Pamplona bulls, Ennis goats...

Honestly, sometimes you just have to marvel at the downright stupidity of it all.

Pamplona bulls, Ennis goats...

By Denis Lehane

Honestly, sometimes you just have to marvel at the downright stupidity of it all.

In this country of ours (I’ve seen it a thousand times), when a golden opportunity presents itself, we have an awful habit of rejecting it.

Of throwing out the child with the dishwater.

Of not realising what we had until it’s gone down the road in the back of a cattle-box.

There they were, the people of Ennis, Co Clare, with the grandest of all tourist draws for the summer of 2018, and what do they do? They pack the goats off to a farm in Co Louth! It would be laughable, if it wasn’t so tragic.

Last week, the whole country heard about the herd of wild goats rampaging through Co Clare and in particular the town of Ennis.

But not just any old herd of goats. No, experts identified some as being Old Irish goats, a native breed which has existed here for more than 7,000 years.

Well, not since the statue of Our Lady started to shake in Ballinspittle, back in ‘85, had a rural outpost been handed such a glorious opportunity to make a killing on the very lucrative tourist trail.

This is the kind of thing that makes a city like Las Vegas spring up from the desert sands ... and it was happening in Co Clare.

Luck! They had hit the jackpot, if you ask me.

Like the camels of the Kalahari, or the red-arsed baboons of the equatorial jungle, the Old Irish goats of Ennis were a Godsend.

But oh no, instead of rejoicing at their arrival, it was instant denunciation.

Local councillors got very exercised by the issue, with one councillor citing that the goats were “procreating as if there was no tomorrow”.

Now, call me old fashioned, but I fail to see how the goats’ sex life is anyone’s business but the goats’. Typical of politicians to get involved here. They just can’t butt out.

The councillor in question should be ashamed for prying into such goings on.

Besides, procreation is no crime. So long as both parties are in agreement, it’s the healthiest and most natural thing in the world.

The goats should have been praised for their vigour, and not chased out of the town like hoodlums.

Indeed it was also demanded by a councillor that the male goats be castrated. There was no end to the political meddling.

The sex life of a goat is not something that warrants debate in council chambers.

If the goats were attacking each other on the streets with clubs, that would be a different matter. But love making should not be a cause for banishment.

If the goats were a little wild, as a report suggested, sure what harm was that?

Aren’t we’re all a little wild at times, like the bulls who run through the busy streets of Pamplona with steam coming from their nostrils, and the tourists fleeing from hem?

Tourists would have flocked to Ennis to see, and indeed be chased by the wild goats, just as surely as tourists flock to Trafalgar Square to be pooped on by the pigeons. It’s all part of the fun.

With the Irish Golf Open scheduled to hit Co Clare next year, the added attraction of the goats would have been the icing on the cake.

You can see now why the capture and removal of the goats was such a foolish step.

With the goats’ departure, there goes another golden opportunity for a tourism bonanza.

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