Arrests as deer killed

Gardai arrested six men from the Carrick-on-Suir and Rathgormack areas over the past week in connection with a cruel deer poaching operation using lurcher dogs.

Gardai arrested six men from the Carrick-on-Suir and Rathgormack areas over the past week in connection with a cruel deer poaching operation using lurcher dogs.

Gardai searched seven homes in counties Tipperary, Waterford and Kilkenny last Wednesday, April 15 as part of a national Garda investigation code-named “Operation Bambi”.

They found and seized drugs suspected to be cocaine estimated to worth €20,000, up to 10 lurcher dogs, two deer carcases, a stuffed deer head, hunting knives, high powered lamps and a jeep during the raids on the houses.

The drugs were found in Carrick-on-Suir.

Four men, all aged in their 20s, were initially arrested last Wednesday and were detained under animal health and welfare legislation at Clonmel and Cahir Garda Stations for questioning and later released without charge.

Gardai subsequently arrested two more men in connection with illegal hunting operation and they have also been released without charge.

A Clonmel Garda Station spokesman said a file was now being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Illegal deer hunting using lurcher dogs to chase and attack wild deer is understood to have taken place locally in forests in the Clonmel, Carrick-on-Suir, Clogheen and Ballingarry areas.

Gardai have appealed to anyone with information that may assist their investigation to contact Clonmel Garda Station at (052) 6122222.