Monday 20 January 2020

Two dogs who attacked and killed mum Teresa may have escaped from shed

Teresa McDonagh, who was mauled to death by two dogs
Teresa McDonagh, who was mauled to death by two dogs
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

A close-knit Gaeltacht community is rallying around the family of a local woman who was attacked and killed by two dogs.

Teresa McDonagh (64), from Moycullen, in the Connemara area of Galway, was visiting a relative when she was attacked on Sunday afternoon.

She was discovered by neighbours who had to shoot the animals to try and get Mrs McDonagh to safety.

Emergency services were called to the scene at the townland of Knockarasser, off the road that connects the villages of Moycullen and Spiddal, at approximately 3pm.

But there was nothing that could be done to save Mrs McDonagh .

"They [the dogs] were shot by a local person using a legally held firearm before the emergency services arrived," a Garda spokesman confirmed.

Mrs McDonagh suffered catastrophic injuries in the attack and was pronounced dead at the scene. Her remains were moved to University Hospital Galway on Sunday evening.

A group of family and friends gathered at the McDonagh family home yesterday to comfort each other and provide support after the tragedy that has left the local community reeling.

The family was too upset to comment but locals said they are very well known and respected in the area.

One woman said: "We don't know exactly what happened but everyone is in shock. We just can't believe it."

Another neighbour said: "The poor family are only getting over the shock of a son seriously injured in a road accident abroad in the recent past."

Gardaí are investigating the tragedy and an inquest is expected to be carried out.

"Gardaí are carrying out an investigation into the incident but there is no indication that anything criminal happened. It is being treated as a tragedy and the Garda report will be used to assist the coroner in an inquest," the Garda spokesman said.

Gardaí are investigating if the dogs may have escaped from a shed before attacking Mrs McDonagh.

Knockrasser is some 7km from Moycullen, which in turn is just over 10km from Galway city.

A local man added: "Teresa and her family are respected farmers.

"She was a quiet and kind woman who went about her business without any fuss. A lovely woman.

"Word went around on Sunday evening that there had been some sort of accident.

"Nobody could believe the details when they came out. It's an awful tragedy."

One man said there was "commotion" in the area as the incident unfolded.

"Apparently, the dogs had to be shot to allow emergency services in to help her," he said.

Irish Independent

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