By Gordon Deegan

A Lahinch surfer has saved an ‘exhausted’ sheep from drowning after the sheep had fallen off a cliff edge at the Clare seaside resort.

Johnny Casey was out surfing waves at Lahinch at the southern end of the beach when he spotted the ‘marooned’ sheep in a little cave on a ledge at the cliffs.

Casey said today (Thursday, January 7) that with the tide coming in, there was a real fear that the sheep would drown and he went about rescuing the ewe.

Recalling the recent rescue effort for the ewe, Casey – who celebrates his 30th birthday this weekend – stated that he saw the sheep was “standing there motionless on the ledge. She ended up there after falling down the cliff”.

He stated: “I paddled in when I saw the sheep. I got one more wave and off I went. I went over to her and she was quite shaken.”

Local farm family

Casey then went to the family home of the Leahys who farm the lands along the cliff edge “and I told Mrs. Leahy that one of their sheep had gone off the cliffs”.

“The tide was on its way in and there was a lot of swell with the waves. I grew up on a farm in Barefield outside Ennis so I have a bit of experience dealing with livestock and I said that I would go down and get it back,” he said.

Casey then proceeded with one of the Leahy sons to rescue the sheep.

With the tide coming in, Johnny Casey stated:

We had to wade through rock pools and the water coming in. When we got to her, the sheep was so tired that she couldn’t walk. She was absolutely exhausted. The poor thing couldn’t stand and her legs were going out from under her.

“The tide was coming in and it would probably have drowned if she was left there. We threw her on the shoulders and carried her back across the reef. I ended up drenched and absolutely soaked,” he added.

The home stretch

The two reached the prom and placed the sheep on a rope and Casey escorted her up the village to wait for a tractor to transport the sheep back to her home farm.

The exhausted ewe being escorted back to her home farm

Casey admitted that he did receive some funny looks from friends and passers-by as he escorted the sheep up the village on the rope.

“I was thinking to myself ‘how did I get involved in this?'” he said.

The insurance professional stated that he “didn’t bat an eyelid” over his rescue effort. He stated: “I grew up with sheep, goats, bullocks, horses so it was nothing out of my day.”

Casey said that the sheep wouldn’t have been spotted from the land as it was hiding in the cave.