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Proper protocols need to be followed for stray horses in Ennis

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*Photograph: Brian Arthur

Agreed protocols surrounding stray and loose horses trespassing on property within Clare needs to be implemented.

That was the call issued by Cllr Mary Howard (FG) at the September meeting of the Ennis Municipal District. She appealed to the Ennis MD and Clare County Council “to agree, display and share the correct protocols when dealing with stray, loose or trespassing horses”.

Clare County Council is responsible for the operation of the Control of Horses, 1996 legislation for the county. Bye-laws were published as required under the act in March 1998. Many of the responsibilities of the local authority under the are carried out on a contractual basis by Hungry Horse Outside, Longford.

Horses which are strays, causing a nuisance, not under adequate control or posing a threat to persons or property (as defined by Section 37 of the act) can be seized and detained. They are impounded. Horses are only released to owners who provide evidence “that they are bone-fide in occupation of lands sufficient for the horses in their possession” as required under 4, Schedule A of Part III of the bye-laws.

Senior staff officer, Marie O’Neill referred to the regulations in a written reply to Cllr Howard. The bye-laws are “in the main administered” by the Council’s environment section, she said. Other directorates may have an input “depending on the nature of specific cases”.

Twelve months previously, Cllr Howard brought a motion to the Ennis MD and claimed that stray horses were “causing havoc” on the Kilrush Rd in Ennis. She admitted that there “hasn’t been a lot of progress” on the matter. The motion was seconded by Cllr Johnny Flynn (FG).

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, and A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to -

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