Council and Gardai to meet in Kilkenny to discuss sulky and animal welfare issues

A number of recent incidents have brought issue into the spotlight

Sam Matthews


Sam Matthews


Horse carcass

The body of a horse killed in Kilkenny on Monday lies under a blanket

A meeting is to take place in the coming days between officials from Kilkenny County Council and Gardai which will see issues relating to horses and sulkies in Kilkenny discussed.

It comes in the wake of increasing public anger, and an outpouring of calls for action following incidents in which horses have been injured or killed here in recent weeks. On Monday, a young horse had to be euthanised following an incident in the city, and a sulky was seized from the scene by Gardai.

Chairman of Kilkenny's Joint Policing Committee Fidelis Doherty told the Kilkenny People this morning that animal welfare, licensing, and public road use will be discussed. She has also said the topics will be on the agenda at next month's JPC meeting.

Yesterday, the Mayor of Kilkenny Michael Doyle said he was absolutely disgusted by some of the stories of cruelty heard in Kilkenny.

"With another horse put down this week the number is rising and Kilkenny's good reputation is being destroyed by a small minority of people," he said.

"Our Gardai need to police this with an iron fist - all horses need to be micro chipped; if not fines, should be issued and the horses confiscated. This can be done immediately - there can be no more tolerance for this sort of cruelty in our city."

The Mayor also said that the Minister for Transport needs to act in introducing laws for sulkies and horse-drawn vehicles,the same as any road user.

"Legislation regulating these sulkies needs to be put in place immediately," he said.

Meanwhile, Cllr Andrew McGuinness is calling on representatives of the Travelling Community to condemn these types of incidents and to promote responsible horse ownership.

“We need to be united on this issue and put an end to this cruelty,” said the Fianna Fail councillor.