Gun shells found next to dead swans beside lake at O’Briens Bridge

Mystery surrounds death of two swans

Eugene Phelan

Reporter:

Eugene Phelan

Gun shells found next to dead swans beside lake at O’Briens Bridge

Pictures showing the gruesome scene

MYSTERY surrounds the death of two swans found in and next to a lake by a local couple out walking their dog this week.

The couple said that it appeared that the swans were shot, as shot gun cartridges were found at the scene, with the area around one of the swans covered in blood.

The couple, who wish to remain anonymous, discovered two swans on Monday evening.

The more obvious of the killings was just off the main Killaloe to Limerick road, where the ground was littered with feathers surrounding the bird’s carcass. The other swan’s lifeless body was seen floating nearby in a lake.

The lake at O’Briens Bridge Cross was renovated lately with brush being cleared and the addition of new footpaths.

The 1km loop walk has become more popular with dog walkers after several incidents of dog poisonings on other public walks in Clonlara, Castleconnell, O’Brien’s Bridge and the Head Race Canal over the past six months.

The couple, who were walking their Labradoodle when they made the gruesome discovery said: “We always felt that the lake was safer than other walks in the area.”

This is less than a mile from where dogs were recently poisoned.

When contacted this week, well-known Limerick wildlife expert, Pat Lysaght made a number of phone calls to locals in the area, who were not aware of any shooting incidents, but were aware that two swans had died. Locals think that the swan dead in the water might have got caught up in fishing line, but what happened the other is not certain.

“There could be a number of different scenarios and it could have been a fight between swans over territory, and the bloody scene might be because other wildlife, like mink, might have feasted on the remains,” said Mr Lysaght.

The scenic spot was already well-known to local fisherman who make use of the two floating docks and shorelines managed by ESB Fisheries.

 McNamara’s Lake is the only lake in the area with carp, and is reported to have good roach and bream fishing. 

A gravel path surrounds the lake also making it popular with walkers and runners.