A well-known South Tipperary farmer had to be assisted out of Carrick-on-Suir’s Courthouse by attending Gardaí and a member of the public during a District Court sitting on Thursday last.
John Hanrahan, with an address at Ballycurkeen, Kilsheelan, Carrick-on-Suir, began to cough loudly and repeatedly, so much so that Judge Terence Finn asked a Garda Sergeant giving evidence in another case at the time, to stop and then resubmit his evidence before the court.
Mr Hanrahan (67), who is representing himself in court on two separate matters that have been brought before Judge Finn during several previous sittings, including October 6th, rose to his feet in an attempt to gather his breath.
But as he did so, while still coughing, Mr Hanrahan’s legs appeared to momentarily give way beneath him, and he was assisted outside by two Gardaí and a member of the public who was sitting in the chamber at the time. Moments later, the latter returned to fetch Mr Hanrahan’s coat.
Mr Hanrahan, who wasn’t under oath, as Judge Finn pointed out, had (when addressing the first matter) earlier claimed he was not in a position to resume payments to Hanley’s Agri Contractors, to whom he owes €11,000, given that “all of my money is tied up in the High Court and the Supreme Court”.
Mr Hanrahan referenced this matter when asked by Judge Finn as to why he had not furnished a Statement of Means to the court as had been previously requested. Mr Hanrahan, who has paid €10,000 of what is owed to Hanley’s, has not made a payment to the company since October 2015, Counsel for Hanley’s told the court.
However, Counsel also stressed that there was no desire on her client’s behalf “to see Mr Hanrahan committed” and wished to “see how he could engage with the (outstanding) matter”.
Judge Finn addressed both parties, stating that the court chamber wasn’t the appropriate location for such negotiations to take place.
Regarding the second matter, Judge Finn was informed by Counsel for Dr Folke Rohrssen (a Cahir-based Veterinary Surgeon) that Mr Hanrahan had been due to receive a Single Farm Payment between October and November totalling €39,000 and that based on this, it could be established that his annual income, taking in both milk and cattle, came to €390,000.
Mr Hanrahan claimed he had not received the aforementioned SFP monies, and went further, contenting that he had not been in receipt of such payments “since 2006 because the State had taken all of that payment…I have literally no income at the moment due to what is before the High Court and the Supreme Court”.
Mr Hanrahan had been due for a second calling before Judge Finn later that afternoon, by which time this newspaper no longer had a reporter present in the chamber given other assignments.