A rogue cow ran down a garda and three members of the public after it escaped from a market and ran wild along a busy road yesterday.
The animal had escaped from the market on the Quin Road, Ennis, Co Clare, and was so dangerously out of control that efforts by a vet to put it down were abandoned for safety reasons.
The cow was eventually herded back to the mart but it failed to calm down. Several farmers later forced the animal in to a nearby field.
Earlier, a garda who had been trying to corral the cow was knocked over and dragged along the road by the animal.
Several members of the public who had also tried to bring the animal under control were also knocked over. The garda and three others sustained only minor injuries and did not require hospital treatment. Last night the cow remained penned inside the field but concerns that it could escape and cause further chaos remained.
ISPCA animal welfare officer Frankie Coote refused to rule out the possibility that the cow would have to be put down.
Mr Coote, who was also called to the scene, said: "This cow was rogue and was out of control. This was a serious situation and rogue animals like this can be extremely dangerous. Members of the public should never try to approach an agitated animal like this. I was shocked to see the people ignore warnings from the guards to get out of the way.
"People should consider their own safety first, take cover and raise the alarm."
One local woman said: "I have never seen anything like that in my life. I thought it was a bull but it goes to show that a cow can be just as dangerous. I can't believe no one was killed."