The trial has begun of a Co Mayo farmer charged with the manslaughter of another man outside his farmhouse just over two years ago.

62-year-old Padraig Nally of Funshinaugh Cross, Claremorris, has pleaded not guilty to unlawfully killing John Ward on the 14 October 2004.

The 42-year-old father of 11 from Carrowbone Halting Site on the outskirts of Galway city was shot twice and beaten with a stick.

Earlier a jury of eight men and four women was sworn in.

Mr Justice Paul Carney warned the jury that there had been a high level of publicity surrounding the case.

He said: 'This case has engendered a great deal of publicity, perhaps more than any other in the history of this court. It has also engendered extremely strong feelings.'

However, he said the jury must try the case 'strictly on the basis of the evidence adduced and the trial judge's directions of law'.

He added: 'Anybody serving is warranting that he or she can do that without any prejudice towards the Travelling or farming community.'

The case is expected to run into next week.