Horses

Irish horse breeder in import ban

Sunday People, 24/4/2001

A Top Irish horse breeder and Grand National training legend has been left raging after being accused of illegally exporting bulls’ semen. Billy Rock who launched the career of top jockey Tony McCoy, faces charges of bringing the fluid into the Republic without a license. Rock and two other men will be fighting the charges in court but Billy has been suspended from the sperm import trade until the matter is settled. His business activities at his Co. Antrim farm are breeding horses and importing bulls’ semen for artificial insemination. The two other men charged are Robert Cameron from Mansfield Road, Mauchline, Ayrshire and James Ernest Campbell from ‘Lawnfield’, Tempo, Co. Fermanagh. A court hearing in regard to the allegations of three years ago has been suspended a number of times due to unavailability of witness due to the foot and mouth outbreak but it is finally due to go ahead in June.


Horses won’t be returned.

Evening Herald, 24/3/2004

Two racing horses will not be returned to their trainer until charges of animal cruelty are dealt with, a District Court Judge ordered. John Carr (43) Killeaney, Maynooth is charged with seven counts of cruelty to seven thorouhgtbred horses at Knocknatulla, Kilcock on February 7th. Ms Miriam Regan, solicitore, made application for the restoration to her client of two of the horses which had been seized by the State. Judge John Brophy at Kilcock Court refused the applicataion stating that the horses will remain in the care of the State until the charge are disposed of. The case was adjourned to April 27th for hearing.


Appalling 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.  see more 


Man kills horse in Ireland for eating too much grass.

Reuters, 25/10/2000

Dublin -- Gregory Martin, a U.S. citizen living on his grandmother's farm near Ballina close to the west coast of Ireland, was, according to this story, convicted for what the judge called "absolute, wanton cruelty" after he hacked a horse to death with an axe because a neighbour complained it had been eating too much grass. Irish media was cited as reporting on Wednesday he has been sentenced to three months in prison. Martin told the court he believed he had the right to kill the mare because "the Bible says man has dominion over animals."


Worst case of animal cruelty seen in Ireland

Irish Sun, 9/10/2007

(Fergus O' Shea)

A father and son have pleaded guilty to the worst case of animal cruelty ever seen in Ireland. A cop found starving horses with no grass or fodder next to the carcasses of four dead animals at a site rented by Simon O' Dwyer and his son, also called Simon.  Three horses had to be put down while the remaining 25 were taken into care by the Irish Horse Welfare Trust, a judge at Carrick-on-Suir District Court , Co. Tipperary heard.  Just a month later, 51 cattle and one live horse were found in shocking conditions along with the carcasses of four cattle and one horse at the O' Dwyer' Mullinbeg farm.  An investigation by Garda Sgt Stephen O' Sullivan resulted in the seizure of the cattle. Judge Terence Flynn called the animal cruelty the worst he had ever seen in his time working on the bench.  O' Dwyer Snr, 61 and 21-year-old O' Dwyer, Jnr of Knocktoper, Co. Kilkenny were given four-months suspended jail sentences. They were also fined €3,000 each and ordered to pay €38,000 to the Irish Horse Welfare Trust as a contribution to nursing their animals plus €2,000 for carcass disposal and €540 vet fees. 

A Trust spokesman said: "We are looking for kind and experienced homes for the horses."



Oldcastle farmer fined €2,000 for animal cruelty

Meath Chronicle, 26/4/2008

An Oldcastle farmer was fined €1,000 each on two counts of animal cruelty and €750 for assaulting a Garda at Kells Court last week.  see more



Farmer arrested for animal cruelty as he attempted to flee State

Kilkenny Advertiser, 18/12/2009

A Kilkenny farmer was arrested as he attempted to leave the State after he was charged with cruelty to animals and with leaving nine dead animals rotting on his farm.

Simon O’Dwyer (63), of Garrue, Knockmoylan, Mullinavat, Co Kilkenny, was charged with four counts of cruelty to animals and with three counts of failing to dispose of animal carcasses.  He appeared before Kilkenny District Court this week.

The court heard Mr O’Dwyer had “abandoned” his farm and that seven dead horses and two dead cows were discovered by gardaí on his land on four dates between January and December 2009.  The court heard that Mr O’ Dwyer was arrested on Monday at Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, crossing into Northern Ireland in an attempt to leave the jurisdiction.  Mr O’Dwyer’s son, Simon (26), is also charged with two counts of cruelty and with one count of failing to dispose of a carcass but he failed to appear before the court and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.

The father is also charged with failing to appear at Birr District Court in October 2009 on charges of theft from an equestrian supply shop in Birr, Co Offaly, in May 2008.

Garda Shane Elliffe, of Thomastown Garda station, said that when charged Mr O’Dwyer replied, “I wasn’t there, nobody told me they were dead. The place is for sale but there is nobody to buy it.”  Michael Lanigan, solicitor for Mr O’Dwyer, said the offences relate to “an abandonment of a farm”, and applied for legal aid.  Insp Brennan made an application for bail, however, this was refused on the basis of “the circumstances of his arrest” and on the basis of a warrant being issued for failing to appear at a previous court sitting.

Judge William Harnett remanded Mr O’Dwyer in custody to appear at Castlecomer District Court on December 21 next.



Animal cruelty conviction at Kilcock District Court

Leinster Leader, 12/7/2012

A man who left injured animals in a field in west Kildare has been convicted for animal cruelty at Kilcock District Court.  Gerry Connors (73), Esmonde Road, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, was keeping six horses in a rented field at Derryvarogue, Donadea. After Gardai were alerted to the conditions in which the animals were being kept, one of them, a Clydesdale horse, had to be put down after the Kildare Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (KSPCA) was called in.

The offence took place on 24 January 2011 and Judge Desmond Zaidan banned Mr. Connors from keeping horses again.  Garda Sean Tierney said in evidence that he got a call from the KSPCA and met Mary Lawlor and Stewart Keane at the field.  The Grey Abbey veterinary service was also called and one horse, a big white animal, which was in foal at the time, was put down. The other five animals were taken to the pound and were alright.  Garda Tierney said Mr. Connors was unhappy the horse had been put down. It was said to be worth €12,000.  The wound on the injured horse were “foul smelling” and “gangrenous” and there was swelling “the size of a football”.  Garda Tierney said the vet put the horse down on “humane grounds”.

David Powderly, solicitor for Mr. Connors, said his client was in the horse business all his life and felt the animals were being looked after. He paid someone in the area to feed them and they were fed properly.  The Court heard that Mr. Connors had also been in ill health and had eight children.

He had no pension from the State, said Mr. Powderly.  Judge Zaidan questioned this and Mr. Powerly said Mr. Connors operated outside of the system all his life and was involved in scrap buying. The Judge said he should be entitled to his pension.

The Court heard that the owner of the field had to pay €200 to get the horse removed and the KSPCA had to pay €200 to the vet.  Judge Zaidan said the horse was in a “despicable” condition. He imposed a €1000 fine with €400 costs.



Man jailed for cruelty to at-risk horses

Irish Times, 20/4/2012

A MAN who has contracts with nine local authorities to take in and care for horses which are at risk or abandoned has been convicted of cruelty to animals and sentenced to 16 months in jail.  see more



Graphic images show horse’s mauled body in North Dublin

Jounal.ie, 16/5/2013

Two horses were killed in two separate incidents in the Darndale area of Dublin yesterday.  see more


Teen convicted over sulky race avoids jail

Irish Examiner, 13/04/2013

The youngest of the men convicted of involvement in a sulky race on the main Cork to Limerick road, which became a YouTube sensation, avoided jail yesterday for his part in the dangerous escapade.

  Judge Olann Kelleher recalled at Cork District Court that a number of the participants in the race involving horse-drawn sulky cars on the dual carriageway had been jailed. However, the judge said that he was taking into consideration the fact that James Stokes was only 17 at the time of the event. Judge Kelleher fined Stokes €250 on a charge of dangerous driving. Stokes, now aged 18, from St Anthony’s Park halting site in Knocknaheeny, Cork, was also put on a probation bond for nine months on condition that he would comply with the conditions imposed on him by the probation service and not come to the attention of gardaí.

  The offence was committed on May 5, 2012, on the main Cork-Mallow road, the N20, near Ballygibbon, Blarney, Co Cork. The incident was recorded on film by one of several dozen onlookers who were following the race in a convoy of cars and vans. Clips of the incident, posted on YouTube, have been viewed more than 500,000 times.



Nag Hack Horror
Irish Sun, 28/10/2013

A pony was left with a deep wound after 'a sadistic monster... used back street surgery' in a bid to remove a micro-chip says a leading horse charity. The female grey nag was rescued from the Cooley Mountains in Co. Louth after a member of the public saw she was injured. Elaine Duffy of Holly's Horse Haven charity in Omeath stormed: "It was an inhumane horror where monsters simply mutilated a poor defenceless creature."  A microchip was found on scanning in a different spot on the pony's neck. However, as it is unregistered no owner can be traced.


Five men jailed for illegal horse racing on public road - VIDEO

IrishCentral, 10/02/2013

A judge in Cork has sent five men to jail for five months for dangerous driving after a sulky race on the Cork to Mallow road last May.  see more



The Derry farm neglect that leaves horses to die like this.

Sunday People, 20/02/2000

see more


Women tell trial of horse attack

Irish Independent, 02/11/2004

Two women said they were “shocked and sickened” after witnessing a horse being savagely beaten with ropes and a heavy iron gate because it wouldn’t enter a horse box.

The women were giving evidence in Cork Circuit Court yesterday at the trial of Maurice Stokes of Bay 3, The Halting Site, Knocknaheeny, Cork, who has denied a charge of cruelty to an animal.



Garda was sent ‘spinning’ by horse

Northside People, 28/09/2005

A teenager who collided with a garda inspector while recklessly riding a horse was last week saddled with 190 hours community service.

  The Children’s Court heard that the then 15-year-old boy sent garda inspector John O’Driscoll “spinning” when he hit him with his horse at New Church Street in Smithfield on December 5 last year.

  The north inner city boy, now aged 16, had pleaded not guilty to three offences arising out of the incident but was convicted at a hearing in July.

  He had been charged under Section 45 of the Control of Horses Act for being a person in control of a horse who wilfully or recklessly permitted the horse to pose a danger to a person or property.

  He was also prosecuted for assaulting garda inspector O’Driscoll.

  Judge Angela Ni Chonduin had heard that the incident happened on the day of the Smithfield horse Fair. The teenager had been riding his horse at speed on the wrong side of Bow Street.

