ONE hundred and forty wandering horses were collected and impounded by Limerick County Council last year.
And, according to Fine Gael’s Cllr Stephen Keary, it could cost €108,000 to collect just 100 horses in the coming year. “I think this is a crazy situation that this kind of money has to be spent in times of such cant and need,” the Croagh councillor said at a meeting of the Joint Policing Committee at County Hall. “There has got to be another way found to deal with wandering horses.”
Committee chairman, Cllr Liam Galvin said there was an issue with wandering and abandoned horses – such as had been highlighted in the Limerick Leader. But he too felt the cost of collecting and transporting each animal to the pound in Cork was “crazy”.
Cllr Jerome Scanlan however had a somewhat different problem with horses – that of sulkie-racing.
“This was evident during the icy weather,” he said, “when sulkie-racing went on on the N21.” The matter was reported to the Gardai and dealt with “pretty well” he said but he felt it was an issue for bye-laws. “We need, if we can, outlaw it,” he said. “They are a danger to themselves, they are a danger to the general public. Is there insurance available if there were an accident?,” he asked
This debate follows a story in last weekends Limerick Leader in which it was revealed that the Gardai are investigating two “shocking cases” of cruelty to ponies and horses in County Limerick.
Four ponies and three horses were found dead and may more were saved from starvation by Limerick Animal Welfare and Gardai.