Appaling cruelty
The Nationalist, 31/7/1999
A sickening act of cruelty which left a defenceless horse drowned in the River Barrow was recounted to The Nationalist this week by the two men who discovered the animal.

A sickening act of cruelty which left a defenceless horse drowned in the River Barrow was recounted to The Nationalist this week by the two men who discovered the animal. Billy Nolan and Michael Corcoran of the Graiguecullen sub-aqua club were called on Saturday morning by Carlow County Council to remove a dead horse from the River Barrow between Graiguecullen bridge and the weir. As the team recovered the horse from the River Barrow, they made the grim discovery that the front legs of the 10 to 12-hand high, young, screwball horse, had been cruelly tied tightly, making it impossible for the animal to swim to safety. This bind was connected by a short rope, linking it to a further rope tied around the front of the horse’s head. “The front legs of the horse were nobbled and tied to his head in such a way that every time the horse tried to swim his head was pulled down into the water. He had no chance at all,” fumed Billy Nolan. “It would have taken the animal between 20 minutes and an hour to drown - it was the most cruel thing we have ever seen,” said an angry Mr. Nolan. “It was absolutely sickening; in all my years with the sub-aqua team I have never seen a more appalling act of cruelty. “There are those who call some people animals, but an animal wouldn’t do a sickening thing like that. I just can’t understand it,” said a visibly shaken Mr. Nolan. “I’m so angry about this that I have offered a reward of £500 from my company, Flight-Hawk Security, to anyone with information leading to the prosecution of the people who did this,” he concluded. Carlow gardaí confirmed that they had received a report of a dead horse in the River Barrow and had notified Carlow Co. Council. “We have reason to believe that the animal may have been treated cruelly before the incident happened and we have been looking into that. We are investigating the matter and if there is anyone with information we would be delighted to hear from them,” he said. Carlow SPCA chairman Derek Hanley described the incident as a “mindless act of violence” and promised to add another £500 to the similar amount already committed by Flight-Hawk Security, as a reward leading to a successful prosecution.