  After being cautioned by one garda, the teenager then kicked the horse and used his reins at which the animal took off at a canter in the direction of the garda inspector who had been coming along New Church Street.

  Garda inspector O’Driscoll was hit on the shoulder by the horse and one witness said he was “spun around” by the collision.

  The teenager was stopped and became verbally abusive and aggressive to the gardai. When taken to the Bridewell Station to be charged, he continued to be disruptive and abusive.

  He had three previous convictions for public order offences for which he had been bound to the peace earlier this year.

  The boy left school after completing the Junior Certificate and was currently taking part in a training course.

  Judge Ni Chonduin noted that he was suitable for a community service sanction and was willing to do it as well.

  She refused to make an order barring the boy from having contact with horses saying that he was clearly interested in them and he may have to work with them as part of the community service work.

  However, she warned that if he acted in a similar manner again or was found to be abusing horses, he would be dealt with more harshly.



Horse owner sent to prison

Evening Herald, 03/02/2000

A horse owner was jailed for three months today after a court heard how he had allowed a mare in foal nearly starve to death.

  Thomas Sweeney of Shanowen Grove, Santry, Co. Dublin, was sentenced in his absence after he failed to turn up in court to answer a charge of cruelty to the animal at a filthy stables in Hollystown, Mulhuddart.

  The District Court heard DSPCA inspector Robert Kenny found the mare and another 26 horses in filthy conditions when he visited the premises on 10th May last.

  There was no trace of concentrated food or hay and a water trough was empty except from dried faeces and fungus growing in it.


Acid

One horse, not the mare, was kept in a stable by means of a nailed down rope and with nothing to lie on.

  The mare was in a stable where the bedding had “gone to slop” And the acid from her urine and faeces had burnt her legs.

  There were a number of small stones which had grown into its hooves and which would have caused a lot of pain to her.

  Sweeney had a four previous convictions for cruelty and allowing animals to wander.

  Judge Patrick Brady said it was a very serious case of neglect and cruelty. He imposed a three month prison sentence and also fined him £500. He also ordered him to pay £1,000 legal and witness expenses.



Legal action threat over foal’s death

Irish Independent, 21/04/1998

A Dublin man claims his mare was badly neglected by a Cork horse pound, reports Aidan Kelly.

  A Dublin horseowner is planning to take legal action against a horse pound following the death of his newly born foal.

  A mare belonging to Ballymun man Robert Curran foaled while it was in the pound in Glenville, Cork – used by both Fingal County Council and Dublin Corporation.

  When Mr Curran went down to the pound to pay £375 for the release of his horse, he claimed the foal – two days old at the time – was lying on the ground “totally neglected.”

  Three days after giving the foal constant care, supervision and treatment, it died.

  “It was a collection of skin and bones,” Mr Curran said. “I have never seen anything like it. They totally neglected the mare and the foal and the conditions down there were a disaster.”

Swords based vet Conor O’Scanaill, who attended to the foal, said the death could have been prevented.

  “My report said that the whole situation could have been avoided if the foal had been looked after since birth,” said Mr O’Scanaill. The mare is gradually improving but it is very hard to reverse the health of a very sick three to four day old foal, even if it was in Sheikh Mohammed’s stables.”

Mr Curran feared the worst for his horse after he and other horseowners watched a secret video shot at the pound, which shoed dead and dying horses in filthy conditions. The video, also screened on news channels recently, featured Mr Curran’s mare.

  The two Northside men who shot the video – Gerald Fitzgerald and John Farrell – went to court over the cruel treatment of horses at the pound as “unsanitary, inhumane and unacceptable.”

  Dublin Corporation agreed to certain proposals, one of which was that the pound would not be used again until it is certified fit for the job.

  Frank Murray, head of the corporation’s environment and culture department – which also implements the Control of Horses Bill – said farm land in Kilkenny is now being utilised as a pound until Cork is deemed fit enough to use again. All horses have been moved there with the exception of one, he said.

  Mr Murray said the Cork pound was in “excellent condition” when they inspected it last October but during the winter months it “cut up very badly” and it was brought to their attention. However, he denied that any horses were ill treated at the pound.

  “A lot of the horses are in very poor condition anyway when impounded and the vet has to put them down humanely,” Mr Murray said.

Mr Murray added staff at his department have been subjected to “a very high level of intimidation” from some horseowners since they commenced impounding horses under new legislation, although he said other horseowners have disassociated themselves from these.



Horse dealer fined €600 in cruelty case

Irish Times, 10/12/2004

A horse dealer who allowed horses to die lingering deaths from a condition known as “strangles” as convicted of cruelty to horses on his farm and fined €600 at Galway District Court yesterday. Padraic Melia, of Clonboo, Corrandulla, pleaded guilty to four charges of cruelty under the Control of Horses Act, 1996, and the Control of Dogs Act, 1992.



Cian to lose gold today

But he could win back

News of the World, 27/03/2003

Showjumper Cian O’Connor is expected to lose his Olympic gold medal today.

  Equestrian sport’s ruling body the Federation Equestre Internationale is set to uphold its ruling that his mount Waterford Crystal DID test positive for banned substances.  And that means the Kildare-born rider will be forced to hand back the medal.

  But in a sensational twist, insiders say Cian, who has always protested his innocence, will win it back at the Court of Arbitration in Sport.  Cian, 24, scooped Ireland’s only Olympic gold last September, after a stunning clear round in the individual showjumping event.

  But just a month later he was embroiled in a battle to clear his name, after Crystal tested positive for fluphenazine and zuclopenthixol.

  His solicitor, Andrew Coonan, has prepared an 18-page defence and today the two men, accompanied by a barrister and vet James Sheeran, will give an oral defenc6e in Switzerland.

  One insider told the Irish News of the World: “Easter Sunday is D-day for Cian. The process with the FEI has reached the end of the road.

  “If he is found guilty Cian will lose the medal for the Olympic individual showjumping event.

  “The feeling among the equestrian community is that Cian will lose his medal but will win it back at a Court of Arbitration in Sport appeal.”

Cian, who lives in Ratoath, Co Meath, is currently competing in the Gold Tour in Italy.  He told the FEI that on July 22 last year his horse suffered a fetlock injury and his vet advised hydrotherapy treatment, which involves confinement in a unit.

  Vet James Sheeran said a mild sedative was given to the 13-year-old bay to prevent him hurting himself in the special treatment area.  Mr Sheeran said: “I can categorically state that the medication administered by me was not a performance enhancing substance.

  “It was used after careful consideration in the best interest of the horse’s welfare over a month before the Games.”

Together Cian and Waterford Crystal have competed in 13 Nations Cup events. The horse is part owned by media tycoon Tony O’Reilly and is said to be worth €2 million.



Trainer’s bid fails

The Sun, 18/10/2005

Trainer William Mullins yesterday lost his High Court bid to overturn a ruling disqualifying one of his horses for a failed drug test.

  Gelding Be My Royal’s win at 33/1 in a race in 2002 was ruled ineligible by the Jockey Club when the horse’s urine was found to contain morphine.  Mr Mullins, of Bagnalstown, Co Carlow, argued it was now accepted that the morphine levels came from food contaminated by poppy seeds.

  But Judge Mr Justice Stanley Burnton said the Jockey Club was “not a public authority” and its verdict could not be challenged in the High Court.  He added: “Review of the decisions of the Jockey Club is a matter for private law.”



Racecourse in Ireland cleared over five horse deaths in a day

Horsetalk.co.nz, 25/06/2014 

A racecourse in Ireland has been cleared over the deaths of five horses in a day during a meeting on June 13.

  Ireland’s Turf Club has concluded its investigation and found that the track at Clonmel Racecourse, in Tipperary, was not responsible for the deaths, noting that no trainer of jockey had blamed the track condition for the fatalities.

  The day of steeplechasing claimed the lives of Ballintotty Boy, Milan Elite, Oscar Pearl, Lisgreen Lad and Areyouforreal.

  The Turf Club, in announcing the findings of its inquiry, said it took into account events leading up to the race meeting and during the fixture.

  It said that in the lead-up to the fixture, the clerk of the course had carried out his pre-race day inspection at Clonmel on the morning of Wednesday, June 11. He then issued a message saying the ground was yielding following 11 millimetres of rain since Monday.

  The track foreman contacted the Turf Club press officer the next morning and a message was issued shortly after 8am saying that the ground was now good to yielding, with a forecast of warm and generally dry weather for that day and for Friday.

  A further ground update was issued at 8am on the morning of the meeting saying that the ground was now good following a dry and warm day on Thursday.

  The clerk of the course walked the course with the racetrack foreman at lunchtime on Friday and found the ground to be good, with a good covering of grass. The ground was officially given as good at that point, but was subsequently changed to good to firm after the fifth race.

  The investigation concluded that there had been no need to water the ground in the lead-up to the meeting.

  While there was no doubting the fact that the ground dried considerably on the day, no complaints were received by either the clerk of the course or the stewards from owners, trainers and riders regarding the condition of the ground.

  There were, the inquiry noted, three withdrawals due to the change in ground and in all cases the stewards allowed the withdrawals without penalty.

  No trainer or jockey attributed the fatalities to the state of the ground, the inquiry noted.



Home truth always hard to accept

Independent.ie, 08/01/2012

Injured horses are put down because it is the humane thing to do, writes Ronan Groome

see more


Animal rights activists call on Irish government to ban horse racing

Irish Central, 09/01/2012

Animal rights activists have issued fresh calls for horseracing to be banned in Ireland after five horse fatalities at the Leopardstown Christmas festival.

  The Alliance for Animal Rights group has sparked outrage amongst the multi-million dollar racing industry with their new demand.

  Activists have called for the sport to be banned after five race horses suffered fatal injuries at the Leopardstown meeting, one of the biggest on the Irish calendar.

  A spokeswoman for the Alliance for Animal Rights outlined their opposition to racing in an interview with the Irish Independent newspaper.

  “In Sligo two years ago, a horse collision at Cullenamore Races resulted in a horse having to be put down and two jockeys rushed to hospital. The collision occurred in front of hundreds of spectators,” said the spokeswoman.

  “Laytown is remembered for the pile-up of horses in the 1990s when three horses were killed.

While these fatalities are described as ‘freakish’, ‘sad’ and ‘regrettable’, the number of injuries and deaths is rising because horses are raced and made jump.

  “We are calling on the Sports and Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar to instigate an investigation into horseracing accidents.

  “We want an end to this animal violation based on the vast cruelty that is inherent in horseracing.”



