Woman (82) found with ‘bucket of excrement’ on neighbour’s land

Judge in Kerry feud case says he can see where playwright John B Keane got ‘rich’ material from

An 82-year-old woman was found with a bucket full of human excrement on a neighbour’s land during a long running dispute between two families in Co Kerry.  Image: iStock.

An 82-year-old woman was found with a bucket full of human excrement on a neighbour’s land during a long running dispute between two families in Co Kerry. Image: iStock.

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An 82-year-old woman was found with a bucket full of human excrement on a neighbour’s land during a long running dispute between two families in Co Kerry.

Judge John Hannan told the Circuit Civil Court in Killarney that the dispute seemed to be “spiralling out of control”.

He said he could see where John B Keane “got such a rich source of material” for his Co Kerry-based play The Field.

“He may be gone but the sources are not,” he said.

The plaintiffs - Thomas and Anne Spillane, a brother and sister from Knockavota, Milltown - claimed Owen Mangan, of Kilderry, Milltown, erected an infirm shed overhanging their property, there was run-off from a downpipe and that they had been denied access to a wall they owned and wanted to maintain.

In October, Mr Mangan’s counterclaim was dismissed with orders made in favour of the Spillanes. On Friday, when the case was up to be finalised the court was told it would hear of “a very serious unsavoury incident” that occurred on November 2nd last.

Slurry pit

Ms Spillane told her barrister Elizabeth Murphy that a week after the last court date her toilet stopped working. It was the only toilet in the house and they resorted to using a commode. She decided “the best thing” was to put the contents into a nearby slurry pit belonging to Mr Mangan.

When they went to empty the bucket, she said Mr Mangan and his daughter came out and took photographs, told the Spillanes to “take what’s in the bucket”, and that a garda arrived on the scene minutes later.

Mr Spillane on November 3rd discovered a manure bag with a stone inside had blocked their plumbing . He said the stone did not get there by accident because there was “a cover on the manhole and two cement blocks on top of that”.

Caoilte O’Connor BL, for Mr Mangan, said the story was “a fabrication” and that Mr Mangan denied putting the stone in the sewer. The Spillanes did not know who had put the stone there.

Ms Spillane said she and her brother had been bullied by Mr Mangan for 20 years.

“My clients would say that you are bullying them,” Mr O’Connor said.

“I’m 82 and Thomas is 83, who’d be bullying who?” Ms Spillane replied.

Judge Hannan asked Mr Mangan, who is in his 50s, if he had some sympathy for the Spillanes given their age, but he said they had caused him trouble.

Judge Hannan said “acts of neighbourliness do not comprise of taking photographs at 6.30pm of people disposing of excrement because of a block in plumbing – how that block occurred I have no idea.”

He said the sides would have to communicate and that previous orders would have to be complied with, including that the Spillanes give notice when entering the Mangan property to maintain the wall.

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