Bitter Dungannon land row leads to court battle and fines

Eskragh Lough
Eskragh Lough

Two Dungannon men have been found guilty of pursuing a course of conduct amounting to the harrassment of their neighbour.

The cases against Joseph McNulty, 66, and William Sloan, 61, with separate addresses at Ballygawley Road, Dungannon, centred on a long-running land access dispute, an obscenely-worded sign in a field, slurry spreading and a defence claim that ‘political interference’ had led to the charges.

The two men denied pursuing a course of conduct amounting to the harassment of their neighbour, Donovan Ross, but after a two-day hearing at Dungannon Court, District Judge John Meehan found the pair guilty.

He accused them of ‘bizarre and nasty behaviour’ towards a neighbour, with an attempt to harass ‘by smell, by noise and by obscene signage’.

During the contest, the victim said there had been previous issues with McNulty, involving an unsuccessful case against Mr Ross over land right of way.

This related to access to Eskragh Lough near Dungannon, which is owned by Mr Ross and a popular venue for fishing and watersports.

In one of the incidents, a board measuring approximately 8x4ft had been erected on McNulty’s land, and on it was written in red paint the victim’s name followed by ‘Neighbour from hell’.

Judge Meehan imposed fines of £500 each upon the two men, but refused an application for a restraining order.