Country ‘puking with deer’

‘The country is literally puking with deer at the moment,” Cllr Michael O’Meara exclaimed at a recent meeting of Nenagh Municipal District, where councillors called for an urgent deer cull.

Raising the issue, Cllr John Rocky McGrath said the proliferation of deer has “gone beyond a joke now”. He was aware of moves towards a nationwide cull, but said a suggestion that wolves might be introduced into the wild to kill the animals would only lead to more attacks on farmers’ livestock, as well as people.

Cllr Séamie Morris spoke of encountering a large stag that ran across the road in front of his vehicle. The damage that such an animal could cause in an accident was of great concern to him, and while everyone loved animals, something has to be done about the deer population, he agreed.

Cllr O’Meara said farmers in his area have been “cleaned out” as a result of TB spread by deer. “It’s not just the financial loss; it’s the mental stress of it,” he said of those involved.

Also calling for the deer population to tackled, he said those involved in culling would need to be careful as there is a “hierarchy” among deer, and eliminating the wrong animal may lead to other problems.

Kilbarron’s Cllr Joe Hannigan said there were no deer in his parish up until five or six years ago. “Now they’re everywhere,” he told the meeting.

Cllr Ger Darcy said deer – some of which can weigh as much as 400kg – are a danger on the road. They also carry disease and knock down fences. There is a need to reduce the population “significantly”, he said.