O’Hagan refutes reported number of slaughterings

Irish Examiner, 19/03/2011

THE chief executive of Irish Thoroughbred Marketing has refuted reports in the UK during the week that over 4,500 thoroughbreds were slaughtered in Ireland last year.

  Michael O’Hagan was speaking in Prestbury Park with the Cheltenham Festival in full swing and shortly after Paul Nolan’s Noble Prince had just recorded a record-equalling tenth success of the week for Ireland and a day after a record-breaking six wins in one afternoon.

  “That’s not even close to what’s going on,” he said.

  “Those figures are telling you over the last three years the number of thoroughbreds registered has dropped from 12,000 to 7,000. That’s a figure people are assuming all sorts of things about which makes no sense at all.

  “In a recession, people realise the market dictates what they can or can’t sell. We know what people can pay or not pay.

  “The market will dictate to the breeders what they bring through. It’s about quality not quantity. Rubbish is no longer tolerated. We’d be pushing quantity and on Wednesday the proof was in the pudding.

  “The best horses are coming out of Ireland. When people had a lot of money it was a fad to breed another and it takes a couple of years to wind down. People are breeding to sell or to race so they manage quality.”

It was reported by the BBC that 9,790 horses had been put to slaughter in abattoirs in Ireland in 2010, 4,618 of them being thoroughbreds, but O’Hagan took exception to facts which he claimed had been “twisted and turned”.

  “That is simply just not true. Of course, there is natural attrition, animals not able to run, or ill. If you think there is no future for the thoroughbred, then you have it euthanised but it is done properly and professionally.

  “To use the word ‘slaughter’ gives connotation of a gun to head in a field, that’s not what happens.

  “You can drive into any yard in Ireland, criticise their house, their dog, car, almost their wife but say one bad word about a horse and you’ll be thrown out the gate. You watched that on Wednesday with all those winners.

  “The fact they weren’t all favourites made it better because it shows at every level you have a chance at this game.

   “The word slaughter is wrong, the number is wrong, the reality is that it’s responsible ownership, if an animal is beyond its usefulness on the racetrack or in the breeding shed, or is in pain, you might be better to take it away and put down professionally.”

However, trainer Colm Murphy, who had a number of runners at Cheltenham this week, was not surprised at the numbers quoted.

  “No, not surprised but it’s been brought to the fore a lot quicker. Before if a syndicate had a mare and she was no good, they’d put her in foal. A horse would go around to half a dozen trainers but now you’re telling owners ‘the horse is no good, get rid of him.’ If we can find a home for them, great, but it’s not always possible.”

The Wexford trainer added: “I hate to see horses going to a home and things don’t work out. I heard of an instance of a former Grand National horse I think who was dying of malnutrition in the field. The kindest thing, and it’s an awful thing to say, is to put them down.

  “I think this is knock-on of the Celtic Tiger when everyone had a leg of a horse.

  “Now it’s got to the stage where people couldn’t afford the leg of a horse. All that has been weeded out. This is the knock-on effect of that.

  “What’s in racing now will always be in racing but the flash in the pan days are gone. We had a lot of syndicates at one time, around 80% of our horses were owned by syndicates but I’d say 95% of what we have now is owners who can afford to have a horse in training.”





Turf Club set to review fatalities at Tramore 

Racing post.com, 06/08/2011

THE Turf Club is to carry out a full review of events at Tramore on Sunday when four horses were put down after suffering injuries on an all-jumps card.

  Denis Egan, chief executive of theTurf Club, said on Monday: "We intend sitting down with all the relevant groups - the trainers' and jockeys' associations and our own officials - to consider exactly what happened and to see if anything can be done to reduce the risk of such unfortunate incidents happening again."

  Jim Kavanagh, chief executive of the Irish Racehorse Trainers' Association, said: "I spoke with Denis Egan today and our association will be happy to meet the Turf Club and any other parties to assess what happened at Tramore and the possible reasons.

  "I'm not in the business of apportioning blame and these things do happen. But what happened on Sunday is obviously a concern. It is always a concern for trainers when a horse has to be put down or is badly injured on any track.

  "If the review comes up with any improvements that might help the situation, then it will be work worth doing."

One of the horses who died was thenine-year-old Mr Bones, who broke a pastern approaching the second-last in the 2m6f handicap chase. His trainer Jimmy Coogan said on Monday: "Mr Bones won seven races for us - a bumper, three hurdle races, two chases and a Flat race. He was a great servant and meant a lot to us. It was terrible to lose him.

  "Barry [Cash] thought he was going really well and that he was going to win. It all happened so quickly I can't be sure if he slipped or what caused the accident.

  "They did their best watering to ensure safe ground. Some jockeys said it was a bit slippy, I don't know. But when you go to Tramore and the ground is good to firm then you have a fair idea of what it is going to be like."

The other casualties were the Willie Mullins-trained Hampshire Express, who suffered a fractured stifle, Separate Ways, trained by David Marnane, who broke a shoulder, and the Michael Moran-trained Laffan Island, who severed a tendon.



Horse slaughter house operations suspended in Offaly

Breaking news.ie, 14/03/2013

It has been revealed that one of two plants that slaughter horses here has been suspended from operations following a Department of Agriculture inspection last Friday.

  Officials who visited Ossory Meats in Offaly found problems with 25 horses.

  These included issues with the horse markings being different to those noted on their passports and some of those presented as being yearlings being much older.

  An interim report on the mislabelling of meat says the incident is extraordinary, particularly the brazenness in attempting to have these animals slaughtered at a time when controls had been enhanced.

  Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said: "I should firstly express my concern at the incident which occurred only last Friday in Ossory Meats.

  "What gave rise to the incident at Ossory Meats and the subsuquent suspension of the plant is totally unacceptable and will be pursued with full vigour



SO TRAGIC

National hero Guest caught in row over neglected race horse

News of the World, 27/03/2005

Grand National legend Richard Guest is at the centre of a courtroom mystery involving a racehorse that vanished – and was then found in appalling condition.

  The News of the World has obtained shocking pictures which show the horse – whose name had been changed – with large amounts of hair missing from its back, a damaged hoof wrapped in black tape and an untreated gash on a rear leg.

  An injunction has now been served against Guest – and the horse’s current owner Seymour Reed – which bans them from selling the horse until the mystery is resolved in court.

  Guest, who won the 2001 National on Red Marauder, last night insisted he had done nothing wrong, stating “When Seymour brought the horse to me, he wanted it renamed.

  “So my secretary sent the necessary forms to Weatherbys and I trained it for a while.

  “Then the horse went home – Seymour took it away from me. At the time I believed that Seymour was the legal owner of the horse. Now I know that’s in dispute.

  “I’m completely innocent. I had no reason whatsoever to question him when he brought the horse to my stables.”

Reed was unavailable for comment but his solicitor, Chirsopher Stewart-Moore, said: “My client is defending the action vigorously.”

  The horse was originally called Cast the Net and was bought by Richard Aylward for £6,415 in 2001.


Stolen

He put it into training with Simon Magnier in Malton, Yorkshire. But after Magnier lost his licence in May, 2003, the horse disappeared.

  Alyward reported it stolen to police and contracted Watherbys, who keep all Jockey Club records. It was then he learnt the horse’s name had been changed to Carpe Momentum, the owner was Reed and it was in training with Guest.

  To his horror, Alyward later discovered the horse on a farm in Northumberland, where he went with a vet and two police officers.

  Aylward a bloodstock breeder, said: “The horse’s ribs were showing and he had a nasty injury on a leg.

  “He had lost lots of hair and there was also a big split in a hoof.

  “I’ve never met Seymour Reed and I’m baffled how he became the owner.”

Alyward is now suing both Guest and Reed for loss of earnings on the horse, with a preliminary hearing set for Friday.



Slaughter 3,000 racehorses

Worried Breeders: We Need Less Stock

Irish News of the World, 25/01/2009

Horseracing last night became the latest victim of the Irish recession as breeders called for 3,000 brood mares to be slaughtered.  Hundreds of owners are bailing out of the sport every month, the Small Breeders’ Association (SBA) revealed.

  Trainers are being left with scores of unwanted runners and a mass of unpaid bills. SBA Chairman Michael Maguire said: “Until 2007, any kind of a horse was selling, so a lot of inferior horses were being bred. There were 8,000 brood mares registered last year, and we believe 3,000 of the poorer mares should be slaughtered. We have to breed less stock.”


Callous

Mr Maguire has been contacted by trainers complaining that callous owners have abandoned their animals.  He said: “One trainer I know was left with four horses after the owner said he was finished with racing and told him to sell the animals to clear the bill.”

 A Tipperary trainer, who asked not to be identified, said: “Owners may tell trainers to keep the horses, but a lot of them are worth nothing. Most will end up at the meat factory.” A huge number of horses are expected to be sent for slaughter as the recession deepens.

  An abattoir in Carlow has applied for a license to destroy 300 horses a week.

  The country’s only other horse rendering plant, B&F Meats in Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, has a huge waiting list.

  Figures released last week show that from 2,000 to 2007, the number of horses in training rose by 52 per cent.  But in 2008 the number of new owners fell 14.7 per cent from 1x4x49 to 1,237.ISPCA officer Barbara Brent said: “Years ago if you had a good horse to re-house you’d have a dozen homes for it, but now people just can’t afford it. People should take responsibility for animals.”



Stud farmer jailed for animal cruelty

Irish Times, 06/2007

A stud farmer has been sent to prison for animal cruelty after an ISPCA inspector found a horse in his care to have injuries, including pus oozing from his head and a foul smell coming from a wound 15cm long and 3cm deep across his nose.

  Eamon Salmon of Fort barrington Athy, Co Kildare, was convicted and sentenced to three months imprisonment over the incident on September 1st, 2006, when ISPCA inspector Brendan Hughes, accompanied by gardai, inspected a premise at Ballylehane Lower, Ballylinan, and found a yearling in what he described as “considerable distress.”

  Mr Hughes told the court that the wound had been caused by a head collar and it was suggested in court that the collar appeared to be too tight and that there was flesh growing over the collar.

  “I was concerned for the welfare of the horse. He would not allow me to put a hand on him. It would obviously have been extremely sore to touch. He was tossing his head up and down. There was a lot pus and ooze coming through the head collar and a foul smell coming from the wound. There was not a doubt in my mind that the horse needed attention.”

Judge Eamonn O’Brien was told that it took the ISPCA inspector and gardai a number of hours to take the animal into their care, owing to the level of terror experienced by the horse.

  The horse was traced back to the ownership of Salmon as it was found on his land with other animals belonging to him.  Salmon was later visited by two ISPCA inspectors and evidence was given in court that during the meeting, he admitted ownership of the horse.  He was asked to surrender the animal to the ISPCA and signed an acceptance from doing so.

