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Investigation into deaths of two protected falcons found in Wexford quarry

The birds were found close to the remains of a pigeon which the National Parks and Wildlife Service said may be connected.

AN INVESTIGATION HAS been launched into the deaths of two falcons after their bodies were found in a Wexford quarry.

The two dead Peregrine falcons, one male and one female, were found at Oaklands Quarry in Ballykelly.

These birds are a protected species in Ireland.


The birds have been taken for analysis to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s regional veterinary laboratory in Kilkenny.

The department said there will be a physical examination and their livers will be removed for toxicology examinations to establish the cause of death.

“Both birds were found close to vestigial remains of a pigeon,” said Tony Murray, the local conservation ranger with the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).

We suspect that the pigeon was treated with substances that poisoned the Peregrines and the toxicology examinations will confirm this and identify the products used.


The Peregrine population declined in the 1950s and 60s due to the use of organic pesticides like DDT. Following a ban on the use of these, the population recovered significantly to what it is today.

Murray pointed out that Peregrine falcons are a protected species and “the deliberate killing of them is a criminal offence”.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service has opened a file on the case and investigations are ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the service on 076 1002662 or contact their local garda station.

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