Irish army shoot cattle on Monaghan farm

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Media captionMembers of the Irish army called in to shoot five cattle on a farm in County Monaghan.

Members of the Irish army have shot dead five cattle on a farm in County Monaghan.

The cattle were shot on Tuesday at a farm in Carrickmacross, which is the subject of bankruptcy proceedings.

An official from the Insolvency Service of Ireland confirmed in a statement that the shootings took place.

Sinn Féin TD Martin Kenny has called for an explanation of the role of the defence forces in the shooting of the cattle.

Chris Lehane, from Insolvency Service of Ireland, said they were carried out by trained army personnel in the interests of the animals and public safety.

He added that the aim was to prevent the spread of TB in local livestock following consultations between himself, Department of Agriculture officials, An Garda Síochána (Irish police) and the Irish army.

"In the interests of the cattle, public safety of the local community and to prevent the spread of TB in local livestock, the decision was very reluctantly made by me following consultation with and approval of, the Department of Agricultural Officials and cooperation of An Garda Síochána and the defence forces," he said.

"As official assignee in bankruptcy, I have a duty to recover value from assets of bankruptcy estates and it is clearly not in my interests to kill cattle, nor would I do it, without firstly having exhausted every other possible avenue open to me to resolve the problem."

Mr Kenny, an Irish parliament member' said he had received "many calls from horrified people, some from Monaghan, and others who had seen reports on social media about what happened".

"This is wrong on so many levels that it is hard to know where to start. It is a cruel irony that such an action should occur during Farm Safety Week."