Reports of animal heads hacked off in bizarre cruelty

By Maurice Garvey

REPORTS of headless rabbits, dead rats, and young males trapping animals in cages at a local park, has fueled speculation that unlicensed coursing may be taking place at local woodland amenities.

Councillors Deirdre O’Donovan (Ind) and Pamela Kearns (Lab), have both received reports in recent weeks of animal cruelty at Tymon Park, Cherryfield Park, and at Dodder Valley Linear Park, from concerned residents.

Dodder Park signs 1

South Dublin County Council say they have not received any complaints of rabbits being caught or released from cages in Tymon Park, but that they are investigating potential cases of animal cruelty in Cherryfield Park.

Cllr O’Donovan asked the council if they knew of cases of “headless rabbits” in Cherryfield during the Rathfarnham/Templeogue/Terenure ACM this week – after local groups contacted her to report the bizarre discoveries.

A local dog-walking group wrote to SDCC last month, requesting clarification if “unauthorised poison is being laid”, after members witnessed a “large number of dead rabbits” in the parks – with one resident citing a “proliferation of rabbits with heads hacked off.”

Cllr O’Donovan said: “There is a huge amount of concern in the area that coursing is taking place. Men have been seen with dogs and ferrets. There was anecdotal evidence from Knocklyon residents, that pet rabbits were being stolen from back gardens a number of years ago.

“The area where most of it is seen, is across the road from Ballyboden GAA Club, and up towards behind the Victory Centre. Local dog walkers want clarification from the council that people aren’t putting down poison. One man went to remonstrate with the men over their activity, and he was threatened.”

Labour Councillor Pamela Kearns heard evidence of four young men with cages at Tymon Park in recent weeks from residents, and blasted the activity as a “worrying mindset.”

“They could be bringing in animals to the park, as it’s not the breeding season, but what if they don’t catch the ferrets,” said Cllr Kearns.

“This is barbaric, it’s obviously happening, and I’d encourage anyone who see this type of activity to report it the council’s parks department.”

A local garda source reiterated the appeal for residents to contact authorities.

“This is cruelty to animals, and in a public space that is not intended for that use,” he said.

“People that do these things, usually do it away from other people, but if any ordinary citizen sees this, or notices anything suspicious, they should call us, or the parks department, or the DSPCA.”

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