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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Responsible dog ownership

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There has been a lot of discussion recently about dog ownership and the current level of dog control regulations in Ireland.

‘Man’s best friend’, dogs, particularly large dogs, represent a potential danger to pedestrians, motorists and livestock if they are not kept under control at all times.

All dog owners have a responsibility to ensure that their dog is properly cared for and that they are not a nuisance or a danger to their neighbours or other members of the public. Dogs that are not kept under proper control may also cause nuisance and annoyance by damaging or defecating on neighbours' property, or by excessive barking. Local authorities are responsible for the control of dogs under the Control of Dogs Act 1986. They can appoint dog wardens, provide dog shelters, seize dogs, impose on-the-spot fines and take court proceedings against dog owners.

Legal Requirements

If you are a dog owner, you must have a dog licence and get your dog microchipped. All dogs over four months of age must have a licence. Puppies aged under four months who are still with their mothers don't need a licence, but once they leave their mothers they must have one.

There are three types of dog licence:

An individual dog licence, which costs €20 and is valid for one year.
A 'lifetime of dog' licence, which costs €140 and is valid for the dog’s lifetime.
A general dog licence, which costs €400 and is valid for one year. This covers an unspecified number of dogs at one location.

You can apply for an individual or lifetime dog licence at your local post office or licences.ie. A general dog licence application must be submitted to your local authority.

Your dog must be under your control, or the control of another responsible person, if it is outside your home or premises. This means that you have complete control over your dog's movements. You are liable for any injury or damage your dog causes to people or livestock.

It is an offence to let a dog under your control foul in a public place. If it does happen, you, or the person in charge of the dog, must remove the faeces and dispose of them in a suitable, sanitary manner. If a dog fouls in a public place, and the owner doesn’t remove the faeces, you can make a complaint to the District Court under litter laws. Before you do this, you must inform the dog owner by completing a form available from the Dog Control Unit of your local authority.

Dangerous dogs

These are a list of breeds of dogs that are considered to be potentially more dangerous to people than other breeds of dog. It is not that these dogs are more likely to attack or bite a person than any other breed, but that if they do, the damage that they can inflict is much more serious. Additional rules apply to the following breeds (and strains/cross-breeds):

American Pit Bull Terrier
English Bull Terrier
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Bull Mastiff
Dobermann Pinscher
German Shepherd (Alsatian)
Rhodesian Ridgeback
Rottweiler
Japanese Akita
Japanese Tosa

These dogs (or strains and crosses of them) must:

Be kept on a short strong lead by someone over the age of 16, who is capable of controlling them.
Be securely muzzled whenever they are in a public place
Wear a collar with the name and address of their owner, at all times.

All dog owners owning purebred or crossbred dogs belonging to this list of breeds must ensure that these dogs are securely muzzled and on a strong leash not more than two metres in length when in a public place.

The rules on muzzling and leashing do not apply to dogs used by the Gardaí, the Dublin Harbour Police, State Airport Police and bona fide rescue teams in rescue operations. The rules on muzzling do not apply to guide dogs for the blind.

Stray dogs

Stray dogs are dogs that are in a public place and are not accompanied by the owner or a responsible person. Interestingly, dogs that are not under proper control are also considered stray dogs. You can receive an on-the-spot fine if your dog is not under proper control. Stray dogs can be seized by the dog warden or Gardaí and brought to a dog pound. These dogs may be put down or re-homed if their owners do not claim them within five days. If your dog has strayed or is missing, you should contact the local dog pound directly to check if your dog is there. Before you collect it, you will have to pay a re-claim fee and produce a current dog licence. If you do not have a current dog licence, you must get one before collecting your dog.

Noisy dogs

If your neighbour’s dog won’t stop barking and you are unable to resolve the issue with the dog owner, you can make a complaint to the District Court and look for a hearing. When you get a court date, you must notify the dog owner using a prescribed form, which is available from your local authority or District Court.

You can call a member of the local Citizens Information team in Kerry on 0818 07 7860. The offices are staffed from Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. Alternatively you can email on tralee@citinfo.ie or log on to www.citizensinformation.ie for further information.

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MTU hosts Active Ageing Festival at Kerry Sports Academy

Young students got to share their learning skills while an older group showed patience and experience during the ‘Active Ageing Festival’. Held in Munster Technological University last week the event, […]

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Young students got to share their learning skills while an older group showed patience and experience during the ‘Active Ageing Festival’.

Held in Munster Technological University last week the event, in conjunction with Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership (KRSP), saw 150 people engaged with a busy schedule of activities, facilitated by the students and staff of the Department of Health and Leisure Studies.

Dr Barry Moynihan, Consultant Geriatrician in University Hospital Kerry opened the event with an informative talk on the importance of movement as we age.

Many community organisations and networks were represented on the day such as HSE, Baile Mhuire, Kerry Library, Kerry Call, SeanChairde, Centre of Smart Ageing, Probus and Age and Opportunity.

Activities such as Pickleball, Bowls, Better Balance Better Bones, Dance and Yoga were also showcased.

Gearoid O’Doherty, coordinator of the KRSP, highlighted the need for more community-based activities for older adults across Kerry and the role of the partnership in supporting this development.

It is hoped that other venues across the county can facilitate a similar event in the future.

MTU lecturer and event coordinator Eimear Foley, spoke of the mutual benefit that this day provided to both participants and students.

“The real-life experience afforded to the students is immense, with involvement in planning, delivering and evaluation of the event to the fore.”

Within their course, the concept of being active across the lifespan is embedded and this opportunity for the students to engage in real life learning is paramount. Older people can generate community-based learning experiences not only for themselves but also for the young. Many of the participants commented on the professionalism, warmth and enthusiasm of the students, whilst the students were delighted with the patience shown to them and ease of conversation with the participants.

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Killarney to feature on TG4’s Country Music show

By Sean Moriarty A song about Killarney – once made famous by local Country Music hero Dermot Moriarty – will feature on TG4 tomorrow night (Tuesday). The second series of […]

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By Sean Moriarty

A song about Killarney – once made famous by local Country Music hero Dermot Moriarty – will feature on TG4 tomorrow night (Tuesday).

The second series of the Irish channel’s County Music show ‘Viva Ceol Tire’, which highlights emerging Country Music talent in Ireland, airs every Tuesday night at 9.30pm.

The next programme will feature Donegal singer David James’ version of ‘Oh Killarney’.

The programme was filmed entirely on location in Killarney including Torc Waterfall, Ladies View Moll’s Gap and Kate Kearney’s Cottage.

“The song was written by Dennis Allen. However, it was a hit for Dermot Moriarty in the 1980s. The first time I heard it I loved it and I was thrilled with the reaction my version has got,” James, who is from the small village of Killean in Donegal, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It’s pretty rural but I love it. I’ll be in Country Music 10 years this May. My first gig was in the local GAA hall for my aunt’s 50th birthday. I was 14 and I’ve been at it ever since.”

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