Some 27 hoggets were killed in a dog attack on the Knockmealdowns in south Co Tipperary on Monday 25 April.

Owner of the sheep Michael Coyne from Boolahalla, Newcastle, Co Tipperary, believes the dog responsible was an Alsatian.

He also believes that it was the same dog who killed his neighbour Stephen Ryan's sheep last December.

"It was the same dog who killed Stephen Ryan's last December - once they get the taste of blood they'll do it again. Something should have been done with the dog then," he said.

The dog has since been shot, according to Coyne.

'At least' 10 attacks

Farming with his brother David, Michael said that this is at least the 10th dog attack they have witnessed since they started farming 30 years ago.

"I can remember 10 or 11 dog attacks in my time. In 2018, I had 34 hoggets killed," he said.

Coyne said that in 2018, the dog involved was shot. The dog was microchipped. However, he said he received no money from the owner of the dog.

"People don't care, they don't see the damage their dogs can do.

"It's very annoying as a farmer and sure it'd depress you really," Coyne added.

Michael said that the remaining sheep ran to the bottom of the commonage in terror.

"They ran to the glens and we had to go down for them the following day.

"Two or three were also badly injured, with holes in their neck from the dog," he said.

Coyne added that it's not the dog's fault, it's the owners, and he urged dog owners to understand the damage that can be caused when dogs are let off their lead and allowed to roam freely.

A spokesperson for An Garda Síochána said: "Gardaí are investigating an incident that occurred in Newcastle, Co Tipperary, in which a number of sheep were attacked on 26 April 2022. Enquiries ongoing."

Former south Tipperary IFA county chair Erica O'Keefe said that there has been a lot of dog activity in the south Tipperary area recently.

"All these people walking dogs have no respect for farming," she said.