  After this was done, Mr Hughes said that the defendant “became extremely annoyed” and said: “’I know that’s all you wanted to do all along – get me into court. You can’t prove the yearling belongs to me. He has no chip’.” (He was referring to the micro-chips which allow animal ownership to be traced).

The defendant told the court that the horse was not his and that he had “sold it on”.

  When the judge asked who the owner was and whether that person could be brought to court, he replied: “No, he is six months dead.”

  Garda Inspector Jerry Coonan put it to Salmon that this was his horse but that it was a horse “of limited ability or a reject” and that it was being kept on these lands, away from his stud farm, so that people coming to the farm could not see it.

The judge described photographs of the horse submitted to the court as “appalling”.



Judge sends battered horse case to higher court

Irish Independent, 15/07/2004

A District Court judge yesterday refused jurisdiction on an animal cruelty ease in which a horse had to be humanely put down after it was allegedly beaten until its back broke when it refused to enter a horse box.

  Judge Michael Pattwell heard that Stokes vehemently denies beating the horse at Carraignafoy, Cobh on September 23 last.

  Garda Inspector Senan Ryan said that the horse had to be humanely put down by a vet who was called to the scene and who believed that the horse’s back was broken.

  Judge Pattwell ruled that the matter was more suited to a higher court.

The matter was adjourned to Cobh District Court on September be next and will then be referred to Cork Circuit Court.



Men denies charge of cruelly ill-treating horse

Irish Times, 02/11/2004

A young horse, which was scared of being loaded into a horsebox, was allegedly cruelly beaten and dragged that it fell and sustained injuries that led to it being put down, a court heard yesterday.

  Mr Maurice Stokes, the halting site, Knocknaheeny, Cork, yesterday denied cruelly beating and ill-treating a three-year-old bay horse on September 23rd, 2003, at Carrignafoy in Cork.  Ms Lea Downing and her mother Deidre told Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday of their shock and horror at witnessing the cruel manner in which the accused and the owner of the horse Mr John Kiely attempted to load the young filly into a horse-box.

  Ms Downing said she, her mother and a younger sister noticed a young horse “obviously distressed, bucking and rearing” as it was being led by two men out of a field towards a horse box. In her testimony she said Mr Stokes was pulling the horse by a rope around its neck, while Mr Kiely was pushing the animal from the rear.  She said she saw Mr Kiely catch lift the gate of the filed and violently ram it into the terrified horse’s hindquarters.

  The court heard that in an effort to move away the animal slipped and fell, and lay for a few seconds with its body half on, half off the steel ramp leading up to the box.  She said as she watched the young filly get back up on her feet she rang local gardai to alert them to alert them to the incident.

  “The ill-treatment continued after it managed to get up. At that point it was bucking violently now. I could see it sweating, it was getting increasingly upset,” Ms Downing said.

After a few seconds of stumbling on its feet the animal allegedly fell once more, hitting its head and landing awkwardly on its neck on the ground.

  Her mother Deidre said, “It was a horrendous thing to see.” Asked why she didn’t intervene, the mother answered: “I didn’t think it was a safe situation to get involved in.”

Veterinary surgeon Mr Dave Canty said Mr Kiely called him to the scene where he found the horse in a comatose state. “I examined it and as a result decided it wasn’t probably going to get up at that stage. I made some further tests and I decided to put the animal down for humanitarian reasons.”

  Defence counsel Mr Donal Ryan BL, said his client Mr Stokes, along with Mr Kiely, strongly denied ever hitting the animal. “She flipped over and lost her balance and hit her head hard…there was no beating. That’s the truth of it. What happened was an accident,” Mr Stokes said.

The case continues today before a jury of three women and nine men at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.



‘Savage horse beating’ left duo sickened

Evening Herald, 02/11/2004

Two women were “shocked and sickened” after witnessing a horse being savagely beaten with ropes and a heavy iron gate because it wouldn’t enter a horse box.  The women were giving evidence in the Circuit Court at the trial of Maurice Stokes who has denied a charge of cruelty to an animal.

  Stokes (47) denies beating the three-year-old filly at Carringnafoy, Cobh, on September 23, 2003.  The horse eventually had to be humanely put down after examination by vet Dr Dave Canty who found that the animal had sustained serious injuries.


Bucking

However, Mr Stokes – and a friend, John Kiely – insisted that the horse must have injured itself while bucking and kicking.

  Judge Sean O’Donnabhain and the jury heard evidence from two witnesses, Deidre and Leah Downing, who said they saw a horse being viciously abused near their home in Cobh.

  The two women claimed that, at one point, they were only 20 metres away from the horse as it was pulled, dragged and finally struck with a heavy iron gate in a bid to get it into a horse box.  One witness revealed that, at one point, the horse fell to the ground and was then struck from behind when one of the men pushed a heavy iron gate against it. The filly fell twice before finally being unable to rise.  Throughout, the women claimed that the horse was being beaten with ropes in an effort to force it into the trailer.

  The court then heard that one of the two men was seen taking the horse by the mane on its neck, despite it being prone on the ground, and attempting to drag it towards the horse box.  The women were so upset they notified the gardai – and officers immediately arrived at the scene.

  Vet Dr Dave Canty was also called and attended to the stricken animal.  Eventually, he decided the only humane course of action was to put down the filly.

However, Dr Canty told defence counsel, Donal Ryan BL, there were no signs of rope beating s along the filly’s back or sides.

Stokes of Bay 3, The Halting Site, Knocknaheeny, Cork, and Kiely were adamant that the women could not have seen the rear of the horse box from where they were standing.



Racing in crisis after dawn raid on Fallon’s family home

Irish Independent, 02/09/2004

The long arm of the law cast a formidable shadow over the world of horse-racing yesterday when it reached for the collar of Irishman Kieren Fallon, the champion jockey, rider of the Queen’s horses and of the last two Derby winners.  Instead of booting home Red Bloom for victory in the feature race at York,   Fallon spent the day being grilled by police investigating alleged corruption and race-fixing on the turf.

  In a sport of early-morning starts, the police were at the door of Fallon’s bungalow outside Newmarket before he could make his usual dawn exist to the training gallops.

  After taking him away for questioning, they also removed computers, files and documents from his home. Fallon was later released on bail from Bury St Edmunds police station and will have to attend a police station in London in two months. Until then, it is business as usual for the five-times champion who will continue the defence of his title from the challenge of Frankie Dettori with six rides at today’s Salisbury meeting.

  Fallon’s solicitor, Christopher Stewart-Moore, said in a statement last night: “Kieren Fallon has not been charged with any offence. Following an interview with the police in Bury St Edmunds he has been released without charge.

  “The circumstances that relate to his arrest involve an individual who Kieren Fallon has met on one occasion and whose name he did not even know at the time the meeting happened.

  “This was during the course of a 10-minute car journey from Leicester races to the airport at Leicester where he then flew on to a meeting at Windsor.

  “During this car journey Kieren Fallon did not speak to the individual concerned. In the circumstances we do not anticipate that this matter will be taken any further by the police.”

Two other jockeys, Ferdal Lynch, from Derry, Darren Williams and the trainer Karl Burke were among 15 others arrested. The riders also have booked mounts today, with Lynch due at Redcar and Williams at Carlisle.

  John Maxse, of the Jockey Club, said: “In the event that those concerned are released, then I would anticipate they would be able to continue with their racing and riding, pending further developments in the police investigation.”

  The decision not to suspend the riders marks a change of policy from the last time the police became involved in racing, when the jockey Graham Bradley had his licence to ride suspended for two months in 1999 after being arrested.

  Bradley was allowed to reapply for his licence after charges against him were dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.

  Fellow jockeys Dean Gallagher, Jamie Osborne and Leighton Aspell also had their licences suspended for a week, having been arrested before being released without charge.

  The magnitude of the dawn swoops reflects the seriousness of the investigation into 80 suspicious races, with 130 officers from four police forces headed by the City of London Police, raiding 19 addresses.

  At a time of increased track attendances and record-breaking levels of betting these are not the sort of figures on which the sport’s rulers, the British Horseracing Board and Jockey Club,0 wish to dwell.  Instead, the Jockey Club, so often the butt of accusations of incompetence in its efforts to police the sport, was quick yesterday to draw attention to the role in the investigation of its own security department that has been beefed up by the addition of some former senior policemen.

Betfair, the leading betting exchange, were also anxious to claim credit for their part in the investigation, while defending themselves from their dogged enemies, the traditional bookmakers. “Betfair has played a key role in the investigations,” a statement said. (© Independent News Service)




Jockey held in fix claims

Evening Herald, 03/02/2006

An Irish jockey has been arrested in England by police investigating claims of race-fixing.

Dubliner Robert Winston (25) was interviewed by police after they called by police after they called to his home in the village of Huntington, near York.

  Officers from the City of London police travelled north to interview the Irish man as part of an extensive investigation which has resulted in 26 arrests.

  Winston was champion apprentice in 1999 and his top win so far has been the Cheveley Park Stakes which he won on Magical Romance last autumn.



Irish ride named in dope row

Evening Herald, 18/02/2005

In yet another embarrassment for Irish showjumping, it emerged today that Irish rider Jessica Kurten’s horse has also tested positive for banned substances.  Her horse, Libertina, tested positive for caffeine and theophylline after a showjumping event in Calgary last September.

  However, Ms Kurten has lashed out saying that she was prevented from bringing her own horse feed to the Canadian event and was forced to use feed that she believes contained the banned substances.

  She said that she was not in a position to have the new feed checked for banned trace elements and reassured her supporters, sponsors and friends that she didn’t do anything wrong.

  Kurten said she was not willing to accept a “symbolic fine” of 250 Swiss Francs by the international equestrian authorities over the incident.  It’s also understood she has requested that the authorities now proceed to test the B portion of the sample in question.

  Today, president of the Equestrian Federation of Ireland, Avril Doyle MEP, moved to limit the damage caused to the image of Irish showjumping saying it was a “grade five” (low potential to influence performance) offence.

  Kurten said in an statement: “These naturally occurring herbal substances are a high source of protein often found in animal feeds. At this show and I was prohibited from bringing my own feedstuff into Canada. My own feedstuff does not contain this source of protein.”

  The FEI, on discovering the presence of these naturally occurring substances decided to impose a “symbolic” fine of 250 Swiss Francs to finish the matter.

“I have declined to cooperate with this proposal because I cannot be held responsible for the contents of the feed supplied in Calgary as I was not in a position to have it analysed or checked. I want the FEI to explain why they chose to sanction me in these circumstances,” she said.



