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Poison riddle as dozens of cats and birds killed

MYSTERY surrounds the deliberate poisoning of dozens of cats and birds in Dublin 4.

Gardai have been notified after council workers reported finding a spate of dead animals in the Ringsend area.

The problem began just over a week ago and locals believe that someone is targeting a colony of cats that has lived there for generations.

Food is being poisoned with Alpha Chloralose, a substance which is normally used to kill rodents and magpies.

A city council worker told the Herald that they were being repeatedly called out to dispose of dead animals around Sean Moore Road, St Mary's Road and Haddington Road.

As many as 30 blackbirds have been found dead, while at least half a dozen cats have also been collected in a single week.

The cruel attempt to kill off the healthy cats is causing considerable concern for parents who are worried that young children will come into contact with either the poison or the dying felines.

Local TD Chris Andrews (FF) told the Herald: "Some people's pets are being killed and it's very upsetting for the owners."

The council worker explained: "There is a school around St Mary's Road and we have been called down several times because cats are staggering in and children are picking them up."

Council staff say that the complaints started all of a sudden because the wildcats have been living in the area for years.

According to Brian Larrigan who works with Pet Watch and Cat's Protection, the cats being targeted are all healthy.

"One of the cats that died had recently been brought to the vet to get dematted and get some dental work done. Now she has gotten herself down into some pipes and she's going to die in pain," he said.

In one instance, a poisoned cat staggered out of the St Mary's Park and was hit by a car in front of a group of schoolchildren.

"It's horrendous," he said, adding: "They have been here for generations, they even have names."

Deputy Andrews has written to gardai in Irishtown asking them to investigate who is behind the malicious series of poisonings.