A recent court sitting in Co. Limerick heard how there was "no intent to deceive" in an unusual case relating to two mixed up old Massey Ferguson tractors.

Mike Croker, aged 42, of Templebraden Cross, Garrydoolis, Pallasgreen was before Kilmallock Court on a theft charge.

Garda sergeant (Sgt.) Michelle Leahy said - on dates between September 2014 and February 2015 - €2,000 was paid to Croker by the injured party to restore an old Massey Ferguson tractor.

“When he called to Croker, work had not started on the tractor. The money was spent. The tractor was returned,” said Sgt. Leahy, who added that Croker has no previous convictions.

Kevin Power, Croker's solicitor, said his client had two Massey Ferguson tractors in his yard to be restored.

He started doing work on the wrong tractor. He even sent the wrong one off to get a front loader put on it. He paid back the €2,000.

“The tractor he was supposed to be working on was just sitting there. It was completely crossed wires. There was no intent to deceive,” said Power.

Judge Marian O’Leary said if Croker paid €300 to the court poor box she would apply the Probation Act.

Warning for rural road users

In other news, all rural road users have been urged to be "aware and extra vigilant" over the next six weeks or so, as silage season kicks into gear around the country.

The chairperson of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association's (ICMSA's) Farm and Rural Affairs Committee, Denis Drennan, said that there will be a very significant increase in the number of tractors and other farm machines on rural roads.

It is incumbent on all road users – whether farmers, contractors, car users, cyclists or pedestrians – to take additional precautions to ensure that silage can be harvested safely and without any accidents on roads, he said.