Locals demand SDCC fix ‘the killing fields’

by Sylvia Pownall

THERE were fresh calls this week for action to curb animal cruelty and joyriding on 80 acres of land in Clonburris known as ‘the killing fields’.

South Dublin County Council (SDCC) was contacted by several concerned parties – amid sickening reports that a goat had been chased around the fields and set on fire.

The council revealed it was joining forces with other local authorities in the capital to form a horse welfare working group following a series of cruelty cases.

Members of SDCC have also agreed to form a sub-committee to review bye-laws governing the ownership and treatment of horses.

A spokesperson for My Lovely Horse Rescue said: “It’s a nightmare. Robbed cars always racing around it, poor ponies on high alert constantly.

“We have taken out so many sick and dying ponies from these fields and a goat – one goat was chased down and burnt.”

In May, volunteers with MLHR told how they were chased from the fields by joyriders as they tried to bring water to stricken horses during hot weather.

The land is earmarked for a large-scale urban housing development but has been used as a dumping ground for sick and neglected horses – and by joyriders who burn out cars every week.

Cllr Francis Timmons (Ind) said urgent action was needed to secure the land which is used for “illegal activity and criminal behaviour”.

He added: “I have seen first-hand the dreadful effect of mistreatment of horses on this land. It is not good enough to have this animal cruelty on an ongoing basis.”

SDCC confirmed that in recent months it had “intensified” its actions and removed “a very significant number” of abandoned cars from the fields.

On Monday, Deputy Eoin O Broin (SF) wrote to SDCC and gardai demanding action following yet another weekend of joyriding and the mistreatment of horses.

He said: “The anti-social behaviour on the Clonburris land has a negative impact on the communities of Bawnogue and Balgaddy.

“It is also unacceptable to see horses treated in the way they are at this location. All of us have a role to play in tackling this problem.”

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