*Breda Maloney leaving Killaloe District Court. 

A FARMER who ‘lost the plot’ reduced Steiner primary school children on a St Brigid’s Day nature walk to tears after calling them ‘retards’, a court has heard.

At Killaloe District Court sitting in Ennis, Judge Mary Larkin said that Breda Moloney (66) “scared the living daylights out of a bunch of people who did her no wrong” at Ballymalone, Tuamgraney in east Clare on January 28th 2022.

Judge Larkin said, “These children were completely innocent… I have never heard of anyone being subjected to this kind of abuse because of someone’s inherent resentment and anger”.

Judge Larkin said that Ms Moloney of Ballymalone, Tuamgraney “lost the plot and she has a record of losing the plot” and described the incident as ‘extraordinary’.

Judge Larkin said that during the morning incident, Ms Moloney was “incensed” and told a neighbouring farmer, Regine Roskam “the most unbelievable things when telling her ‘how her parents in law got cancer, that they got what they deserved and how they should rot in hell’”.

Ms Moloney also called French national and a resident here for 32 years Ms Roskam “a f**king foreigner”. Ms Roskam is also a teacher at the Steiner Community based Raheen Wood Community NS.

Judge Larkin said she was absolutely satisfied that Ms Moloney’s “conduct was reckless and a breach of the peace” and convicted her of the public order offence binding her to the peace for 12 months.

Teacher at the Raheen Wood Community National School, Mary Joe Kennedy told the court that in celebration of St Brigid’s Day, 21 pupils, aged between 11 and 12, from the school along with one other teacher and three parents were go to lands owned by school teacher, Regine Roskam to pick rushes and reeds for the Brigid’s Day crosses.

Ms Kennedy stated that while on the public road, the group saw Ms Moloney “and from the get go, she was screaming”.

Ms Kennedy said, “She said that ‘we were trespassing, that we were on her land’ and called us ‘effing hippies and called the children retards’.

Ms Kennedy said, “It was shocking. Some of the kids were crying, they were upset. Everyone hears cursing but not at that level. The children were being called names they should never really have heard and being referred to in that manner and hearing their teachers spoken to in that manner”.

Ms Kennedy said that, “I found it incredibly offensive that she was calling the children I was with ‘retards’”.

She said, “I felt scared because I was in charge of these children and this woman’s behaviour was endangering the children. It was horrible to hear language like that in front of children because we always really model positive language”.

Ms Kennedy said that eight of the children were very upset and didn’t feel safe going to a farmer’s field for the rushes and they were brought back to school.

Ms Kennedy said that the remaining children didn’t proceed up the road to the Roskam’s lands and instead went to another farm to collect the rushes.

In her evidence, Ms Roskam said that on the date, she could, from her land, hear screaming at around 10am and went down the road to see what was happening.

Ms Roskam said that she came to the scene, “I could see that some of the kids were crying and very upset”.

Ms Roskam said that Breda Moloney then told her that “I was a fucking foreigner and to go back where you came from”.

Ms Roskam said that Ms Moloney then told her “You killed my cow and you poisoned her”.

Ms Roskam said, “She said ‘both your parents in law died of cancer, they deserved and may they rot in hell’. I got very upset so I just saw there was no point in talking to her”.

Ms Roskam said, “I never had any personal issues with Breda Moloney – she has had loads of issues with my husband and my late parents in law.

Two of the teachers based at the Steiner school in Raheen pictured leaving court.

Garda Robert O’Grady told the court that he arrived at the scene after receiving a report of people trespassing around Breda Moloney’s property.

Garda O’Grady told the court that “the level of anger from Breda Moloney was over the top with children present”.

He said, “Breda Moloney was the agitator and the only one angry at the scene. My understanding was that it was a public road where it all took place”.

In evidence, Breda Moloney denied calling the children ‘retards’.

She said, “No. I didn’t know the children. I didn’t know where they came from. They weren’t small children, they were fairly big. It wouldn’t be in me to carry out like that. I don’t carry out like that. I have been wronged in my life”.

She said, “The people that gave evidence here today are swearing perjury.”

Ms Moloney also denied using any words that were threatening or abusive or with any intent to cause a breach of the peace.

Ms Moloney said that she only told the group to “get off my lands”. Asked did she say those words to Ms Roskam about her late parents in law, Ms Moloney said, “I don’t know what they died of…I didn’t say that”.

Sgt Louis Moloney said that Ms Moloney has 17 previous convictions including three for breach of the peace and one for animal cruelty.

Solicitor for Ms Moloney, Daragh Hassett told the court that he has known Ms Moloney for a long time.

He said, “She is not everyone’s cup of tea but she is a nice lady. Life hasn’t been good to her or her sister. They were left managing the homestead when their parents died”.

Mr Hassett said that Ms Moloney and her sister do their best to eke out a living from the land and they live in a caravan.

Mr Hassett said, “She feels that people look down on her so much and hadn’t the courtesy to say that they were coming up the road”.

Mr Hassett added, “My client is in poor health and every type of illness and disease that could be visited upon a person she has got”.

Related News

fiona levie holly cairns 1
Social Democrats leader confident party can win seats on Clare County Council
bothar mor shannon
Efforts to improve public lighting 'too slow' in Shannon
shannon airport front
60 year old Portuguese woman appears in court over €484k cannabis seizure at Shannon Airport
ennis st patrick's day parade 17-03-24 cathal crowe 1
'Inevitable' that Mid-West will get another emergency department says Clare TD
Latest News
bothar mor shannon
Efforts to improve public lighting 'too slow' in Shannon
shannon airport front
60 year old Portuguese woman appears in court over €484k cannabis seizure at Shannon Airport
meadow flowers spring
Blossoms on the Go's second tip for April
ennis st patrick's day parade 17-03-24 cathal crowe 1
'Inevitable' that Mid-West will get another emergency department says Clare TD
ennistymon v st breckans 13-04-24 joey rouine cathal morgan 1
Ennistymon & St Joseph's Miltown stay unbeaten in Cusack Cup
Premium
Photograph by Eamon Ward
'Remember you are there to serve the people' - 125 years of democracy celebrated in Clare
shannon md office crash 27-04-22 3
'Young drivers the problem' claim councillors as efforts made to put road safety on curriculum
broadford village
'No shovels will be in the ground in Broadford or Cooraclare by next election' predicts Clare TD
bridge utd v kilrush rangers 20-08-22 ronan tuohy 1
Three of four semi-final places claimed in Clare Cup
mid west hospital campaign 21-05-22 18 marie mcmahon
Measures announced by Health Minister are 'sticking plasters'

Subscribe for just €3 per month

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.

Subscribe for just €3 per month

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.

Scroll to Top