Farmer threw notepad at his estranged wife
A 49-year-old farmer breached a safety order when he threw a notepad through a window towards his estranged wife, Judge Gerard Haughton ruled.
He was dealing at Wexford District Court with the prosecution of James Quirke from Skeeter Park in Cleariestown.
The court heard evidence from a tearful Sinead Quirke of what occurred at the home that they continue to share in Skeeter Park on November 26, 2015.
She complained that the defendant, who runs art classes and other events at a converted barn on the premises, blocked her way out with a hay trailer as she wanted to go into town to collect their daughter.
She also stated that he was shouting and roaring 'awful things' and that he fired the notepad in through the window of the barn while she was there.
Sinead Quirke said she was trapped and terrified, telling the court that the marriage ended in March of 2013 after 14 years though the couple remained living in the same small house.
She said that she and the accused were in conflict over divorce papers.
When it was his turn to give evidence, James Quirke explained that he was concerned on the day in question about his post and that his wife was burning items of correspondence.
He recalled drafting a note for her to sign acknowledging that she had burned post and 'popped' it through the window, as he put it.
He was concerned that his wife's intention appeared to be to gain sole possession of the house, barn and adjoining land.
He agreed with Garda Denis Whelan that he many have used a swear word but insisted that he had no need to raise his voice.
Judge Gerard Haughton commented that it was a difficult situation where two people were living in the same house and not getting on.
He noted that the post which had apparently been burned was a broadband bill which Sinead Quirke was paying and not the defendant.
The judge felt that there was no need for the accused to pass the entire notepad through the window rather than a single piece of paper.
He reckoned that the incident was not the worst breach of a safety order but that the husband was guilty as charged - fine of €200.
Judge Haughton concluded by addressing both parties, saying that they were old enough to sort out their difficulties without resorting to games.
If necessary, he urged them to avail of assistance from solicitors or mediators.