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Appeal for information after protected bird found hanging from gatepost

The sparrowhawk, which is protected under the Wildlife Act, generally hunts for smaller birds along hedgerows and in woodland.

File photo of a sparrowhawk
File photo of a sparrowhawk
Image: Keith Laverick via Flickr/Creative Commons

AN APPEAL HAS been issued after a bird of prey was illegally shot in the Rathkenny area of Co Meath, close to Navan.

The sparrowhawk, which is protected under the 1976 Wildlife Act, was found dead hanging from a gatepost at the entrance to a field.

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht are asking anyone who may have information to get in contact with the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

“Birds of prey, such as sparrowhawks, eagles and harriers, are an indicator of the state of Ireland’s ecological health — they are also a key part of our heritage and of great benefit to tourism,” Minister Jimmy Deenihan said.

“With regard to this recent incident, my officials have notified the crime prevention officer in the area. I am asking people to be vigilant and to come forward with any information they may have about this case.”

The Sparrowhawk is a small bird of prey common in the Irish countryside. A fast and agile hunter, it generally targets smaller birds along hedgerows and in woodland.

The Navan office of the National Parks and Wildlife Service can be contacted on 076 100 2636.

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The sparrowhawk found in Co Meath [Dept of Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht]

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