GARDAÍ believe a vicious slash-hook attack that led to a defenceless horse being put down is connected with a feud between rival gangs of Travellers.
The 15-year-old piebald mare sustained such serious injuries that she had to be put down by a vet.
Gardaí were called to the halting site at Knocknaheeny, Cork city, at about lunchtime by distressed Travellers who had discovered the blood-soaked horse, which had been grazing in a nearby field.
Superintendent Con Cadogan, who is leading the investigation, said the animal had suffered several deep wounds to her neck and legs, and was in terrible pain.
“A vet was called to the scene and a decision was made to put the animal down for humane reasons,” said Supt Cadogan.
“This was a savage attack on a totally defenceless animal. We believe the attack was carried out with slash-hooks,” he added.
Gardaí have appealed for anybody who witnessed the attack, which occurred shortly before 1pm at the halting site near Apple Computers, to contact Gurranabraher Garda Station at 021 4946200.
Recent attempts by gardaí to broker a peace between Waterford and Cork Travellers have failed. Detectives believe the latest attack is likely to be connected to the feud, which has escalated in recent days.
Garda sources said they believe the discovery last Friday of pipe bombs in east Cork is also connected to the feud, which on occasion has descended into near warfare.
Two young men from Dublin were arrested after their car was stopped and searched in Midleton.
The pipe bombs were concealed in the car and detectives believe they were destined to be used against the Cork-based Travellers.
Earlier that week, a Waterford-based Traveller was attacked in O’Connell Street, Dungarvan.
The victim, who is in his 30s, had his face and shoulder slashed with a Stanley knife.
His injuries were described as horrific.
Gardaí say they are keeping a close eye on the feuding families and will do whatever they can to ensure it doesn’t escalate.
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