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  • Northside West

Stray horses costing council

Tuesday, 12th March, 2019 8:00am
Stray horses costing council

Supporters of My Lovely Horse took part in a protest against animal cruelty outside Leinster House last October.

Stray horses costing council

Supporters of My Lovely Horse took part in a protest against animal cruelty outside Leinster House last October.

Orla Dwyer

NINETY abandoned horses were seized in the Finglas area over the past year at a cost of €74,700, according to Dublin City Council (DCC).

The horses were seized between January 2018 and February 2019. There were 93 reported cases in total but three horses had moved by the time contractors arrived. These three instances cost the DCC €1,350.    

Martina Kenny, founder of My Lovely Horse Rescue, said the group gets constant calls about abandoned horses in Finglas and surrounding areas such as Dunsink and Scribblestown. 

“The problem is that there is too much money involved to remove all the horses,” said Kenny. “It would cost a huge amount of money to round all those horses up.”

“If they actually made some sort of plan and completed it properly it could be cheaper. It’s like one place is just fobbing it off to another place and we are blue in the face here trying to sort things.” 

Local woman Karen Kelly sees the amount of abandoned horses on the Ratoath Road near Dunsink on her drive to work. 

“I nearly got hit by a bus a few days ago because I was trying to get six ponies off the road,” said Kelly. “I would say three out of five mornings there are loose horses on the road.” 

“I just think it’s time for the Government to start cracking down on it. They shouldn’t be allowed to keep horses if they can’t keep them in safe conditions.”

Kelly added that the dark mornings and lack of street lighting makes it difficult to see the horses, which increases the danger. 

“I always send my videos to the council and I ring the guards as well. I never even get a receipt or an email or anything,” said Kelly. 

“If I ring the guards and say there are kids hammering ponies up and down the road, they will go out to them. But if I say there are loose horses they never go up.”

A spokesperson for Dublin City Council said: “Every report of an abandoned horse/horses is responded to by Dublin City Council through our contractor.” 

According to the Dublin City Council website, the cost of an owner reclaiming a horse is €700 per horse. 

The DSPCA also gets regularly called out to check on the welfare and conditions of horses in Dublin.

“Many horses are seized or surrendered by the owners to be rehomed by the DSPCA,” said a spokesperson for the DSPCA. 

“There are too many horses in Dublin and it is believed that through education the numbers can be reduced and the level of care and welfare will increase benefitting the animals and people in general,” the spokesperson added.  

My Lovely Horse Rescue is a voluntary organisation that started up around eight years ago which can assist the Gardaí and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) to rescue horses.  

Kenny said abandoned horses are particularly common in Finglas, Darndale, Clondalkin, Ballyfermot, Tallaght, Bluebell. 

“The issue is just really ongoing and the authorities just need to sit up and listen to the likes of My Lovely Horse Rescue who are constantly on to everybody really,” said Kenny.  

“We are a force to be reckoned with,” she added.  “We will keep at it until we make a change.”

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