A herd of 25 cattle have fallen off cliffs near Doonbeg, Co Clare.

The Charolais and Limousin yearling bullocks were discovered stranded on a ledge over the sea on Monday afternoon.

Farmer Pat Hayes told the Irish Farmers Journal that he believes the herd went over the cliff edge on Sunday night, but he is unsure what drove them.

“I haven’t a clue in the world. I thought it was lightning, but the neighbours said there was no lightning on Sunday night,” he said.

Hayes described how 17 of the cattle remain alive, still awaiting rescue on the cliff ledge. Five were “totally lost to the sea and drowned” and two were put down due to their injuries from the fall, he explained.


The shaken farmer said he and neighbours are attempting to dig a track along and back up the cliff to allow the stranded cattle to make it back to stable ground.

“I’m waiting here for a track machine to go down. We’ve one on the way. We’re making a road for them to get out. We’ll be here for the night I’d say,” he said.

Five cattle fell into the sea and drowned. \ Valerie O'Sullivan

Hayes has estimated the value of the dead cattle at several thousand euro and said that he has enough support at the site for the moment.

It is understood the Department of Agriculture and Clare County Council have been informed of the incident.

‘Terrible incident’

Clare County Council dog warden Frankie Coote described the incident as “unfortunate”.

The farmer and neighbours are trying to rescue the stranded cattle.

“It wasn’t to do with welfare or anything like that. They went down on to a cliff, down on to a ledge and I don’t think there’s any way back.

“It’s a terrible, terrible incident and I hope to God they can save some of them”, he added.