herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

Poaching probe thug appeals jail sentences

John Nolan threatened to kill a man and burn out his house
John Nolan threatened to kill a man and burn out his house

Meet John 'Nogsey' Nolan, the violent thug at the centre of a garda probe into illegal poaching called Operation Bambi.

Nolan, who has previous convictions for animal cruelty and violent disorder, is also involved in a bitter dispute with a well-known Continuity IRA figure.

The Herald yesterday photographed the 28-year-old criminal at Carlow Circuit Court where he was appealing an eight-month jail sentence for threatening to kill a member of a shooting syndicate.

The victim had questioned Nolan as to why he had been in a designated hunting area - Gowle Wood, at Clonmore, Co Carlow - on November 23, 2013.

Nolan threatened to "smash his skull in" and burn out his house and 4x4 in what was described in court as a "totally unprovoked" verbal attack by phone. Nolan's appeal was adjourned after the judge requested a probation report on him.

Feud

His court appearance yesterday came only days after he was handed a six-month jail sentence at Gorey District Court.

Nolan was convicted of criminal damage after he ripped the collar of a private water-keeper in March last year in Bunclody, Co Wexford, who had accused him of illegal fishing.

Nolan, from Tullow, Co Carlow, is also appealing that sentence and is currently on bail.

Evidence in both cases was given by Supt Martin Walker, who is in charge of an investigation that has identified a network of poachers who shoot deer at night.

Sources say Nolan is involved in a feud with an IRA figure who carried Alan Ryan's coffin at his paramilitary funeral in 2012. This dispute has led to a car being burnt out and a serious face-off between the two men.

It is understood it kicked-off after "certain remarks" were made about a woman.

Nolan is well-known to gardai. In July 2007 he was given a two-year jail sentence for his role in a brawl that resulted in an off-duty garda's jaw being broken.

In 2013, he was convicted of three offences relating to shooting rights and trespassing in Hacketstown, Co Carlow.

He received a two-year driving ban in 2010 for dangerous driving at the Sally Gap, Co Wicklow, which related to an incident in which he was followed by gardai investigating poaching in the locality.

The father-of-three was also convicted of animal cruelty in 2008 after a hound was set on a deer.

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