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Tuesday 17 October 2017

New plea for action after fatal mauling

Victim Teresa McDonagh
Victim Teresa McDonagh
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A top animal behaviour expert who predicted Ireland faced an imminent fatal dog attack has urged a re-think on the country's attitude towards canine pets.

Nanci Creedon warned in 2015 it was "a miracle" Ireland had not suffered a fatal dog attack like the US or UK.

Now, following the tragic death of Teresa McDonagh, Ms Creedon has called for the Government to implement an action plan to help prevent future tragedies.

Ms McDonagh (63) was mauled by two bullmastiff dogs at a property she was visiting in Moycullen, Co Galway, on Sunday.

She was pronounced dead at the scene after suffering horrific injuries.

Neighbours were forced to shoot the two dogs involved in the attack.

Ms Creedon has called for a special National Dog Bite Prevention Association, introducing dog awareness sessions in schools and creating a theory test for anyone applying for a dog licence.

Ms Creedon warned it was "a miracle" Ireland had for so long avoided fatal dog attacks similar to those in the UK and US for so long.

"We were just very, very lucky we didn't have a fatal attack before now," she said.

Ms Creedon also urged parents to educate their children about not approaching or hugging dogs, especially strange dogs they come across as it can be interpreted by the dog as a threat.

Last year, Paola Sahovic (22) suffered horrific injuries when she was attacked by a pet Staffordshire terrier.

The incident, in Mitchelstown, Co Cork, in January 2016 resulted in seven gardaí being required to fight the dog off the shocked woman.

She survived despite suffering massive injuries to her arm.

Over the past three years, serious dog attacks have also occurred in Dublin, Limerick and Tipperary. In Ireland, An Post said there were 38 attacks on Irish postmen between January 1 and April 28, 2015.

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