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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Responsible dog ownership




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 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
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 or log on to for further information.



Retiring Garda Sergeant began career in Killarney

Antoinette Cunningham who retired last week from An Garda Síochána and the Association of Garda Sergeant’s and Inspector’s as their General Secretary started her career 33 years ago in Killarney. […]




Antoinette Cunningham who retired last week from An Garda Síochána and the Association of Garda Sergeant’s and Inspector’s as their General Secretary started her career 33 years ago in Killarney.

Sergeant In charge at Killarney Garda Station Dermot O’Connell paid tribute to her achievements and her unrelenting commitment to improving the policing environment.

As a former Chairman, Secretary and delegate of the Kerry Branch, Sergeant Dermot O’Connell worked closely with Antoinette in AGSI for many years.

“Her support for members of the Association was second to none. Antoinette always pursued what was right and just. Her ability, knowledge and professionalism was acknowledged both internally and externally by other representative bodies and also professional bodies,” he said.

“When Antoinette arrived here at her first station, the late Jack McGrath was the Sergeant In Charge.”
“As many know Sergeant Jack McGrath frequently walked the beat. During this time Jack shared much of his experience with Antoinette who proved her ability as a competent Garda to Sergeant Jack McGrath. “
“Jack was very impressed by her ability even at that early stage, he always spoke highly of Antoinette and followed her career path with great interest.”

Antoinette subsequently transferred to Limerick (Roxboro Road and Mayorstone Garda Stations). As a Sergeant she moved to the Garda College and completed a Master’s Degree in Adult Learning and a BA in Training and Education.
In 2021 Antoinette was honoured by University Galway with an Alumni Award for her significant contribution in the field of policing.

She became the first female member to serve with the Association of Sergeants and Inspectors at Branch level, National Executive level, President, Deputy General Secretary and finally General Secretary.

“On behalf of the Kerry Branch of AGSI I wish Antoinette the very best in whatever the future holds for her and her family,” added Sergeant O’Connell.


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‘The Bumblebee1000’ Supercar event arriving in Killarney on Saturday

The ‘Bumblebee1000’ supercar run will arrive in Killarney around 5pm on Saturday. Around 40 supercars will leave Barberstown Castle in County Kildare on Saturday morning.After stops at Portlaoise Plaza (11am) […]




The ‘Bumblebee1000’ supercar run will arrive in Killarney around 5pm on Saturday.

Around 40 supercars will leave Barberstown Castle in County Kildare on Saturday morning.
After stops at Portlaoise Plaza (11am) and Cashel Palace Hotel (1pm) the convoy will arrive the Europe Hotel and Resort at 5pm.
“’The Bumblebee1000’ is not just about horsepower and adrenaline rushes; it’s about making a difference. As participants roar through the countryside, they’ll also be driving towards a noble cause. This event is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for The Little Blues Heroes charity, supporting the children of the Little Blue Heroes, and making a positive impact on their lives,” said an event spokesperson.
“The Bumblebee1000” is not just a journey; it’s an experience that blends luxury, adventure, and philanthropy in a seamless fusion. Whether behind the wheel of a sleek supercar or a supporter cheering from the sidelines, everyone is invited to be part of this remarkable event.
The cars will depart the Europe Hotel and Resort at 10am on Sunday and will stop off at a charity cars and coffee event in Tarbert at 11am before finishing in Adare at around 2pm.


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