Two English men have been fined €800 each and have had their rifles confiscated after they were found guilty of killing a protected Irish red deer and her calf.

Killarney District Court was told today that gardaí had gone to lands at Crohane, Kilgarvan, following reports of men shooting deer last Saturday.

They found one man, Simon Everett, from Uttoxeter, Staffordshire in England, with the hindquarters of the mother and her calf.

Sitting on a fence nearby they found a second man, Nicholas Pancisi, from Stanton, Ashbourne in England, with two rifles and the gutted carcass of the mother hidden under a coat.

Both men pleaded guilty to the charge of hunting a protected wild animal and in their defence their solicitor told the court that both held the firearms legally and believed that, having got the permission of the landowners, they were entitled to shoot the deer.

Judge Leo Malone said it was his view that 'it is incumbent on people coming here to shoot wildlife to know what they can and cannot shoot. Red deer are a protected species and any offence has to be taken seriously.'

As well as fining the men €800 each, he ordered the confiscation of the two rifles valued at over £5,000, as well as a hunting knife and 13 rounds of ammunition.