A Fine Gael councillor has called for castration to be considered to deal with a herd of wild goats that is roaming free and "procreating like there is no tomorrow" on the outskirts of Ennis, Co Clare.
Cllr Mary Howard told the April meeting of Clare County Council's Ennis Municipal District on Tuesday that there is "huge frustration" among people in Ennis over the goats but they did not want "to see them put down".
A group of 22 goats was recorded on video last week going from Kilrush Road to Cahercalla. Ms Howard said two kid goats who were roaming around the Kilrush Road area were recently electrocuted at an ESB sub-station.
“We need to address where their natural home is. People don’t want them culled but they want the herd reduced if that can happen,” she said.
Fianna Fáil councillor Tom McNamara, the Mayor of Clare, told the meeting that “the disturbance that these goats are causing in the locality is totally unacceptable”. He said the goats “are getting up on top of cars and going around businesses at night time”.
Fine Gael’s Johnny Flynn said that what is taking place “is a serious road safety issue and needs to be dealt with as a matter of urgency”.
Cllr Pat Daly, Fianna Fáil, quipped that Mr Flynn is now being called “Goat” Flynn because of his work on the issue.
The debate on the goats arose from Ms Howard tabling a motion calling on the council to erect signage on the Kilrush Road and N85 route warning motorists of the possibility of goats on the road.
In response, Eamon O’Dea, senior executive engineer, confirmed that the council had contacted the regional road office to say wild animal signs should be erected on the N85 and N68.
He also said the council was endeavouring to contact animal sanctuaries and welfare organisations to arrange the capture and removal of the goats. He said the council wanted to deal with the issue in a humane way.
Ms Howard said that the council’s actions in dealing with the goats “is moving in the right direction”.