Enquiries are underway from An Garda Síochána into the death of a horse found on a national road in Co. Limerick.

Gardaí received a report of a deceased horse on the N21 road at Ballyfrawley, Co. Limerick on Sunday afternoon, March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day).

A Garda spokesperson confirmed to Agriland that the animal has since been removed from the scene, and added that “enquiries are ongoing” into the incident.

Deel Animal Rescue, based in west Limerick, was informed of “racing happening on the road” and that the horse in question “suffered a heart attack”.

 The animal rescue group added the condition of the horse showed “that she was dehydrated”.

The animal welfare organisation, My Lovely Horse Rescue commented on the incident: “This poor horse died on the side of the road today, poor thing died while racing and was left at the side of the road like rubbish while the race continued.

“This sadly is not the first poor horse to die and be abandoned and won’t be the last.”

The organisation added that “these sulky races happen all the time”.

Previously in Dáil Éireann, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue detailed the legislation surrounding sulky racing.

Minister McConalogue said: “The use of sulkies on public roads specifically, as with the use of all vehicles, including animal-drawn vehicles, is governed by the relevant provisions of the Roads and Road Traffic Acts.

“The Roads Act 1993 requires anyone intending to hold, organise or promote a road race to give at least one month’s notice in writing to the road authority and to the Garda Síochána.

“The road authority may then prohibit or impose conditions on such races. Anyone who contravenes the requirement to give, or such prohibition or conditions is guilty of an offence.

Minister McConalogue added that the enforcement of these provisions, as with law enforcement generally, is a matter for the Garda Síochána.

With regards to animal welfare, the minister said “the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 provides robust and wide-ranging protection for all animals,” which he said includes “horses and ponies used in racing of any sort, including on roads.

“Horse owners or keepers who allow harm to come to the animals in their care will have committed an offence under this Act,” Minister McConalogue added.

Meanwhile, Kells Gardaí are investigating a criminal damage incident whereby an entrance gate to a field at Fennor Lower, Oldcastle was damaged.

The incident occurred sometime between the afternoon of March 11 and the morning of March 15.

Anyone with any information re this incident are asked to please contact Kells Garda Station on 046-9280820.