Saturday 20 December 2014

Villagers fear child will die from poison after dogs killed

David Raleigh

Published 05/07/2014 | 02:30

Poison: Warning signs have been posted along the River Shannon at Clonlara in Co Clare.
Poison: Warning signs have been posted along the River Shannon at Clonlara in Co Clare.
A Husky dog which was killed by the poison

A COMMUNITY fears a child may accidentally ingest deadly strychnine poison after a number of dogs were killed by the substance.

One of the animals was found dead about 100 yards from Clonlara National School in the Co Clare village.

Strychnine, which is illegal to possess, was discovered in the remains of a number of the dogs following post-mortems at the Treaty Veterinary Clinic, Thomondgate in Limerick.

Prior to their horrific deaths in Clonlara, the dogs had been walking on the River Shannon Canal Bank that runs along by the villages of Killaloe, Twomilegate, O'Brien's Bridge, and Clonlara towards the ESB power station at Ardnacrusha.

The walkway is owned by the ESB.

Head nurse at Treaty Veterinary Clinic Tracy Marlow said: "(People) were giving out because it was so near the school. In the last two months we had three (dogs). They were all medium-sized dogs. They were all dead on arrival. The owners had taken them out for a walk (in Clonlara) and when they got home they just started showing symptoms of twitching and nervousness. Then they collapsed and were dead within 15 minutes." She said they all "turned up positive for strychnine".

"We don't know how it got on to the bank or who laid it. Strychnine is not readily available here," she added.

Clonlara publican Eugene O'Shea, whose four-month old Siberian husky died from ingesting the poison, said locals were fearful a child would be hurt or killed if they came into contact with the poison.

Dog owners and the ESB have erected signs along the canal bank advising people to be vigilant after six dogs were found poisoned in the past three months.

Co Clare dog warden Frankie Coote said if poison was not laid legally it could be picked up by birds and dropped elsewhere. He added that anyone laying any type of poison on lands must, by law, notify gardai, and erect warning notices.

A spokesperson at Killaloe garda station said: "We have gardai dealing with a number of incidents. The investigation is non-conclusive at the moment and our enquiries are ongoing."

Irish Independent

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