Man in Bray mourns dog after unannounced hunt goes wrong
A Wicklow man is mourning his dog, which he says was died after being confronted by an expected hunt in Bray on Saturday.
The man, named only as Gavin, claims he was not notified in advance that a hunt by The Bray Harriers would be taking place, and, as a result, could not ensure his dog Isabelle was kept safely inside.
"Earlier in the day, we'd heard horses but we had not been warned that there was a hunt on, there was no notification or anything. I was in the garden around 3:30pm, clearing up and pottering around - the dog, Issabelle, was with me," he told Joe Duffy's Liveline on RTE Radio One.
"We'd heard some riders go past around 3:45pm, so I thought they might just be a riding school or something. Around 4:00pm, I could hear a load of horses - as did the dog - and she went running towards the gate.
"I followed her and as I ran to the corner, she was running back towards me being pursued by about 20 odd hounds, I can't be sure of how many exactly, but there were at least 20 of them.
"They were like greyhounds at a race. She went through the lawn around the back, about five or six yards away from me- I couldn't catch her."
Riders involved in the hunt intervened in an attempt to help dissuade the situation and ensure Isabelle would be returned home safely.
"At this point, riders started coming, one of the guys dismounted and he was trying to blow a horn to call the dogs back," he added tearfully.
"Some of them went straight past him to the front of the house. At that point, four or five riders were in the garden - by the time I got around to the other side of the house which borders another field, another rider came around and told me to hold his horse.
"I let go because I wanted to find out what happened to Isabelle."
Gavin said he walked upon an emotional scene where he realised his dog was dying.
"All the hounds had gone into the field at this point and I could only see Isabella lying still on the ground. At this point, I presumed she was dead. So, I lost it a bit. I grabbed the horse at our entrance and the I told him to get the horses off in so many words.
"I went back to the edge of the ditch where there was still mayhem. Eventually, one of the ladies picked Isabelle up, wrapped her in a jacket.
"We found a vet and sh died at that point.
"My wife came back from the West of Ireland and she was obviously distraught."