Taoiseach questions ‘need’ to own dangerous dog breeds after Wexford attack

Nine-year-old Alejandro Miszan was left seriously injured by a pit bull terrier

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said there is a need to seriously examine the legislation around the ownership of dangerous dogs.

Mr Martin was speaking in the Dáil following the attack on nine-year-old Alejandro Miszan who was seriously injured by a pit bull terrier in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford.

Mr Martin said “all our thoughts are with Alejandro and his family and friends following the horrific ordeal for that young child”.

He said it was a shocking event “and all of us are very disturbed by what has transpired here. There is also a degree of anger.”


The Taoiseach said “I don’t understand why there is a need to own such dangerous breeds.”

Mr Martin told Fine Gael TD Alan Dillon who raised the issue that “I do not have the full panoply of legislation in front of me but we do need to go back to the drawing board”.

He said that what had happened had happened to “one child too many” and he would raise the matter with the responsible Minister to see “whatever cross-departmental approach we should take”.

They had to first “make sure there is enforcement”, and then established the necessity of ownership of such animals.

Mr Dillon said Alejandro had received “horrific injuries on Sunday afternoon when he was savagely attacked by a pit bull dog while playing football”, when the dog was not muzzled and not under the control of its owner.

He asked if the legislation needed to be strengthened as he cited the significant increase in dog attacks over the past five years with more than 1,700 from 2016 to 2021.

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran is Parliamentary Correspondent of The Irish Times