Cowboys’ legacy of cruelty and death

Evening Herald, 06/04/2006

Animal welfare officers have discovered a gruesome legacy of death, destruction and terrible cruelty inflicted on horses by Dublin’s ‘urban cowboys.’

  DSPCA officials were dispatched to fields of ex4hausted, badly emaciated horses that were either reduced to skin and bare bones; barely surviving or were dead and devoured by rats or foxies.

  The ‘killing fields’ were found at an old dump site at Dunsink, Finglas and their owners – suspected young horse keepers – had actually covered up stricken creatures with old car bonnets or trees to prevent the DSPCA from finding them in further inspections.


Experienced

The suffering experienced by the horses were uncovered in recent days following anxious calls from locals and passing drivers.

  They were in urgent need of veterinary attention, food and water.

Dublin’s bareback urban cowboys buy and sell horses and ponies, often in the Smithfield market in inner city Dublin and then let them feed in parks or lands near their home.

  Furious Liam Kinsella of the DSPCA told that when he first went to location near Finglals the first animal he saw was a fatigued female that had either given birth or was in the process of aborting.

  A truck driver had seen the horse roll down that morning and on passing again later contacted the DSPCA as the horse had not got up.

  The dark horse was in agony and had to be shot on the spot – with a humane gun – as she was in such a bad state at the wasteland.

  “It was lying down on bits of an old metal bumper. It had no body weight and if it moved slightly it would injure itself on the metal,” said Mr Kinsella. Another horse was found by a hedge, lying beside a football, having been dead for four to five weeks and had his head and flesh eaten by vermin.


Skinny

It was positioned around 500 ft from the first horse that was put to sleep. Another extremely skinny horse was rescued from a group of five and was successfully brought back to the shelter and is now being nursed back to some health.

  Groups of horses are still on the site and the DSPCA’s investigation is ongoing this week.

  The land borders two Dublin country councils and is owned by a developer who was unaware the horses were put out to graze on the wasteland, said the DSPCA. Last Sunday, Liam Kinsella said he witnessed a 12 year old boy buying a pony at the monthly Smithfield market for €150.

  Mr Kinsella said it was “impossible” to find licensed owners who would claim responsibility.

  He said the owners were more than likely “ordinary lads from housing estates who go to the Smithfield horse fair and don’t realise the expense, care or skills involved in maintaining the horse.

  “They just find a green belt area, put the horses on it and think they have fulfilled their duty.”

He commented that education and legislation was very poor in this sector and that the compulsory microchipping of horses needs to be introduced.



Man jailed for cruelty to at-risk horses

Irish Times, 20/04/2012

A MAN who has contracts with nine local authorities to take in and care for horses which are at risk or abandoned has been convicted of cruelty to animals and sentenced to 16 months in jail.

 The veterinary inspector who visited the site said two horses he put to sleep had “suffered institutional abuse” and should have been going to a place of “solace and comfort” but were entirely neglected.

 At he imposed sentence at Trim District Court yesterday on Joseph Moran (44), Clonymeath, Summerhill, Co Meath, Judge Patrick McMahon said he was “surprised” Moran still had contracts with local authorities.

 Moran’s 31 acres at Clonymeath were visited by department veterinary inspector Christopher O’Brien Lynch on April 17th last year after complaints were made by the ISPCA and others in relation to concerns about both living and dead horses.

 In a field he found two small bay horses and using a scientific scale ranging from zero to five which rates the condition of the animal, with five being fat and zero being skeletal, he found the horses to be 0.5 or less.

 Their ribs were prominent, they were sitting on the ground, their heads were hanging and their coats were matted and soiled with urine and faeces. Both were dull, listless and deeply distressed, he said. He euthanised them immediately.

 There was no water available and it was “an unseasonally warm day”. Mr O’Brien Lynch said Moran said no water had been given to them since he collected them three days earlier in Co Laois. On the same day he found the carcasses of five horses. Some, he estimated, had been there for three months; one was of a horse straddled on a submerged tree in a river, and another was of a horse that likely became submerged in mud.

 Nineteen other horses were on the lands and he was “entirely” satisfied with their condition and a concern he had about the quality of their feed had been resolved.

 Mr O’Brien Lynch said that in his 37 years in his profession he found the case “very distressing”.   He said the animals were collected because they were vulnerable or abandoned and were taken in on behalf of the State and then had “suffered institutional abuse. They didn’t come from good homes and should have had a week or two of solace and comfort [at Moran’s].”

 Shane Patrick Murray, defending, said his client has contracts with nine local authorities and he collects horses running loose or abandoned and he serves enforcement notices on encampments where he is “not welcome”. Mr Murray said his client has had his assistance sought by the ISPCA, the Dublin SPCA and the Horse Welfare Trust and some people were prepared to give evidence on his behalf until their superiors told them not to get involved. His client accepted he “took his eye off the ball,” and that he fell down in his duties, Mr Murray said.

 Sentencing him to five months on each summons of cruelty to the horses which were put to sleep, the judge said he was “surprised” the various local authorities “are still giving contracts to this man”.

 He also imposed two-month sentences on four summonses for letting carcasses remain unburied. All but one are to run consecutively, meaning the total sentence imposed was 16 months.



Animal cruelty ruling: father and son jailed for allowing horses and ponies to suffer horrifically

Robert McAleenan, 55, and his son Conor, 28, given two years over neglect at Co Antrim farm

Irish Mirror, 02/12/2014

 A father and son have been jailed for almost two years for allowing horses, ponies and donkeys to suffer in the most horrific way.

 In the landmark ruling on Tuesday, Robert and Conor McAleenan, originally from Oldpark, Belfast, were also banned from keeping animals for 25 years.

 Their farm in Co Antrim will now have to be cleared of any livestock remaining on site while they face Christmas in prison.

 In the most robust sentencing in Northern Ireland regarding cruelty to horses, Judge Desmond Marrinan told the men: “This is one of the worst cases of animal cruelty that I have encountered and you should be thoroughly ashamed of your callous behaviour.”

 Antrim Crown Court judge said he was unimpressed by the men’s defence and found no substance in claims Robert McAleenan, 55, and his son Conor, 28 had not set out to deliberately cause suffering or distress to the animals.

 Mr Justice Marrinan said: “This was a case of neglect.”

 He told the court the case photographs were “horrific... almost unbelievable”, and said: “The evidence bore testimony to the fact they treated these poor animals in a pitiless manner without the slightest regard for their welfare. In my view they are unfit to be carers for any animal.”

 The men pleaded guilty to a total of 16 charges of causing unnecessary suffering to the animals between November 1 and 25, 2011 on their Lisnevenagh Road farm in Co Antrim.

 Conor McAleenan, who had owned the animals, was jailed for 14 months.

 His father, who owns the farm between Antrim and Ballymena, was given nine months.

 Sitting in Coleraine, Judge Marrinan said the case was triggered by a tip-off from a member of the public.

 He said that the scene that confronted vets and PSNI officers on November 22, 2011, was a one of horror.

 They were faced with an overpowering stench of dead animals which had been dumped in a heap on the farm, with numerous other standing around in filth, starving and left to fend for themselves.

 One vet said: “The scale of what I saw was unbelievably large. The father and son had fundamentally failed to protect the animals, failed to address the most basic health and husbandry requirements.

 "Some of the animals were in such a pitiful state of suffering that they had to be euthanised on humane grounds.”

The father and son were told they will serve only half the term in jail followed by half again under supervised licensed parole but were removed from the court to Maghaberry Jail on Tuesday where they will spend Christmas.



Worst case of animal cruelty seen in Ireland

Irish Sun, 09/10/2007

A father and son have pleaded guilty to the worst case of animal cruelty ever seen in Ireland. A cop found starving horses with no grass or fodder next to the carcasses of four dead animals at a site rented by Simon O' Dwyer and his son, also called Simon.  

  Three horses had to be put down while the remaining 25 were taken into care by the Irish Horse Welfare Trust, a judge at Carrick-on-Suir District Court , Co. Tipperary heard.  

  Just a month later, 51 cattle and one live horse were found in shocking conditions along with the carcasses of four cattle and one horse at the O' Dwyer' Mullinbeg farm.  

 An investigation by Garda Sgt Stephen O' Sullivan resulted in the seizure of the cattle. Judge Terence Flynn called the animal cruelty the worse he had ever seen in his time working on the bench.  

  O' Dwyer Snr, 61 and 21-year-old O' Dwyer, Jnr of Knocktoper, Co. Kilkenny were given four-months suspended jail sentences. They were also fined €3,000 each and ordered to pay €38,000 to the Irish Horse Welfare Trust as a contribution to nursing their animals plus €2,000 for carcass disposal and €540 vet fees.  

  A Trust spokesman said: "We are looking for kind and experienced homes for the horses."



Antrim horse cruelty: Father and son facing jail

Horses and ponies found living among animal carcasses as judge compares them to "prisoners of war"

Irish Mirror, 28/11/2012

A father and son may face jail next week after condemning 70 horses to a life compared by a judge to “prisoner of war” conditions.  see more

 


Man fined for horse cruelty

Irish Daily Star, 17/10/2007

A farmer who neglected an old horse on his land was convicted yesterday. Donal Seeley (34) of Ballymurray Co. Roscommon pleaded guilty at Roscommon District Court to animal cruelty.

    The court heard ISPCA inspector Brendan Hughes found the animal in excruciating pain on land at Ballyleague, Lanesborough, in November 2006 and it was so sick it had to be put down.

 Solicitor Kevin Kilrain said Seeley was simply busy and did not visit the land in question that often. He said the horse was old and worn and was worth nothing.  

  Judge Jeffrey Brown said that was no excuse. The judge imposed a find of €1,000 and ordered Seely to pay costs of €690. After the case ISPCA inspector Brendan Hughes said it was one of the worst cases he'd ever seen.



Farmer fined for starving horse

Irish Times, 12/04/2008

A farmer who allowed an old horse to starve on his land has been fined and ordered to pay more than €3,300 in expenses to the ISPCA. The animal was described by an examining vet as being "the skinniest horse" he had ever seen.

 John Dunphy (53) with an address at Knockanoran, Durrow, Co. Laois appeared before Portlaoise District Court yesterday.  

  Brendan Hughes, an animal welfare inspector with the ISPCA, told the court the only reason the horse was not destroyed was due to the care given by vets at UCD.  

 Josephine Fitzpatrick, solicitor for Mr. Dunphy said her client had separated from his wife and that he had "put his head in the sand in relation to the horse".



