Love/Hate copycat motive linked to duck killings in Co Offaly

Animal rights group believes duck beheadings linked to depiction of cat death in RTÉ drama


An animal rights group has suggested the beheading of 22 ducks in Co Offaly may be linked to the depiction of violence towards animals on RTÉ’s gritty drama Love/Hate.

Locals were horrified to discover the severed heads of ducks at a harbour in Edenderry earlier this week. Of the 40 harbour ducks just 18 remain and they have been removed for safe keeping.

A sharp implement is believed to have been used in the attacks. The heads were discarded but the rest of the ducks were taken.

In response to the duck decapitations, Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) spokesman John Carmodysaid violence towards animals is on the increase and “scenes of animal abuse is doing damage to our already tough work of curbing cruelty to animals.”

“Was this a copy cat of a previous scene in Love/Hate where pigeons necks were snapped?” he asked. “This is not a game we’re playing and this is not public entertainment.”

While depictions of murder, sexual and psychical violence all appear in Love/Hate, the recent scene featuring the death of a cat has led to a storm of controversy. The unharmed cat is even due to feature on tonight’s Late Late Show.

“We’ve been reporting all week about the increase in violent crimes towards animals and that scenes in Love/Hate are putting sick ideas into already sick individuals who get kicks from tormenting and torturing defenceless animals,” Mr Carmody said.

ARAN has offered a reward of €1,500 for anyone who provides information that may lead to a conviction for the duck killings.

RTE declined to comment on the matter when contacted yesterday afternoon.

Meanwhile, local shooting clubs have offered to replace the ducks at the harbour in Edenderry.

The birds were introduced by the late Frank Carroll and Independent Cllr Noel Cribbin in order to provide a focal point for young and old at the harbour.

Local wildlife enthusiasts William McCreanor and Frank Harding spent months incubating and rearing the birds. The pair even built a duckhouse know locally as “Duckingham Palace”.

Chairman of Edenderry Tidy Towns Cllr Noel Cribbin was delighted to accept the offer from the Conor Mooney, Secretary of the Offaly Regional Game Council, an affiliate of the National Association of Regional Game Councils (NARGC).

“I’m after getting a lovely offer from Offaly wildlife in Birr. They are offering to restock it for us, seemingly the same thing happened in Birr a few years ago,” Cllr Cribbin explained.

Mr Mooney was “disgusted” when he read about what had occurred at the harbour in Edenderry, “it sends a terrible message to kids,” he said.

On reading about the incident, he contacted Cllr Cribbin, “I rang Noel as soon as I saw it and just made an offer to replace the ducks, like for like.

“Offaly (Game Council) will foot the cost but we will do it through a local gun club,” Mr Mooney explained. “It’s close to my own heart because it happened here(Birr) three or four years ago and we replenished them,” he said.

A security monitoring system is now being considered for the harbour.

Cllr Cribbin said the identity of the culprit remains a mystery but “I hope a bone goes down the wrong way and chokes him.”