Farm Ireland
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Friday 19 April 2019

Council apply to put down pack of beagle hunting dogs after alleged attack on sheep

Matter set to be "hotly contested"

The attack resulted in the death of five sheep and injury to three, according to the complaint by the council. File Photo.
The attack resulted in the death of five sheep and injury to three, according to the complaint by the council. File Photo.

Anne Lucey

A flock of sheep were surrounded by beagle dogs and five of the sheep were killed and a number were injured, a court in Killarney has heard.

Kerry County Council is applying to put down the pack of beagle hunting dogs owned by a Kilcummin man, but the allegation that 20 "dangerous beagle dogs" had attacked the flock of sheep at Currow Ross, Currow,  is to be “hotly contested,”  Killarney District Court was told.

The matter in relation to dogs that are dangerous "and not kept under proper control" came before the court under the Control of Dogs Acts, by way of civil summons by the council  and has been adjourned.

Noise complaints had also been received by the council about beagle dogs on the loose in the Kilcummin and Gneeveguilla area of east Kerry, as far back as two years ago, according to the council.

The council alleges that John Doolan of Cockhill, Kilcummin, Killarney, Co. Kerry failed to have his 20 “dangerous beagle dogs” under control resulting in the dogs  attacking a flock of sheep at at Currow Ross, Currow on the morning of September 28, 2018.

The attack resulted in the death of five sheep and injury to three, according to the complaint by the council.

A number of documents were handed into court, including photographs dating to 2017 of large brown and white beagle type dogs. Padraig O'Connell solicitor for the defendant, said the matter will be "hotly contested".

The sheep farmer, from Boolteens Castlemaine, who was renting the land at Currow Ross was alerted to the attack on his sheep at around 7am. When he arrived his sheep at 7.30am he found up to 20 “big beagle type dogs” encircling his sheep and savaging them. The dogs then began to encircle himself. 

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Kerry County Council are seeking a court order for the hand over of the dogs to the council dog wardens for destruction. The council also want Mr Doolan to pay the costs  for his twenty beagle dogs to be put down.

A number of witnesses including Dog wardens from Kerry County Council are expected to give evidence when the case goes to full hearing. 

A number of complaints including from an eircom worker about "up to ten beagles "on the loose on the roads in east Kerry were recorded by the council in 2017 and these form part of the proceedings.

In July of 2017 a complainant told the council that adult beagles and pups were straying around the bog in Upper Cockhill, Kilcumin.

Another separate complaint, this time in August 2017, was recorded by the council about two beagles wandering around Kilcummin village and fears they might attack children and sheep.  

Then in September of that year, up to ten beagles were “out loose” on the road to Gneeveguilla, an eircom worker reported to the council.

Solicitor Mr O'Connell agreed to an adjournment and Judge David Waters adjourned the matter.

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