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Dublin: 17 °C Friday 20 April, 2018

Witness to dog death insists no malicious involvement from UL students

An anonymous student has written to the Limerick Leader disputing claims that students lured a dog to a deliberate death.

It was claimed that students had deliberately thrown a ball over a road in College Court Drive, near the University of Limerick, to attract a dog into the path of oncoming traffic.
It was claimed that students had deliberately thrown a ball over a road in College Court Drive, near the University of Limerick, to attract a dog into the path of oncoming traffic.
Image: Google Maps

A STUDENT who claims to have witnessed an incident where a dog was fatally killed by a van in Limerick last month has denied claims that University of Limerick students had deliberately sought to lure the dog to its death.

In a letter to the Limerick Leader, the student said suggestions that the dog was deliberately tricked into the fatal incident were totally untrue – describing the original claims as “a farce of a story”.

The student, who did not sign their name to the letter, was contesting claims from a previous letter-writer who accused students of throwing a ball over and back across a road – while the dog was chasing it – so that they would deliberately run into the path of an oncoming van.

The student claimed that they and others were kicking a football, trying to hit a lamppost opposite – and on one instance, where the ball had hit the lamppost, the dog had followed it onto the nearby road as the van approached.

“I personally went straight to [the dog's] aid but it was dead within a minute,” the student claimed. “As a group we felt very remorseful and upset but what could we do[?] … We were in utter despair.

The site [sic] of a small dead dog near our house was something we never saw happening and truly darkened what was, for all, supposed to be an upbeat day.

The incident is alleged to have occurred on the day that UL’s exams had ended, with students then leaving to move home. The student said because many were planning to drive home, none of them have been drinking, contrary to the original claims.

The student claimed the dog was not wearing a collar, so it was impossible to identify a possible owner, and that they thought it would be inappropriate to bury the animal – and beyond their responsibility to call a vet when the dog was certain to die.

They also questioned why the original letter-writer – whose account was second-hand – or their brother-in-law, who claimed to have seen the incident, had not tried to intervene earlier or called the Gardaí if they felt that any behaviour was inappropriate or anti-social.

Student president has ‘no reason to believe’ original claims

UL Students’ Union president Adam Moursy told this evening that the tale of events put forward by the student corroborated other accounts previously given to him.

“I have no reason to believe that the events are not authentic, as portrayed by the students,” he said.

Moursy said he had been hoping a student would be willing to publicly offer a different account of events to the writer of the original letter, and that he was “happy that a student has stepped forward to do so.”

He said he understood why the student had sought to remain anonymous, as others who had contested the original claims on websites like Facebook had become the subject of abuse from others.

“Some of the comments are extremely vicious,” Moursy said, saying he “wouldn’t wish any of our students” to be on the receiving end of the abuse that some had received.

While the students’ union was “more than willing to condemn” any student who had acted maliciously, he was confident that any student involved in the incident had acted without any malicious intent at all.

Moursy added that previous comments attributed to him, where he had commented on “anti-social behaviour”, were taken out of context – and that he was referring to behaviour of students during events like RAG Week and not directly to the incident surrounding the dog.

The Limerick Leader this evening said it had been contacted by the family of the deceased dog, and that it would reveal their account of events on Monday.

Read: University of Limerick to investigate students’ role in dog death

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Gavan Reilly

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