Man admits cruelty to dying horse.

Daily Star, 12/03/2009

John Daly, Upper Tomhard, Bilbao, Carlow, was sentenced to five months in prison on each count of cruelty but this punishment was suspended.  

  Mr. Daly has pleaded guilty to two counts of cruelty to horses in care on February 29, 2008.  Mr.Daly’s solicitor said that his client had bought the horses from travellers a few day’s before and ISPCA inspector found one of the horses lying in Daly’s field. The court heard the horse as “extremely emaciated” and “frightened”. A vet was called and the horse was put to sleep.



The Clare People,13/10/2009

A HORSE WAS put down after his hooves were grossly overgrown and the animal was in obvious distress, a court has been told.

John Frost (63), of Deerpark, Doora, Quin, was charged with cruelly ill-treating an animal in February.

  Clare County Dog Warden Frankie Coote told the court that, on foot of a call on February 7 last, he went to Doora the following morning, "where I believed there was a horse in distress".

  On arrival, he could see a horse in a field. "He was in obvious distress. He was unable to get up," he said. He contacted gardaí and notified a vet and they arrived at the scene.  He said that as the horse attempted to get up "it was very dangerous, so I tied him"."The hooves were grossly overgrown. The horse had to be destroyed.  The vet examined the horse and decided that the horse was suffering and was unable to get up," said Mr Coote.  He said he had inspected the same horse in October of last year, after he had received a complaint. He said at that time the owner had undertaken to get a farrier. Asked by defence solicitor Daragh Hassett had any efforts been made to contact Mr Frost prior to the animal being put down, Mr Coote said, "My concern was the horse."

  Owen O'Connor, a vet, told the court he had concluded that no treatment was suitable for the horse and he advised that it be put to sleep. He said that overfeeding and repeated bouts of laminitis contributed to the condition of the horse. The horse was put down that day.  He agreed with Mr Hassett that there was good grass and fresh water in the field. Mr Hassett submitted to the court that the evidence did not amount to cruelly ill-treating the animal.   However, Inspector John O'Sullivan, prosecuting, said the evidence presented did amount to ill-treatment of the animal.

  Judge Timothy Lucey convicted the accused. "This has been going on for some time. It didn't just happen overnight. That, in this court's view, is ill-treatment," he said. Mr Hassett said the case was "at the lower end of cruelty." "Mr Frost did his very best. He had the horse shod by a farrier.  He had it done once a year. It would appear he should have it done twice a year, given the age of the horse. He's very sorry for what happened," he said.

  The judge said the case was "serious". "The horse was in good condition otherwise, but this specific problem was not being dealt with. He knew there was a problem there. He ignored it. He let it run. Things can slip. That happens to everybody, but the animal is in your hands. The animal can do nothing about it. It is a serious situation,” said the judge. "In my view, he is clearly responsible for the horse and clearly didn't do what he was supposed to do," he added.” In the course of the case it was put to the court the owner should have been consulted before the horse was put down. I accept Mr O'Connor's professional judgment. I think he acted 100 per cent correctly in putting the animal out of his misery," he said.  He said if the defendant had previous convictions, he would be facing a custodial sentence. He imposed a fine of €500 and fixed a bond in the event of an appeal.



Horse beaten to death in Wicklow Town

WicklowNews.net, 09/12/2013

In an act of sheer barbarism, a horse was kicked and beaten to death by a group of men after being thrown from its horsebox yesterday evening in Wicklow Town.

  According to eyewitness reports, a group of men arrived in the Hillview estate, Ballyguile at around 4.30pm with a horsebox in tow and attempted to unload the animal onto the green area for grazing.

  When the horse refused to walk out down the ramp, the men opened the back doors of the horsebox and accelerated sharply, causing the horse to tumble out into the street.

  Witnesses told WicklowNews.net that the horse was unable to stand up and was then beaten by the group of men.

  A vet was called to the scene at around 6.30pm and the horse was then put to sleep.

  More than 12 hours later, the carcass of the horse was still lying in the street covered with a sheet which had been placed over it by residents. According to one witness the horse’s foal was standing over it, nuzzling the remains.

  Cantor Equine, a Dublin-based company used for horse seizures, has been tasked with the removal of the remains and the cost will be met jointly by Wicklow County Council and Wicklow Town Council.

  Wicklow Town Councillor Pat Kavanagh said she feared that this would not be the last incident of its kind as long as microchipping laws remain unenforced.

  Cllr Kavanagh was critical of the Wicklow County Council operation last week that saw 63 horses removed from estate, saying that “money could have been better spent” on initiatives to educate horse owners in the area so that animals kept in the field were microchipped and properly cared for.

  “My concern now is that we are going to have horses from all over the country brought to Wicklow and this is going to be an ongoing problem. Are we going to have people coming to Wicklow to dump their horses as a free way to get rid of them?”

Eight horses remain on the estate and have received care from the Irish Horse Welfare Trust.

  Gardai in Wicklow Town are investigating the incident and anyone with any information is asked to contact them on 0404-60140.



Horse smuggler talks about drugging animals before illegal slaughter

Journal.ie, 06/03/2013

THE HORSEMEAT SCANDAL continues to grow legs with fresh revelations that a smuggling conspiracy has been running for years across Ireland and the UK.

BBC Northern Ireland’s Spotlightprogramme uncovered details about the criminal activity and reporter Jennifer O’Leary spoke with one man who claimed to be involved in a gang.

  The activities led to horsemeat that was never fit for human consumption entering the food chain. One of the smuggling routes is believed to have started in Ireland but it is still unclear where all this horsemeat has landed.

  The animals were exported through Belfast.

  The insider told the BBC that sellers knew why their horses were being bought.

  “They did know they were going to a factory but they thought they were going for dog food.”

He also revealed that forged documentation, bogus microchips and stimulating drugs were used in the process.

  Those involved would insert bogus microchips under the skin of the horses, according to the gang member. Many of the creatures were also given drugs to make them appear healthier.

  “Some of them weren’t in the best condition,” he said. “But to stimulate them and get them on their feet again, you’d give them certain cortisone and bute.

  “If a horse had a heartbeat and could walk, he would stand up on the lorry until he got to England.”

Some of the horses were delivered to the Redline Abattoir in Chesire which is being investigated by the Food Standards Agency over “horse passport matters”.

  The firm’s parent group say they have never knowingly slaughtered an animal with false documentation. It also insists that hundreds of horses have been turned away from the abattoir because of inadequate passports.


Passport Database

Meanwhile, the suggestion of a national passport database in Ireland has been met with some scepticism by those in the industry.

  Speaking to Morning Ireland, the director of one of the bodies approved to issue horse passports said that although the plan is worthwhile, it is also incomplete.

  Tom Reed of Irish Warmblood Stud said, “What is being proposed is a band-aid so the Department can look like it is doing something.”

  He believes there is an opportunity now – because of the ongoing food industry crisis – to take steps that would put Ireland in the lead within the EU on this issue. And to ensure a stable, transparent and safe food chain.

  The organisation would like to see just one body issue one type of passport for horses which would include an image of the animal. It has also called for bute audits across the industry.

  The Irish Cattle and Sheep Association (ICSA) has urged the authorities to seek prosecutions over the horsemeat controversy.

  President Eddie Punch said that processors had “obviously made mistakes” but also pointed blame towards retailers. 

“Supermarkets say they are shocked…yet surely they didn’t believe they could sell burgers for the cheap price they were selling them for?”



ISPCA warns horse owners after ex-racehorse found starving in Westmeath

Newstalk, 22/04/2014

The ISPCA is warning horse owners to properly update ownership details after a former racehorse was found starving and close to death. The horse - whose racing name was 'Suspect' - was discovered on vacant land in Athlone in Co. Westmeath in November.

  The horse was so emaciated he could barely stand before being rescued by ISPCA Inspector Karen Lyons. She found him discarded on disused development land in the Athlone area after a call was made to the ISPCA confidential animal cruelty helpline by a concerned member of the public.

  While his registered owner was located, it has been claimed that he was sold at the Banagher Fair last September. The ISPCA says efforts to establish who was responsible for his care are on-going and so far proving unsuccessful.

  But details on his micro-chip confirmed he was a racehorse.

  He was due to run in Roscommon in May of last year, but was withdrawn due to injury. Cisco was taken to the ISPCA National Animal Centre for urgent veterinary care and rehabilitation and has made a good recovery.

  ISPCA CEO Dr. Andrew Kelly believes the horse, who has now been re-named 'Cisco', was abandoned after his racing career ended because of injury.



Council’s former horse carer jailed for animal cruelty

Kilkenny People, 05/05/2012

A man who was previously employed by Kilkenny County Council to collect and care for at-risk or abandoned horses has been sentenced to 16 months in prison for animal cruelty.

  Joseph Moran, from Summerhill in Meath, has contracts with nine different local authorities to take in and care for seized animals. His contract with Kilkenny County Council, which involved re-locating neglected horses to Urlingford Horse Pound, had expired before the cruelty offences came to light, and it had not been renewed.

  Last month, Mr Moran was found guilty of cruelty to animals kept on his own land in Meath. Following complaints from the ISPCA, a veterinarian had visited the site and found two horses in such a state of neglect that they had to be immediately euthanised.

  The vet told the court that the animals had suffered ‘institutional abuse’, and that they were malnourished and lacking water. He also found the carcasses of five other horses, some of which had been there for some time.

  Handing down the sentence, Judge Patrick McMahon said he was surprised to hear that Mr Moran still held contracts with a number of local authorities.

  “This person is totally unfit to deal with any form of animal and it would be my wish that he is banned for life from keeping horses,” he said.

Carol McCarthy of Kilkenny County Council’s environmental department said that the council had been ‘frankly appalled’ to hear of the offences. A contract for the position with the local authorities will be going to tender in the coming weeks.



Council’s former horse carer jailed for animal cruelty

Kilkenny People, 05/05/2012

A man who was previously employed by Kilkenny County Council to collect and care for at-risk or abandoned horses has been sentenced to 16 months in prison for animal cruelty.

  Joseph Moran, from Summerhill in Meath, has contracts with nine different local authorities to take in and care for seized animals. His contract with Kilkenny County Council, which involved re-locating neglected horses to Urlingford Horse Pound, had expired before the cruelty offences came to light, and it had not been renewed.

  Last month, Mr Moran was found guilty of cruelty to animals kept on his own land in Meath. Following complaints from the ISPCA, a veterinarian had visited the site and found two horses in such a state of neglect that they had to be immediately euthanised.

