*Pet rabbits have been used as a means to provoke the man, the Court heard. 

A JUDGE has granted a Protection Order under the Domestic Violence Act to a man against his ‘rabbit throwing’ wife.

At the Family Law Court, Judge Alec Gabbett has granted a Protection Order to the man after he told Judge Gabbett that his wife “has thrown our pet rabbits across the room” as a means of trying to provoke him.

The man explained to Judge Gabbett that he has developed “a strategy not to trigger her and I usually go along with her if I disagree with her and just go quiet”.

He added, “If she is in the mood, she will try to provoke me so she will go for things that she knows that will upset me”. He said, “She will either try to knock over the TV and the rabbits was a big one – she would always go at the rabbits”.

The man told Judge Gabbett, “And she would say ‘I will set them free. We don’t need them. We should throw them out’”.

He said, “We had four and one has died since it died because it was sick. She has never actually killed one”.

The man said that his wife has caught a rabbit out of the cage and thrown it across the room at one stage.

Judge Gabbett asked, “What happens to the rabbit?”

The man said, “The one she threw? He was okay”.

Judge Gabbett said, “Explain to me exactly. She threw the rabbit and did it hit something?”

The man said, “He landed on the ground”.

The man said, “She caught him by the neck – she didn’t throw him at the wall. She threw him up in the air and he went across the room.”

Judge Gabbett said, “And bounced off the ground?”

The man replied, “Yes.”

Judge Gabbett asked, “Is that done with a view to upset you?”

The man replied, “Yes – to upset me and provoke a reaction”.

Judge Gabbett said, “The reason that you are seeking protection is that she is hurting your pets and trying to provoke you to retaliate effectively”.

The man said, “She is not trying to get me to hit her”.

Judge Gabbett said to the man he strikes him by his nature as a mild mannered man” adding that he admired that the man had come to court.

Judge Gabbett said: “The issue is that you are currently in a relationship that is abusive? That is what you are in?”

The man replied: “Yes.”

Judge Gabbett said that the man was seeking the Protection Order as his wife slaps him, hits him “and threatens your animals and tries to damage your property”.

Judge Gabbett said that he was happy to grant the Protection Order which is done on an ex-parte basis where the other side is not present

The man told Judge Gabbett said he overhead his wife on the phone to a local women’s refuge stating that she doesn’t feel safe.

The man said on hearing this, he phoned his sister and said that he was worried in case his wife alleged that he beat her and his sister advised that he call the Gardai.

The woman has also obtained a Protection Order against her husband telling Judge Gabbett that she is scared of the man and afraid of him. The woman said that she is currently residing in a local women’s refuge.

Judge Gabbett commented: “There are two sides to every story.”

Protection Orders are temporary in basis and remain in place pending a hearing of applications for date limited Safety Orders.

Judge Gabbett said that the Safety Order application hearing can take place in May where both sides can give evidence and be cross-examined.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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