Where’s my horse? Owner claims Garda said check Tesco

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by Andrew Carey

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A LIMERICK man who had three horses seized by local authorities told a court that a Garda told him the next time he would see his horse would be on a shelf in Tesco as “burger meat”.

Gerard Walsh (42) of Whitecross Gardens, Moyross pleaded guilty at Limerick District Court to using foul and abusive language to gardaí on April 23 last.

The day prior to the incident, Mr Walsh had three mares seized as part of a local authority clampdown on unlicenced horses in the area. He said that this was a “highly emotive issue in the area”.

He admitted telling Sgt Kevin Burke to “f*** off” when he made the remark that his horse would be found on the shelves of Tesco.

Mr Walsh had pleaded guilty to the charge but wanted to offer the explanation to the court.

He told Judge Eugene O’Kelly that he had been “in and out of trouble” in the past but hadn’t been in trouble for the last “seven or eight years”. He said that he was sorry for using bad language to the Garda.

He only reacted to a Garda Sergeant telling him that “the only way I will only get the horse back is off a shelf in Tesco as burger meat.”

He had since got two of his horses back from the pound but one was still missing and he had instituted legal proceedings to have it returned.

Stating he was sure Sergeant Burke didn’t dispose of the horse in the manner suggested by Mr Walsh, Judge O’Kelly said he could assure him of that.

“I am not accepting that the Sergeant said that. I hope that he didn’t say it but he is not in court to answer that claim”.

However Ms Ryan said it was not the first time she heard the claim.

“Another young man told me that when he asked where his horse was, a garda detective told him to ‘check Tesco'”, she said.

Adjourning the case for six months, Judge O’Kelly said that Mr Walsh admitted he had a poor record in the past but that he offered an explanation for his reaction.

He ordered that Walsh stay out of trouble in the meantime.