  The vet told the court that the animals had suffered ‘institutional abuse’, and that they were malnourished and lacking water. He also found the carcasses of five other horses, some of which had been there for some time.

  Handing down the sentence, Judge Patrick McMahon said he was surprised to hear that Mr Moran still held contracts with a number of local authorities.

  “This person is totally unfit to deal with any form of animal and it would be my wish that he is banned for life from keeping horses,” he said.

Carol McCarthy of Kilkenny County Council’s environmental department said that the council had been ‘frankly appalled’ to hear of the offences. A contract for the position with the local authorities will be going to tender in the coming weeks.



‘Vile’ killing of foal must be catalyst for action on horses in estates

SF councillor calls for stables to be develop for city horses

Galway Advertiser, 26/06/2014

The horrific killing of a foal on the city’s east side has led to calls for the development of community fields and stables, as a way to tackle the problem of horses in the city, and prevent any more horses coming to serious harm.

  Recently on the city’s east side, a young foal was beaten to death by a group of youths, and its body subsequently set on fire. The action has resulted in condemnation from local politicians and the establishment of an online petition calling on the Galway City Council to enforce existing animal welfare/protection laws.

  The killing of the foal has not only highlighted instances of animal cruelty in the city, but also raised again the vexed issue of horses being kept in residential estates.

 Sinn Féin councillor Mairéad Farrell, who described the incident as a “vile” and “horrendous and wanton killing”, said the only way to prevent such an instance from recurring is by tacking “anti-social behaviour and the presence of horses in housing estates”.

  Cllr Farrell said horses cannot be allowed to remain on housing estates and that there must be “no exceptions” made in this regard. However she acknowledged that many young people on estates are “deeply enthralled with horses” and that this interest should be supported and developed.

  As a result she is calling on the Galway City Council to develop a community project where fields are provided and stables developed for horses. “This would tackle both the horse problem and to a certain extent also the problem of anti-social behaviour,” she said, as it could lead to more interest in equine welfare among young people in estates where horses are a common sight.

  Cllr Farrell added that to further combat anti-social behaviour, more gardaí are needed “on the beat”, and local representatives given “a direct input into local policing plans”.

  The Galway City East councillor is seeking the support of her fellow elected representatives for her call for to develop stables and fields for city horses.

  “It is essential Galway councillors speak with one voice on this issue and seek the extra funding needed,” she said. “As the National Youth Council has observed, for every €1 invested in youth work €2.22 is saved in other services. The State would make major financial savings by investing in our youth.”

  The killing of the foal has also led to a petition thepetitionsite.com calling on the council to enforce animal welfare laws. The petition accuses City Hall of failing to enforce the microchipping of horses; and of not taking action over how horses are treated.

  The petition alleges that some horses are “often tied up for days on end in small fields in the middle of our housing estates and on wholly unsuitable hardstands, often with no water”.

Notification of the petition has been sent to all Galway City Council members, the Garda Superintendent in Mill Street, and the Garda Communications Office.



Carlow man convicted of animal cruely

Advertiser.ie, 13/11/2008

A Carlow man was convicted of animal cruelty at Carlow District Court this week.

  David Fisher with an address at Glean na Bearru, Royal Oak Road, Bagenalstown pled guilty to cruelty to two horses at lands in Nurney, Co Carlow in November 2007.

  The two filly horses were discovered in poor condition by Inspector Brendan Hughes on Wednesday November 21 last year following a report to the ISPCA by a concerned member of the public. There was no grass for the horses to eat and no evidence of any supplementary feeding.

  Giving evidence in court Inspector Hughes described one of the horses, a light bay, as being “emaciated with ribs showing and hips and spine protruding.” He also said that the animal was “depressed and listless.”

  Inspector Hughes described the other filly which was dark bay in colour as being “in similar bodily condition but somewhat brighter.”

  The two horses were removed for care and rehabilitation. While the dark bay was brought to the ISPCA National Animal Centre in Longford, the light bay was treated locally as it was feared that she would not survive the journey. Both were pregnant at the time of their rescue but both subsequently delivered still-born foals.

The case was adjourned for sentencing until 18th February 2009 pending a probationary report.




Horse beaten to death in Wicklow Town

Wicklow News.net, 09/12/2013

In an act of sheer barbarism, a horse was kicked and beaten to death by a group of men after being thrown from its horsebox yesterday evening in Wicklow Town.

  According to eyewitness reports, a group of men arrived in the Hillview estate, Ballyguile at around 4.30pm with a horsebox in tow and attempted to unload the animal onto the green area for grazing.

  When the horse refused to walk out down the ramp, the men opened the back doors of the horsebox and accelerated sharply, causing the horse to tumble out into the street.

  Witnesses told WicklowNews.net that the horse was unable to stand up and was then beaten by the group of men.

  A vet was called to the scene at around 6.30pm and the horse was then put to sleep.

  More than 12 hours later, the carcass of the horse was still lying in the street covered with a sheet which had been placed over it by residents. According to one witness the horse’s foal was standing over it, nuzzling the remains.

  Cantor Equine, a Dublin-based company used for horse seizures, has been tasked with the removal of the remains and the cost will be met jointly by Wicklow County Council and Wicklow Town Council.

  Wicklow Town Councillor Pat Kavanagh said she feared that this would not be the last incident of its kind as long as microchipping laws remain unenforced.

  Cllr Kavanagh was critical of the Wicklow County Council operation last week that saw 63 horses removed from estate, saying that “money could have been better spent” on initiatives to educate horse owners in the area so that animals kept in the field were microchipped and properly cared for.

  “My concern now is that we are going to have horses from all over the country brought to Wicklow and this is going to be an ongoing problem. Are we going to have people coming to Wicklow to dump their horses as a free way to get rid of them?”

Eight horses remain on the estate and have received care from the Irish Horse Welfare Trust.

Gardai in Wicklow Town are investigating the incident and anyone with any information is asked to contact them on 0404-60140.



Man jailed for cruelty to at-risk horses

Irish Times, 20/04/2012

A MAN who has contracts with nine local authorities to take in and care for horses which are at risk or abandoned has been convicted of cruelty to animals and sentenced to 16 months in jail.

  The veterinary inspector who visited the site said two horses he put to sleep had “suffered institutional abuse” and should have been going to a place of “solace and comfort” but were entirely neglected.

  At he imposed sentence at Trim District Court yesterday on Joseph Moran (44), Clonymeath, Summerhill, Co Meath, Judge Patrick McMahon said he was “surprised” Moran still had contracts with local authorities.

  Moran’s 31 acres at Clonymeath were visited by department veterinary inspector Christopher O’Brien Lynch on April 17th last year after complaints were made by the ISPCA and others in relation to concerns about both living and dead horses.

  In a field he found two small bay horses and using a scientific scale ranging from zero to five which rates the condition of the animal, with five being fat and zero being skeletal, he found the horses to be 0.5 or less.

  Their ribs were prominent, they were sitting on the ground, their heads were hanging and their coats were matted and soiled with urine and faeces. Both were dull, listless and deeply distressed, he said. He euthanised them immediately.

  There was no water available and it was “an unseasonally warm day”. Mr O’Brien Lynch said Moran said no water had been given to them since he collected them three days earlier in Co Laois. On the same day he found the carcasses of five horses. Some, he estimated, had been there for three months; one was of a horse straddled on a submerged tree in a river, and another was of a horse that likely became submerged in mud.

  Nineteen other horses were on the lands and he was “entirely” satisfied with their condition and a concern he had about the quality of their feed had been resolved.

  Mr O’Brien Lynch said that in his 37 years in his profession he found the case “very distressing”. He said the animals were collected because they were vulnerable or abandoned and were taken in on behalf of the State and then had “suffered institutional abuse. They didn’t come from good homes and should have had a week or two of solace and comfort [at Moran’s].”

  Shane Patrick Murray, defending, said his client has contracts with nine local authorities and he collects horses running loose or abandoned and he serves enforcement notices on encampments where he is “not welcome”. Mr Murray said his client has had his assistance sought by the ISPCA, the Dublin SPCA and the Horse Welfare Trust and some people were prepared to give evidence on his behalf until their superiors told them not to get involved. His client accepted he “took his eye off the ball,” and that he fell down in his duties, Mr Murray said.

  Sentencing him to five months on each summons of cruelty to the horses which were put to sleep, the judge said he was “surprised” the various local authorities “are still giving contracts to this man”.

  He also imposed two-month sentences on four summonses for letting carcasses remain unburied. All but one are to run consecutively, meaning the total sentence imposed was 16 months.



Tests show 'out of control' elephants had been drugged

Irish Independent, 24/04/2012

TESTS have revealed that two circus elephants involved in two dangerous incidents had been drugged.

The results of lab tests on blood and urine samples have borne out fears that their food was deliberately tampered with.

  Wayne Courtney of Courtney Brothers Circus told the Irish Independent they were "deeply shocked" that anyone would apparently try to sabotage their elephants -- pointing out that this could have had fatal consequences.

  "We knew from the very start that there was something wrong -- our handler (Joey Gartner) knew the animals just weren't themselves," he said.

The owners sought the tests after two incidents involving the elderly elephants while they were based in Blackpool in Cork.

In the first incident -- on March 27 -- a 38-year old female elephant named Baby broke out of her paddock and into the car park of a nearby shopping centre.

  The animal -- whose actions were captured on camera phone and became an internet sensation -- appeared reluctant to obey her handler's commands.

  She finally did so after coming within metres of a junction on the busy Cork-Limerick road.

  Four days later -- on March 31 -- a Spanish friend of one of the animal handlers, Justino Munez, was injured when Belinda, a 42-year-old elephant, accidentally sat on him after she was pushed by Baby.

  Mr Munez was rushed to hospital with crush injuries. He is recovering well following treatment and is back with the circus.


Morphine

Mr Courtney said Mr Gartner was adamant that the animals' behaviour was not normal and that they seemed agitated.

  Now, tests by a Dublin veterinary laboratory have shown traces of paracetamol and morphine in their systems.

  The Veterinary Laboratory Services Ireland (VLSI) report -- seen by the Irish Independent -- confirmed this.

  "(There is) a positive opiate screen due to the presence of (both) codeine and morphine. During the course of the confirmatory testing, the presence of paracetamol was also detected. The presence of morphine is likely to be as a result of metabolised codeine," the report ruled.

Mr Courtney -- whose circus is performing in Tipperary this week -- commented: "We have our suspicions about exactly what happened."

  The circus owners have made a formal complaint to the gardai -- and will be submitting the veterinary report to them.

  Neither Baby nor Belinda was on veterinary medications at the time -- and it is suspected the drugs were administered by way of their food or water.

