Marsupial may have come from local circus


GARDAÍ ARE investigating reports that a marsupial brought into a disco in west Dublin at the weekend in an apparent practical joke was sourced in the Co Cavan area.

However, gardaí are also trying to establish if somebody took one of two kangaroos from a circus near the hotel where the incident happened and managed to return it before the owners realised the animal was gone.

There are also wallabies on Lambay Island off the coast of Dublin and this is being treated as another possible source location for the animal brought to the hotel on Saturday night.

The wallabies have been breeding on the island since the 1980s when they were introduced there to alleviate overcrowding at Dublin Zoo.

Garda sources said it was still unclear where the animal had come from or been taken to after the incident at a 30th birthday party at the Clarion Hotel, Liffey Valley.

“We’ve spoken to a lot of people who were at the party but nobody has told us where the animal came from or what happened to it afterwards,” said one Garda source.

The investigating team at Ronanstown Garda station is now studying CCTV taken from inside and outside the hotel in the hope it might reveal the identity of those who brought the animal to the event.

Gardaí are hopeful the CCTV might also show whether the animal was brought there or taken away in a vehicle.

The same sources said there were many unconfirmed reports that the animal had been given ecstasy or alcohol and had died as a result or because of the stress of being brought into the party.

Some information suggested the animal had died and been taken away, possibly into the Dublin mountains, and buried.

Gardaí said many of those at the party had not been fully co-operative and it was still unclear what had happened.

Video footage recorded on a mobile telephone showed one reveller picking the animal up and robustly handling it as a group of partygoers danced around in a circle on the dance floor.

Gardaí and the Dublin Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said they had been contacted by a number of people who were at the party and who were distressed by the presence of the animal.

Orla Aungier of the DSPCA said the animal, which she believed was a wallaby, would have found the noise, lights and large numbers at the party “very stressful”. She said it was possible the animal had become injured or had died as a result of the experience.

In the Republic exotic animals are not banned.

However, mistreating animals, including causing them undue stress, is a criminal offence and has resulted in convictions in the past.