Baiters abandon mauled dogs - Interrupted by locals, owners flee from farmland in Muckalee

Kilkenny Voice, 14/3/2006

Bloodthirsty dog owners scampered and left their animals behind them when they were chased from farmland in Muckalee in North Kilkenny.  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.

Kicked kitten against wall

Killkenny People, 18/07/1997

A psychiatrist’s letter about a man who kicked a kitten against a wall was described as “extraordinary” at Kilkenny Court.  And Judge William Harnett also highlighted the fact that the law did not allow him to impose a jail sentence on the defendant.

  “This is a very worrying offence but it only carries a fine,” the Judge pointed out.

The case against Billy Hanlon of 62 Bishop Birch Place, Kilkenny, had been repeatedly adjourned for psychiatric and social enquiry reports.

  Defending solicitor Mr Michael Lanigan noted that, according to the latest letter from a consultant psychiatrist at St Canice’s Hospital, Hanlon had maintained control of himself for some time. But the psychiatrist felt that the family’s case should be taken up with the Health Board.

  Judge Harmett described the psychiatrist’s letter as “extraordinary”, noting that it had a South Eastern Health Board letterhead yet referred to the need for the support from statutory services.

  “The liaison between the various sections of the Health Board leaves a lot to be desired,” the solicitor agreed.

Hanlon was fined £300 for unlawfully and cruelly beating a kitten at Bishop Birch Place on August 23, 1996.

  For trespassing near a building on the Dublin road on June 1, 1996, he was given three months in prison, suspended on condition that he enter a probation bond for two years in the sum of £400.

  He was also fined £50 for being so drunk that he might endanger himself or others at the Hebron road on August 21, 1996.

Holy cow! It looks like a ritual killing

Irish Independent, 27/01/2005

The remains of another cow – the third in a month – have been found in a Kilkenny city laneway, heightening fears of a ritual killing of cattle campaign.

  Gardai reckon that a professional has been used to butcher the animals. The latest discovery contained parts of a bovine spinal cord, which is specified risk material and must be disposed of under licence.

  The Co Council has asked the gardai to investigate because of the threat to public health. It has also issued a public health warning in conjunction with the local Health Service and the Department of Agriculture.

  The public are being asked to be wary of any offers of meat from an unlicenced source.

  The latest discovery near the junction of Old Callan Road and Walkin Street was made last Thursday.

  The authorities are puzzled about where the cattle came from as each cow born in the country has an identity tag.

Farmer anger after fox-hunting hounds killed by train

Irish Independent, 13/01/2014

FARMERS against fox hunting have expressed "extreme concern" over a pack of hounds wandering onto a railway track during a hunt at the weekend where several dogs were killed by a passing train.

  The farmers' group said it saw the incident as "yet further evidence of the havoc wrought by fox hunts" which it described as "an absolute menace to farmers and their livelihoods".

Iarnrod Eireann has confirmed that the 14.50 train from Waterford to Dublin's Heuston station hit a pack of hounds on the track at Mullinavat, Co Kilkenny, just after 3pm on Saturday.

A spokeswoman said the rail company had not been contacted prior to the fox hunt. The train ploughed into the pack of dogs killing a number of them.


She said if they had been contacted they could have given the train timetable for the area but she also stressed that it was "very dangerous for people or animals to be on the track with trains passing at high speed".

  In most areas the track was protected by fences or hedges and to be on the track was trespassing, she added.

  Chairman of the Kilkenny foxhounds, Ned Morris, said that he was away on Saturday and "only came back, so I don't know how many dogs were killed".

  He said that the group would normally contact Iarnrod Eireann prior to hunting. The company would be good about "slowing down trains and that kind of thing" when hunts were being held, he said.

  "Dogs getting killed would be a kind of freak thing now," he added.

The Association of Hunt Saboteurs disagreed and condemned the failure of the hunters to control the pack of hounds and protect their welfare.

  "The death of hounds while hunting is not an isolated incident. Accidents in the past have involved road accidents, other train accidents and deaths of other animals caused by hounds out of control," said a spokesman.

The Farmers Against Fox-hunting and Trespass group said it believed hunting should be banned.

  "Our main objection is the damage they cause to farm property.

"They ride through fields of crops, ripping them up and scattering or killing livestock, knocking fencing and, as frequently happens, killing family pets," the group said.

Foxhounds killed in collision with train; group calls for prosecutions, 12/01/2014

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has called on Iarnród Éireann to prosecute a Kilkenny hunt for trespass after hounds were killed in a collision with the Dublin to Waterford train.

