Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Man to admit rabbit cruelty charge

John Byrne, who has been homeless and on the streets of Dublin for 25 years with, his pet rabbit Barney and dog Roxy

A man charged with throwing a rabbit in to the River Liffey intends to plead guilty, his solicitor said.

Gary Kearney will appear before Dublin District Court on Tuesday for alleged animal cruelty and torture.

He was also charged with breach of the peace over the alleged incident on July 3, 2011.

The rabbit's owner, John Byrne, had been sitting on O'Connell Bridge when his pet rabbit Barney was thrown into the Liffey.

Mr Byrne, who has been living on the streets for 28 years, jumped in after his pet and both had to be rescued by the Dublin Fire Brigade.

Kearney, 20, who is originally from Crumlin, recently pleaded not guilty to the charges, but defence solicitor Aine Flynn told the court he intended to plead guilty.

The accused was not in court for the short hearing and the case was adjourned to next week.

Kearney has been charged under the Protection of Animals Act in connection with the incident.

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