Around 100 protesters gathered outside government buildings today (Tuesday, June 18) to call for the permanent closure of Ireland’s only horse abattoir, Shannonside Foods.

Operations at the plant have been suspended by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), following investigations into animal welfare.

The protest today, organised by My Lovely Horse Rescue, called for “accountability and transparency”.

Volunteer for My Lovely Horse, Maddie Doyle said that DAFM “failed” the horses at Shannonside Foods and that it “continues to fail horses all around Ireland”.

“We want an investigation into the cruelty and abuse conducted by the owner and employees of Shannonside. And we want an investigation into the failings of the department of agriculture” Doyle said.

Doyle said that the abuse has been happening for a number of years and that the current minister “is not the only minister of agriculture that has presided over cruelty of Shannonside”.

“We want the perpetrators of the cruelty and abuse, the owner of Shannonside and his employees prosecuted and jailed for their criminal activities,” Doyle said.


Independent Councillor, John Lyons joined the protesters and said this issue was not something that Irish people can let “just go away”.

“When you look at the horse racing and greyhound racing industry, like what are we doing?

“We’re subsidising rich people to make more money off the cruelty of animals. We have to draw a line in the sand and say this is enough,” Cllr. Lyons said.

My Lovely Horse has also asked the government for information about the current location of horses that have been removed from the abattoir.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue has said that there will be “no stone left unturned” throughout the process of investigations.

Assistance and support is being provided from An Garda Síochána as part of the investigation.