A ‘rampaging ram’ that terrorised sightseers at Downpatrick Head, an iconic Co Mayo beauty spot, has been placed under strict farmyard detention by its owner.
The measure has been welcomed by one of its victims, a woman who spent most of yesterday at Mayo University Hospital, Castlebar, being checked for possible fractures.
“I was left badly bruised, after being headbutted about 20 times,” the shocked victim said.
The woman, who asked to be identified only by her first name, Margaret, continued: “Luckily, my sister and two students were with me. I only managed to get to my feet when others distracted the animal.
If I was any nearer the cliff edge, I could have been thrown into the sea or have my head bashed against many of the stones which litter the area.
As she left the area, Margaret warned newly arriving walkers about the “dangerous animal up ahead”, but they just laughed.
However, some of those visitors had to flee, grim-faced, when they were chased by the ram.
Margaret has gone public on her experience, not to deter others from visiting the beauty spot, which overlooks the spectacular Dún Briste sea-stack, but to warn the public of the dangers.
“There are open cliffs close by,” she warned. “The place is risky at the best of times.”
After the matter was reported to gardaí, the owner of the ram was contacted and agreed to remove the animal from any areas where it might have contact with sightseers and trekkers.
Gerry Ginty, a member of Mayo County Council, who runs an animal sanctuary in Ballina urged people to be careful of going anywhere near rams.
“A ram’s duty is to defend its herd. If he sees a human coming, he will lower the horns and assume a defensive posture.”