express how unbelievably perverse this miscarriage of justice is? Or do we limit ourselves to pointing out things like how we know Nally lied, how we don't need changes in the law to permit selfdefence and how this is basicly Tony Martin, the Irish version?
miscarriage of justice maybe, but thats the legal system we have
So you agree that if encounter a burgular in your own home at 2am, you must retreat back to your bedroom, whilst they take your TV and valuables, load them up in your car, and drive away? You'd be waiting at least 10 to 15 minutes here, minimum, about about 30 to 45 minutes in the countryside for the Gardai to come.
Sorry, but I think I should have the right to self defense, if I encounter someone stealing my hard-earned cash, my stuff, from my house, and htey threaten me.
So how much are your 'valuables' worth? 1 life? 15 lives?
I've been thinking about this and thinking about this. If I was on the jury, I'd have found him guilty of manslaughter. But I say this because I would assume the judge would give him a short enough sentence given the circumstances.
As a shop manager who is regularly robbed by a certain group of people in irish society, I am glad to see that Patrick Nally was freed. The poor frog ward who incidentally attacked the gardai not once, but twice with a slash hook, and whose son described from the witness box as "not a fighting man" who also had eighty, yes eighty, various convictions, and who had three - yes three, active warrants out for his arrest at the time of his death, was obviously innocent when found coming out the back door of Nallys house. I honestly believe that Ireland is a safer place tonight.
What was the story, was Ward there to rob Nally or did he just think that?
If he was trespassing there to burglarise Nally's house, I think he was well within his rights to fight back, so good score 2 points for common sense. Criminals have too much power in this country.
Only Nally says that Ward was there to rob Nally. Only Nally says that Ward was breaking into Nally's house. No forensic evidence was found showing Ward was ever in the house, and the physical evidence is at odds with Nally's stated version of events, in particular where Nally was when the fatal shot was fired (Nally claimed they were both standing and about ten yards apart, the state pathologist says the wounds are consistent with a much closer range, with Nally standing over Ward, who would have been on his hands and knees), and with Ward ever being in the house. There is also unexplained physical evidence showing that at some point Ward had the barrel of the shotgun shoved against his throat.
As I said, it's Tony Martin all over again. What actually happened is being forgotten by those who read the headlines.
1) We do not try the victim in a murder or manslaughter case. And Nally did not know who Ward was. Therefore Ward's background is wholly irrelevant to the case.
2) The law affords enormous leeway to someone acting in genuine self-defence. It basicly says that if you honestly believe your life is in danger, you can do damn near anything to stay safe. What it does not say is that you may then use that as permission to "teach them a lesson". Which is the far more likely explanation of what happened here.
3) Nally told Ward's son he was going to kill Ward. Then Nally killed Ward. Then Nally told the Gardai that he had deliberately killed Ward. Then, when someone pointed out that this was a confession to murder, with the attendant mandatory life sentence, the story all changed.
4) Nally's version of events is at odds with some of the physical evidence and does not account for further physical evidence.
5) Ward's background and the fact that he was a Traveller, has been a major point in this case - and it should never have been mentioned even once, because as far as Nally was concerned, he didn't know who Ward was, what his history was, where he lived or anything else. Nally saw a stranger and went for the shotgun. What if it had been someone asking for directions? What if it had been someone who got directions wrong and called into the wrong house?
Pity Nally didnt kill the son aswell. 80 convictions,,,, this country is a joke. He was about to make it 81 aswell by robbing that ould lads house. No doubt his tally is up to 100 by now. Scummy cnuts, the ward father deserved to be shot and got an appropiate death.
See? That's the problem with democracy, even those with no clue as to the whole idea of the law get to vote as well.
A safer place because a legal precedent has now been set that it's OK to unlawfully murder someone on your property? Nice one.
Your post is typical of how wrong people seem to get this. Nally had to be judged on the evidence put before the jury, not regarding other previous convictions. I was a juror on a murder trial, something similar, and we were not permitted to know that the man we convicted had 68 prior charges and was already in prison.
By Nally's own admission, he shot Ward in the back as he was crawling away from him after being shot in the leg. Even if Ward lunged for Nally, attacked him, Nally shot him in the leg, which would have neutralised Ward as a threat. This, to me is where the incident tipped over into unreasonable force.
Furthermore, I don't believe that the mental state Nally, who clearly had become paranoid after years of isolation compounded by a sense of vulnerability due to his age and recent incidents in the area, is an excuse for the use of unreasonable force. Everyone has their problems, but I don't think the 'guilty but insane' trick would work in this case. It certainly wasn't attempted.
In the end, Nally was freed because the jury was considering 'facts' (read: media conjecture and prejudice) that were not within the scope of their job.
As was said on the (terrible) coverage of the verdict on Prime Time: people come before property. Now, with this verdict, now property comes before people. That makes things no safer in my book.
I think this is going to be changed, due to the fact that you can't correctly determine a person's character by the suit they wear. By looks alone, someone wearing a tracksuit may look worse than someone wearing a suit, even if the one wearing the suit has been to court before twice, and a number of convictions against them, whereas the tracksuit wearing youth may have been the one assaulted.
I'll have to agree that he should have gotten at least a suspended sentence, but I think that in the original case, they had no "not guilty" choice open to them.
Also, I read in an article (I'll google for it tomorrow) that Ward was seen around Nallyss farm previous to the occasion. This throws doubt into Nally not knowing Ward beforehand.
I just saw this mornings paper's and felt absolutely disgusted by the triumphant nature of some headlines. Add this to the comments made in the now-closed AH thread here and I'm starting to really question what kind of people this country is producing.