South Tipp councillor backs calls for deer cull

Cllr Marie Murphy.

A local councillor says there needs to be a cull of deer following an increase of sightings on Tipp roads.

Councillor Marie Murphy brought this issue forward at this month’s meeting of the Municipal District, stating that in recent years she has seen a significant increase in deer in her local area.

She says this includes the foot of Knockmealdowns and the road from Clogheen to Newcastle, as well as the main road from Clogheen to Ardfinnan.

This comes at the same time a public consultation was launched on the management of deer by the Department of Agriculture, Food, and Marine.

Tipp TD Jackie Cahill, who was involved in a road accident with a deer last week, also called for deer culling, saying the influx of deer leads to issues for farmers, such as overgrazing, eating pasture and crops, and causing damage to fencing.

Cllr Murphy says she has been involved in road accidents with deer herself and that it’s only a matter of time before a more serious accident occurs.

“I’ve had two accidents myself over the last seven or eight years where I’ve hit deer even though I’ve been driving slowly. They weren’t major accidents. One back in 2015, I was on my way to a funeral and I’d only pulled out of my road and I was heading towards Clogheen and this big stag came out of nowhere and bust the radiator, and the bonnet of the car. Then this time last year, it was about 5pm in the evening. I was driving about 40 km/h, and it just came out of nowhere, and it the side of the car and damaged the door.”

An increase in deer on the roads in Tipp may also be caused by the lack of people travelling to the county to hunt them, according to Cllr. Murphy.

She says the increase of hunting licenses for the 2022/23 season may help lower deer numbers.

“Go back a number of years. There were people who used to go hunting deer, and the venison was used. People came from Wexford and West Cork because they knew they’d get deer when they came up here. They’re not travelling anymore now.

“I read on the Department’s website last week that they’d increased the number of hunting licenses for the 2022-23 season, which is good. Certainly, there has to be a cull of deer.”

A public consultation is currently underway to gather views on issues relating to the increased deer numbers and will be open until February 10th, 2023.