by Gerry Hand

A number of angry farmers in the Beauparc area confronted GAA legend Pat Reynolds, at lands he has leased at Rathdrinagh on Friday 21st of August, over fears that there was contaminated chicken litter in one of his fields.

The farmers were concerned that this could lead to the spread of botulism which has the potential to destroy their cattle which are located adjacent to the leased property.

The farmers were accompanied by Fine Gael councillor Paddy Meade and sources told Meath Live a short stand off occurred.

One said, ‘ For a few weeks previously we had noticed large numbers of crows gathering in the area and could not understand why then we were made aware that chicken litter had been dumped on lands leased by Mr. Reynolds, and that contrary to the department of agriculture protocol the waste was uncovered

‘We were more than concerned about this as some of us had lost cattle in a previous outbreak of the disease two years ago, it has to be pointed out Pat Reynolds had no involvement with any land in this area at that time.

‘We contacted both the council and the Navan office of the department of agriculture before councillor Paddy Meade came with us to the scene and we spoke to Pat Reynolds about it, now it wasn’t a heated row or anything we voiced our worries and he agreed to have the waste, which was basically chicken litter with chicken wings and legs in it, removed.

‘It was clear that some of the stuff had been there for some time while other bits had been freshly delivered.

‘Council officials contacted us when we were at the site and told us that Pat Reynolds had agreed to that all the waste would be going to a controlled site for disposal the next day, which we accepted.’

That’s when things started to get a little bizarre!

On Saturday Pat Reynolds was as good as his word.

Three forty-foot artics arrived at the site and loaded up the dead waste.

Paddy Meade was again on hand to observe this and some locals proceeded to follow one of the lorries from the area.

The driver went in and out of the nearby Brink garage on a number of occasions, clearly to see whether or not he was being followed and then took a circuitous route to the plant in Carbury county Kildare with the intrepid locals in hot pursuit.

Meanwhile, the other lorries proceeded to lands at Mullagha, Rathkenny, owned by J&C Sheridan of Kilberry, and deposited the waste there.

It has to be clarified that once the waste left his land Pat Reynolds had no control over where it actually went.

On Sunday last the majority of the waste was clearly visible on the lands at Mullagha.

Efforts to contact Paddy Meade have proved unsuccessful, while Pat Reynolds told us, ‘ The basis of your story is accurate, the other farmers did speak to me and I agreed to have the waste removed as soon as was feasible.

‘I would contend that the waste delivered to me was legitimate and was not contaminated with chicken parts or dead chickens when delivered.

‘The field is fairly accessible and anyone who wanted to dump dead chickens or parts of dead chickens amongst the litter would have no problem doing so and as far as I am concerned that is the most likely reason they were discovered there.

‘I had the waste removed by a haulage firm the next day which was as soon as could be reasonably expected of me.’

Earlier today a spokesperson for Sheridan’s told us, ‘I’m not aware of the full facts of the situation but what I can tell you is the department of agriculture has taken control of the matter, and as of today the product is still on our land.’