A “rampaging ram” which was attacking sightseers at Downpatrick Head in Co Mayo beauty spot has been removed from the location after at least one person was injured.
The removal of the animal was welcomed on Tuesday by one of its victims, a woman who spent most of Monday at Mayo University Hospital, Castlebar , being checked for possible fractures.
“I was left badly bruised after being headbutted” multiple times, the victim, who asked to be identified only by her first name, Margaret, explained.
“Luckily my sister and two students were with me. I only managed to get to my feet when others distracted the animal.
“If I was any nearer the cliff edge I could have been thrown into the sea or have my head bashed against many of the stones which litter the area”.
As she left the area with her companions, Margaret warned newly arriving about the “dangerous animal up ahead” but they laughed off the warning.
However, some of those visitors later fled when they too were chased by the ram.
Margaret said she was explaining what happened not to deter others from visiting the well-known beauty spot, which overlooks the spectacular Dun Briste Sea Stack, but to warn the public of the dangers.
“There are open cliffs close by”, she warned. “The place is risky at the best of times”.
After the matter was reported to gardai the owner of the ram was contacted and he agreed to remove the animal from any areas where it might have contact with sightseers and trekkers.
Gerry Ginty , a member of Mayo County Council , who runs an animal sanctuary in Ballina , said the aggressive actions of the ram was not untypical of the species.
“I would be careful of going anywhere where there are rams”, he advised. “A ram’s duty is to defend its herd. If he sees a human coming he will lower the horns and assumed a defensive posture.”