  The hounds were part of a pack taking part in a hunt outside Mullinavat in Co Kilkenny yesterday, when the collision occurred.

  A number of hounds were killed and there was a small amount of damage to the train.

  Aideen Yourell of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports accused fox hunters generally of an "arrogant and cavalier attitude to trespass onto other people’s property, be it private land, roads and railway tracks".

  She called for a ban on foxhunting, saying it "clearly causes a risk to rail and road users. If they want to ride out in the countryside, they should change to drag hunting, where no live quarry is chased and where the route is pre-planned in conjunction with landowners’ wishes."

  Richard Power of the Hunting Association of Ireland said that although he could not speak to the incident in question, in general terms he said that landowners are always notified of upcoming events.

  "Landowners would all be informed and would know that there would be a hunt in their area," he said. "This is standard practice.

  "Indeed, permission would be sought from them regarding access to their land."

The name of the group whose hounds were killed is not known at this stage.

Foxhounds killed after being hit by Iarnród Éireann train, 12/01/2014

A number of foxhounds were killed yesterday after an Iarnród Éireann train hit the dogs who had strayed onto the railway track.

  It is believed the dogs were taking part in a hunt along the railway tracks.

Waterford to Dublin train

A spokesperson for Iarnród Éireann confirmed to that a pack of hounds that were on the railway line just outside Mullinavat County Kilkenny were struck by the 14.50pm train from Waterford to Dublin train.

  They also confirmed that a number of dogs were killed and the train suffered a small amount of damage.

  The incident also caused the train to be delayed for a period of time.

  “We would advise that no one should cross the railway line where there is not a designated crossing,” said the spokesperson, adding “it is extremely dangerous”.

No prior notification

She also added that no hunt group had given any prior notification that a hunt was taking place and that they would be crossing the line. “There were no prior arrangements made with Iarnród Eireann,” she said.

  The Association of Hunt Saboteurs Ireland said they “wholeheartedly condemn the failure of the hunters to control the pack of hounds and to protect their welfare. The death of hounds while hunting is not an isolated incident, accidents in the past have involved road accidents, other train accidents and deaths of other animals caused by hounds out of control,” said their spokesperson.

Fox hunting

  “This is further proof that hunting with hounds is a danger to both animals and humans. Hunt hounds cannot realistically be controlled by hunt masters once they are on the scent of another animal. Hunting must be banned in this country for the welfare of all animals,” they added.

The name of the fox hunt group involved in this incident has yet to be verified. Hunt groups that operate hunts in the area have stated that they are not aware of any incident involving their group.

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.

Dumped dog seeks rehabilitation at dog shelter

Kilkenny Advertiser, 19/02/2010

In a week where a local man was jailed for cruelty to animals, the Carlow Kilkenny Dog Shelter was presented with yet another case of horrifying animal cruelty.

  A young Lurcher dog was picked up in Paulstown where the badly injured dog was wandering aimlessly, and given to the Carlow- Kilkenny Dog Shelter.

  Michael Morrissey of the dog shelter told the Kilkenny Advertiser that this was yet another case of horrendous animal cruelty and neglect.

  “This dog has a huge open bleeding wound on his rear shank and he has several other injuries around his body some of which are recent and others that were older injuries. It is a terrible case of utter neglect and cruelty. Somebody either hurt this dog or didn’t look after him. It’s hard to know what happened.”

The dog has since been taken in by the shelter and has been visited by the vet who believes he can make a good recovery.

“We hope that he will recover fully with the right care. We will then assess him and his temperament and see if he is suitable for re-homing. We already think that he will be as he seems to be a lovely gentle dog. We are asking anyone that might be looking for a dog to contact the dog shelter and see what we have on offer before looking elsewhere. We have lots of animals that are in need of good homes,” he added.

Every day the dog shelter deals with cases such as this or simply with animals that are not wanted by their owners anymore. They are asking the public to be responsible for their own pets.

  “Dog wardens seem to have a bad name but if only people knew what we had to deal with every day. People dump their animals when they don’t want them and we have to pick up the pieces. We get quite a number of dogs like the Lurcher that we have this week. This is not a one-off case,” said Mr Morrissey.

The Lurcher is currently recuperating with antibiotics, on a sheepskin rug close to a radiator - if anyone is interested in adopting a dog, please call the dog shelter on 059 9726785.