  Mr Courtney said public access to them would now be strictly controlled -- with their food kept under lock and key.

  "The sad thing is that for many children the highlight of their trip to the circus was getting to interact with the elephants and throw them fruit or vegetables. But we cannot allow that to happen anymore."

Mr Courtney added that both animals had been fine since the circus left Cork.



RTE News, 04/04/2014

An investigation is under way in Co Clare into a suspected case of animal cruelty.The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) said the carcasses of nine horses, three cattle and three calves were found this week at the foot of Baltard Cliffs in Doonbeg, Co Clare.

  ISPCA officer Frank Coote said the "evidence suggests" the animals were thrown from the cliff top.

  Speaking to RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Coote said it was difficult to identify the animals.

  He said the horses did not have microchips and that there were no tags on the cattle, as their ears had been cut off.

  Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney said that he is "extremely concerned" at the discovery of the carcasses.

  Mr Coveney said: "The matter is now the subject of an urgent investigation involving the department, the gardaí and Clare County Council."

  A huge amount of work has been done in recent years in the area of animal welfare, including significant new legislation and regulations around the treatment and ownership of animals, and year-on-year increases in funding, he said.

  The vet who attended the scene said it is more likely an environmental and public health issue rather than a case of animal cruelty.

  Fergal Hennessy from the Kilkee Veterinary Clinic attended to one emaciated horse found alive on the cliff top.

  However, he said it would have been common for dead animals to be disposed of from a cliff and that the site was most likely used as a "dumping ground".

  He said the Government and Minister Coveney had taken a particular interest in animal welfare, but said there was more to do.



Garda rejects animal charity’s claim that animal was burnt alive in Dublin

Irish Times, 29/11/2013

The Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DPSCA) has insisted that the horse whose charred remains were found in Tallaght yesterday was burned alive.

  The gardaí say they are satisfied from their investigations that the mare was already dead when petrol was poured on her carcass and it was burned.

  However, DSPCA spokeswoman Gillian Bird said it was in “no doubt” that the animal was alive when she was set on fire.

  “We have received information from eyewitnesses and people who have spoken to eyewitnesses who say this horse was alive when she was set on fire, though we do not know what state she was in,” she said.

  “We have no evidence that she was not alive. We will have more information about this next week.”

The incident happened on a patch of grass off the R136 between CityWest and Tallaght in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Ms Bird has insisted the original reports that the animal was alive came from the Garda station in Tallaght and subsequent information backed that up.

  She also said new information had come to light regarding the fate of the mare before she died.

  She had recently weaned a foal and appeared to be sick prior to the incident, possibly suffering from mastitis.

  According to reports given to the DSPCA, she was tied to a lamp post and was seen choking on the rope before being removed shortly before her death.   Another report tells of seeing a number of youths pouring a bottle of vodka down the mare’s throat.

  “Currently these reports are unverified but we will be following them up to complete the case file,” she added.

The DSPCA feels the claim the animal was dead prior to the incident has been given by witnesses to the gardaí in the hope that other horses will not be removed by the local authorities in response to the burning.

  The incident was described by the animal charity yesterday as a “deeply sinister development” and caused widespread outrage.

  A spokesman for the Garda press office said the abandoned horse was dead before its remains were set alight.

  The spokesman said: “It has been established through investigations that the horse was already dead before the carcass was burned and initially we did not know this. We in the Garda press office never stated that the horse was burned alive.”

  Ms Bird said they had encountered another incident of cruelty to a horse when a miniature Marabella miniature horse was rescued by a passer-by on Wednesday.

  Local children in Tallaght had tied a rope around his lower jaw and lip and made him drag a wooden pallet in front of him.

  The passer-by bought the pony for €100 and stopped a van driver who took the animal back to his house. The DSPCA then came and collected the Marabella horse who has bruising to his mouth but is otherwise unharmed.

  In a separate incident, some 15 of the horses that were found grazing illegally in Cork have been put down.

  The horses were rounded up last week by gardaí in a crackdown on unwanted animals grazing on both public and private lands. The horses belonged to members of the travelling community.

  A total of 85 across four sites in the Gurranabraher, Hollyhill, Knocknaheeny and Nash’s Boreen area of Cork’s northside were impounded and kept in a secure location pending them being claimed by their owners.

  Following an appeal, 30 were reclaimed by their owners and 40 were rescued for rehoming.

  The 15 who were not suitable for rehoming were enthanased, according toDanny Holmes, the vet for the charity Animal Heaven Animal Rescue, which helped to rescue the animals.

  The horses are currently in the charity’s rescue centre in Co Kerry.

  Mr Holmes said many of the problems have arisen because the Department of Agriculture brought in regulations last year that owners must register their equine premises.

  “There are unwanted horses. Last year those unwanted horses were finding their way into the food chain illegally and this year they are not,” he said.


The men were stopped by gardaí on the N4 shortly after the shooting.

The Journal.ie, 17/12/2013

FIVE MEN HAVE been released without charge after a horse was shot dead in Kildare yesterday afternoon.

  The men were stopped in their van by gardaí on the N4 close to the Celbridge interchange and were arrested for questioning.  A  gun was also recovered.

  The horse was shot dead in a field outside Kilcock, on the Clane road.

  Mary Lawlor from the Kildare and West Wicklow Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, told TheJournal.ie that: It’s horrific what’s happening out there at the moment. I think the cruelty element to horses is definitely getting worse.

  The Irish Independent reports that the shooting is part of an ongoing feud between two gangs in the district and that this is the second horse to be shot over the feud.

A file is being prepared for the DPP.



A vet had to be called to the scene to put the animal down.

The Journal.ie, 09/12/2013

A HORSE WAS discovered yesterday in the Hillview estate, Ballyguile in Wicklow with two broken legs which is believed to be as a result of animal abuse.

  The horse was discovered at about 4pm yesterday but had to be euthanised by a vet. There are conflicting reports circulating that the horse was beaten by a group of people, while other reports suggest the horse refused to leave the horse box, and when a group of men accelerated the vehicle to force him out, the horse tumbled out of the trailer and sustained the injuries.


Appeal

Gardaí said they are currently investigating the incident and are asking anyone with any information to come forward. They confirmed that the horse did receive two serious injuries to two of its legs and had to be put down as a result of the injuries.

  Speaking to TheJournal.ie Wicklow Town Councillor Garrett O’Reilly said it was “simply not acceptable,” adding that these occurrences were becoming more and more common and that he thought people were afraid to come forward with information.

  He said people could come to him with any information about the death of the horse and he would pass it on to the authorities. He said he felt the council had to look at a long term solution for the management of horses in Wicklow.


Horses

“Last week, 63 horses were rounded up by the council, in an operation that involved more than 20 gardaí. The sheer cost of an operation like that is just not sustainable,” he said.

  He said he believed the majority of those horses that are brought to a pound are later put down. “There is enough council land or land that is in NAMA that could be used by these horses. We need a long term solution for these horses, so that cruelty like this can’t happen again,” he said.

  Eight horses remain in Hillview estate and have received care from the Irish Horse Welfare Trust.

  Well-known vet Pete Wedderburn said on his Facebook Page today:

  More animal cruelty, this time in Wicklow Town, involving a horse which was euthanised by a vet yesterday after being found in trouble. We all need to act together, gathering evidence for prosecutions, to stop episodes like this in the future.



Gardaí are investigating the slaughter of the abandoned horse which happened in the Fettercairn area of Tallaght.

The journal.ie, 28/11/2013

A HORSE HAS died from extensive injuries after it was doused with petrol and set alight in Dublin last night.

  The Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) has expressed outright condemnation at the slaughter of the horse which is believed to have been abandoned.

  The DSPCA was notified of the incident by gardaí this morning and accompanied gardaí to the site which is in a field by the road adjacent to the Luas in Tallaght. The area in Fettercairn is described as being close to a housing estate.

  The DSPCA inspectors at the scene said that it was evident that the horse had been alive when it was set alight and that a significant amount of petrol would have had to be used.

  The remnants of the fire have not yet been removed but the DSPCA say that it is expected the council will do so very soon.

  The charity say that this is one of the most horrific incidents their inspectors have ever witnessed.

  Five other horses in the vicinity were moved to safety by agents of the local authority with gardaí assistance.

  The DSPCA’s CEO Brian Gillen said that the charity is extremely concerned with what it calls this “deeply sinister development”:

  The horrendous death that this horse endured is unimaginable. Whilst we encounter many horrific cruelty and neglect cases with regard to abandoned horses, we have never seen such levels of deliberate and depraved cruelty.

  Gillen added that this “awful incident” reinforces the plight of abandoned horses in Dublin. “We are asking all the local authorities to take immediate steps to put a stop to this barbaric behaviour with the removal of abandoned horses to safekeeping”, he said.

  The DSPCA have uploaded a picture to their Facebook page of the scene following the fire but we advise that the image may be distressing to some readers. The charity say the picture is one of the least disturbing images they took of the scene.

  Gardaí confirmed that investigations into the incident are taking place but no arrests have been made.


Donegal man convicted of ‘horrific’ animal cruelty

UTV Ireland, 17/11/2015

A 44-year-old Letterkenny man was fined €500 and ordered to pay €456 in costs before Leterkenny District Court by presiding Judge Paul Kelly after he was convicted of eleven counts of animal cruelty.

Adrian Browne pleaded guilty on Monday to causing unnecessary suffering to eleven horses at a property in Trentaboy, Letterkenny.

  The case emerged when ISPCA Inspector Kevin McGinley and local Gardaí responded to concerns raised at Trentaboy, Letterkenny, Co Donegal on 30 December 2013 when the eleven horses were discovered.

  Four of the horses were humanely euthanized on veterinary advice to prevent any further suffering for the animals.

  Inspector McGinley said that there was no grass available to the horses at the property, and he also noticed an absence of supplementary food.

  “The animals were in a poor to moderate condition with minimal shelter given the fact it was the end of December and the only water available was from a drain.

  “Some of the other horses were in very poor body condition with their back bones and ribs clearly protruding. The animals were living in hardship,” he added.

Inspector McGinley described the case as a “horrific form of cruelty,” adding that it was “unfortunate that defenceless animals had to endure such suffering.”

  When the equines were scanned for microchips, only one was found to be chipped and none were registered to the defendant.

  Mr McGinely admitted that it was more difficult to prosecute responsible parties with the absence of legitimate identification to link animals and their owners.

"It certainly makes things more difficult, because we have to go and find out whose care the horses are in, and then try and link the landowner to the animals, it takes more time," he said.