Pictured (right) with this story is the shocking and sickening scene witnessed by passers-by on the old main Dublin road between Littleton and Horse and Jockey on Sunday evening.
The abdandoned animal who was literally driven to it’s death on the roadway following a sulky race died at the scene after it’s rider had fled, leaving the sulky car still attached.
The incident has sparked outrage in the local community and there have been calls to ban the use of sulky cars altogether, following what has been described as one of the worst cases witnessed in recent times.
The animal was driven so hard during the race that it collapsed and died. The alarm was raised by motorists who were passing by and Gardai attended the scene before the animal was removed from the roadside.
Sulky cars are not illegal. However, sulky racing on public roadways is illegal and this latest incident has resulted in further calls for regulation of a pastime which is often associated with members of the travelling community, although there is no suggestion at this stage that travellers were involved in this incident.
Fianna Fail Councillor John Hogan had raised the issue of sulky racing recently and had encouraged the local authority to provide a facility for such activities, so as to allow for regulation. The pastime, he said, is one of the oldest in the world and he offered the view that such activities could have tourist potential were they to be properly run and regulated.
The events of Sunday evening bring Cllr Hogan’s comments into sharp focus and may result in them being taken on board at official level.
This week Cllr David Doran said that he was “totally sickened” when he saw the pictures of a poor defenceless animal literally driven into the ground. “Whoever was responsible for this terrible act is probably beyond redemption but I would appeal to anyone who may have witnessed what happened to contact the Gardai. There should be no tolerance for this indifferent cruelty in society and I am appealing to the powers that be to ban this sulky racing altogether. In my opinion allowing it to take place on these roads should never be allowed or tolerated,” he said.
Gardai continue to investigate the incident and are appealing to people to come forward with information. Contact them on 0504 25100.