Padraig Nally, the Co Mayo farmer who was acquitted of the manslaughter of John Ward, has said that under the circumstances he did not believe he deserved to be acquitted. 

Mr Nally served a year of a 6-year sentence for manslaughter before that conviction was overturned on a re-trial yesterday.

Speaking about yesterday’s verdict on RTÉ Radio, Padraig Nally said he shot John Ward to protect his home.

Mixed reaction to Nally acquittal

Widely differing views have been expressed following the acquittal of Mr Padraig Nally.

Yesterday evening a jury in the Central Criminal Court found Mr Nally not guilty of the manslaughter of Mr Ward, a father of 11.

The jury of four women and eight men took almost 16 hours to reach their verdict.

The trial had heard Mr Nally beat Mr Ward 20 times with a stick and shot him twice with a single barrel shotgun at his farm at Funshinaugh, Cross, in October 2004.

The Travellers' rights group Pavee Point has claimed the outcome sends a message that it is acceptable to kill a Traveller who is perceived to be trespassing or 'up to no good'.

However, supporters of Mr Nally and some local politicians have welcomed the verdict.

They called for legal changes to be made to shift the balance in favour of people who face an intruder in their home or on their property.