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22/09/2021

Dog which inflicted horrific facial injuries on Derry binman had attacked two children previously

A dog which attacked a bin man in Derry inflicting severe facial wounds had attacked two children previously, it has emerged. The man, aged in his 40s, was attacked by the dog while carrying out his cleansing duties at the Limewood Street area of the Bogside on January 24, 2018. He suffered two major wounds to his face, and part of his ear was ripped off by the animal. The owner of the dog was prosecuted at Derry Magistrates Court on October 18, where the defendant pleaded guilty and was fined £250 and ordered to pay £32 court costs, £50 legal costs together with a £15 offender levy. The matter was discussed at Thursday afternoon’s meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Health and Community committee, held in Strabane. A report brought before the meeting stated that the dog, which was humanely destroyed shortly after the attack, had also been involved in two previous attacks on children. Commenting, the independent councillor Gary Donnelly said he was extremely concerned at this new information relating to the attacks on children, adding that if appropriate action had been taken at the time, the attack on the binman could maybe have been averted. Responding, Responding, Seamus Donaghy, Head of Health and Community Wellbeing Health with the council, said that the while the report may have stated the dog attacked the children, the use of the word ‘attack’ did not necessarily mean that the dog had bitten them. He added that in the in the wake of these incidents, the animal had been made subject to a number of conditions, which were that it was kept in a secure area, and kept on a lead. Mr Donaghy added that both these conditions were in place when the attack on the council worked occurred. Cllr Donnelly said that a review should be undertaken to determine whether there were any possible legal ‘loopholes’ in the wake such attacks, so that council staff can be protected from any similar incidents in the future. Meanwhile, the SDLP’s Shauna Cusack said she had her own concerns about the incidents which preceded the attack on the binman, and also urged council to do more to address the issue of stray dogs. She added that more focus should also be given to dogs which bark all night, as this may be resulting from the animals being kept in an enclosed space, and in turn may lead to ‘behavioural issues’ such as aggression.

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