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on the loose

Feral goat herd prompts council to put up signs to warn motorists

A local councillor wants Clare County Council to roundup and re-home the goats.

CLARE COUNTY COUNCIL has confirmed that it plans to put up signs to warn drivers about a feral goat herd roaming Ennis.

The wild goats have been living on the Kilrush road for over 20 years, but have recently started to make a nuisance of themselves.

“A number of wild goats are located in the vicinity of the Rocky Road. Clare County Council is erecting signage on N85 and N68 alerting road users to their presence,” a spokesperson for the Council said.

Fine Gael Councillor Johnny Flynn is calling on the council to arrange for the roundup and re-homing of the herd of at least 22 goats.

Flynn has visited the area, met locals and spoken to officials in various sections of Clare County Council and the Department of Agriculture.

“The Local Authority is exploring options for the possible relocation of the animals,” the Clare County Council spokesperson added.

The goats are roaming the densely populated and trafficked urban area at Rocky Road, Clonroadmore, Kilrush road, Cahercalla and Ballybeg areas of Ennis.

“As these animals are not tagged or vaccinated to protect them from animal disease and have recently become more willing to travel extensively by road through the wide neighbourhood in a pack from the off-road area that they have previously stayed within, its important for both animal and human welfare that they be rounded up and humanely re-homed,” Flynn said.

Goats 1 - Stephen Coote The goats are often seen wandering around Ennis, Co Clare Stephen Coote Stephen Coote

Animal cruelty

Flynn said he has not been made aware of any animal cruelty issues other than possible lack of adequate suitable grazing lands for a herd of this size.

“I understand the wild herd regularly now wander from the Rocky Road green right of way located in this area across very busy roads, into gardens of houses and into commercial grounds,” Flynn added.

The 22 goat herd includes two large pucks (males) and at least a half-dozen kids (small goats).

“I also viewed a video of the herd grazing in the garden of a house across the road from Eire Óg located near the Cahercalla cross.

“Apparently the owners came home late one evening to find them asleep under bushes and left them there until the following day rather than hunt them out into a busy road at night,” Flynn said.

Videos shared online show the goats wandering in the middle of the road, with numerous near misses from passing cars.

The goats have become a nuisance to local residents, who have often come home to find the goats asleep under a bush in the garden.

They have also been known to eat shrubs and jump on top of cars.

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