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Horses seized and site cleared following multi-agency operation in Kilkenny

It's understood six animals were removed

A number of horses were removed from a site on the outskirts of Kilkenny City.

The multi-agency operation took place yesterday morning.

Cllr Eugene McGuinness sits on the council’s Animal Welfare committee and he’s been telling KCLR News what happened, saying “The guards arrived with the council and various agencies on the Horse Project Land, which is directly across from McDonald’s as people would know it on the Hebron Road, there was quite a lot of horses in there, there was containers in there and outbuildings etc on that land which weren’t supposed to be on it, there was horses taken and the containers on that land were removed”.

He adds “There was two reasons for it, first of all the horses should not have been on it, there’s ragwort on that property and there’s been ongoing debate because it was supposed to have been taken care of, the Traveling community are involved in a group up there with the County Council who have a lease on that property and part of the conditions attached to that was to keep the property correct and to keep it clean keep it free from ragwort and I don’t believe any of those conditions were met”

And Cllr McGuinness also says “What happens next is that the property is now clear, I presume it’s going to be kept clear, it’s something I’ve been raising in the county council for a number of months, in actual fact truth be known it’s something I’ve raised since I’ve been elected and I presume that property will be kept clear, I pass it every single day and I will make absolutely sure that should I see any movement on it I will report it immediately”.

Kilkenny County Council has issued the following statement:

Remediation of Lands at Garrincreen

“Kilkenny County Council as the owner of lands at Garrincreen, Kilkenny City, known locally as the ‘Horse Project Lands’ are carrying out works to remediate these lands, including the removal of the noxious weed ragwort.

The presence of ragwort renders these lands unsuitable for equine use and places the animals kept there at risk. 

The horse owners that use these lands were notified by the Council that the works would commence on Monday 17th May and they were advised that the lands were to be vacated until further notice to allow the required works to be carried out.

The horse owners were advised that this included removal of all animals and structures.

The Council commenced the works as planned on 17th May and the Council exercised its powers under the Control of Horses Act, 1996 to remove a number of horses that still remained on the site. “