On Wednesday evening (April 28), sheep farmer John Mangan from Timahoe, in Co. Kildare was met with a horrifying scene when he saw one of his ewes skinned and butchered.

The Kildare-native was checking on his flock of ewes and lambs and drove down to the back of the field in which they were grazing, to find the remains of one of his ewes.

All that was left behind was the ewe’s head, four legs and skin and a garda investigation is now underway.

John’s wife Sinead told Agriland: “On Wednesday evening, John went down to look at the ewes and lambs as he would normally do and was met with this horrifying scene.

“One of our ewes was skinned and butchered, with the head, legs and skin of the ewe left behind.

“Whoever did this knew what they were doing. They weren’t amateurs that’s for sure. They were well-skilled and knew the area, as the ewe was obviously pulled down to the corner of the field, which can be accessed by a small bog road – which is very secluded.

“Back in February we had a ewe and two lambs taken from a field and a neighbour of ours also had two lambs taken as well around the start of March, so we’re just wondering could this be the same people involved in the incident on Wednesday evening.

“It’s very disheartening to see. We just want to make farmers aware of what has happened and to be vigilant for any unusual activity because no farmer should have to experience anything like that.

“We contacted Robertstown Garda Station, who came out to us yesterday and took pictures and a statement.

“We had just finished lambing a few days previous and to see the hard work done at springtime during lambing just gone, because of such a cruel act, is very hard to take.

“Today, the plan is to go down to the local co-op and get chains and locks and put them on the gates and hopefully they will act as an extra deterrent. We will just have to bring the ewes and lambs closer to the yard to keep an eye on them – just out of pure fear something like this would happen again,” Sinead concluded.