This week, an inquest heard that Galwaywoman Teresa McDonagh’s brutal death could have been avoided, had warnings about how dangerous her son’s three Presa Canario dogs were been taken seriously. Mrs McDonagh, aged 64, died of “massive” injuries, after she was attacked at her son’s home in June, 2017. The killer dogs had free rein in father-of-four Martin McDonagh’s property and were described by the local postman as the most vicious dogs he had seen in 25 years.
This tragedy raises several questions: What kind of a person wants these timebomb dogs in their — and their neighbours’ — life? What kind of a person allows these animals share space with children? Why is legislation designed to protect people from these animals not enforced? And, most of all, why are these questions raised time after time, but to so little effect? These animals are a legacy from another time, when dogfighting was tolerated and farm animals needed protection. They cannot change their genetic makeup. Every one of them, no matter how calm, represents a real threat.
They have no place in today’s crowded communities.