Gardai speak to man over shocking video of donkey being dragged along by a car

Locals in shock at sickening video which showed the animal being dragged

Locals shared with us this video of the man at centre of row

The donkey was pulled along by the vehicle

The donkey was pulled along by the vehicle

Eugene MastersonSunday World

A man at the centre of animal cruelty allegations over a disturbing video of a donkey being dragged by a car has spoken to gardaí about the incident.

A daughter of the Co. Offaly man confirmed to the Sunday World when we called to her home in Edenderry that he has given an account of what happened.

“He has gone to the Guards and been to his solicitor,” she told us. “I can’t see him wanting to comment on this at the moment.”

The man in question is a well-known person from the town.

Animal welfare charity workers in the area say this is not the first time the man has been at the centre of such allegations, and supplied the Sunday Worldwith images of what they claim is him a couple of years ago pulling a mule with a rope from a tractor.

The dragging of the donkey on a public road last month sparked a nationwide furore, and featured on the main RTÉ television news bulletin.

The donkey was pulled along by the vehicle

Social media outlets were bombarded with furious users commenting about the abuse.

The donkey is now safe and being looked after by a local animal welfare charity.

Six other animals, which were being housed in the same shed and plot of land the donkey was living in, have also been rehoused elsewhere.

One local who knows the man argues the incident was out of character.

“He has been looking after horses and donkeys for many years and there have never been any complaints,” he said.

Shocking footage shows donkey being pulled by a rope behind a moving car

“There’s a possibility the donkey may have broken out of the allotment and it was too far for him to be walked back and there was no other way for him at the time but put a rope on him and try bring him back that way.

“There’s no evidence he was doing a huge speed or deliberately trying to torture the donkey.”

Asked to explain the images of a second alleged incident, he said he was not aware of it.

A local publican said the man regularly visits his premises.

“He comes in here for the odd pint or something to eat,” he said.

“Everyone is taken aback at the video of what happened the donkey — he must have been out of his mind at the time to do something like that.”

Martina Kenny is co-founder of the My Lovely Horse animal welfare charity and it was one of her volunteers who intervened and stopped the man dragging the donkey any further.

“We want a prosecution and are pushing for it big time,” she said. “We are 24/7 dealing with horrible people doing horrible things to animals.”

She added that the donkey is doing well in the pound.

Local county councillors expressed shock at the incident.

“A good few people contacted me and they were very upset about it,” Councillor Robert McDermott (FF) told us.

“I know the council and the Guards have been involved. The council reacted very quickly, in fairness to them. It’s terrible looking at the video and it’s very upsetting to watch it.

“I’m very much against animal cruelty, we all love our pets,”

Green Party councillor Mark Hackett said: “I am horrified by it. It’s up to the Guards to get a handle on it and I hope they follow through and prosecute.”

Cllr Noel Cribbin (FG) added: “I think everybody was horrified by it. It was unreal.

“I think in our own town of Edenderry I’ve never seen anything like that, and I’m born and reared here. It’s unusual for it to happen and no one can defend it.”

Councllor John Foley noted: “I’ve never known anything like this to happen in Edenderry.

“I’m from Kerry originally but am 24 years in public life in Edenderry and don’t use social media, but saw it on the news.

“I was shocked like anybody at it,” Mr Foley added.

A Garda spokesperson told us: “No arrests have been made. Investigations are continuing.”

Tullamore Garda Station is dealing with the incident and officers there have asked that witnesses should contact them on (057) 9327600.

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