Deer are a cause of vehicle accidents on rural roads in many parts of the country, according to the chairperson of one county executive of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

Galway IFA is hosting a public meeting in the county tonight (Thursday, May 26) to discuss the issue of wild deer traversing farmland and public roads, a frequent occurrence in the south Co. Galway and north Co. Clare areas.

The meeting will be held in the Community Centre in the town of Woodford in the south of the county, close to the border with Clare.

The landscape in this area is notably hilly and afforested, and for road users in the locality, deer are a regular sight.

However, speaking in advance of tonight’s meeting, IFA Galway chairperson Stephen Canavan noted that the issue is not just a local one but a national one.

He highlighted that farmers have experienced deer coming onto their land and fields.

Image soruce: IFA Stephen Canavan

“Several farmers have contacted the IFA raising their concerns where anything up to 50 to 60 wild deer would be found grazing privately-owned grasslands, having come from the surrounding mountains or forest area,” Canavan said.

He called on government bodies to address the issue, arguing that, at present, those bodies are failing to do so.

“Someone has to take responsibility, whether is is the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS); Coillte; or the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.”

Canavan even called on the Department of Transport to take an interest in the issue, stressing: “Several accidents have occurred where members of the public have crashed into deers crossing country roads.”

The meeting is set to kick off at 9:00p.m.

This meeting comes a week after the IFA’s Animal Health chairperson called for a coordinated approach to deer management.

TJ Maher said last Thursday (May 19): “The control of deer nationally requires a coordinate approach, which must include a focus on addressing the deer population surrounding TB outbreaks.”