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One a day Live

If you saw a load of people wandering a busy dual carriageway in Galway last night, here's why

By Darragh Mc Donagh

A stray goat dodged traffic and wandered a busy dual carriageway in Galway city for up to eight hours before being rescued by volunteers from an animal welfare organisation.

Galway SPCA and Gardaí started to get calls around lunchtime yesterday about sightings of the animal in the vicinity of Ballybrit, close to the entrance to the M6 Galway-Dublin motorway.

It proved difficult to pinpoint the goat’s location, however, as each call reported spotting the beast in different areas of the road network on the outskirts of the city; with many of them reporting that it was heading in different directions.

Despite a shortage of volunteers due to the holiday period, Galway SPCA personnel managed to Find the goat at around 6pm, although the four-legged adventurer was not giving up without a fight.

“Despite reports of him being injured, the goat had no problem running away from us,” said a spokesperson for the organisation.

“It’s Christmas week and we were already extremely short of manpower to keep our busy sanctuary going. So, the call went out to the wider Galway SPCA team.”

Abbie Wing, a volunteer who had just returned after spending Christmas in the UK, responded to the call and managed to locate the goat and assess his condition.

“She managed to locate the goat and be our eyes until the cavalry arrived," said the spokesperson.

"[Then], in the dimming light, they set out across one of the busiest roads in Galway to try and secure the goat.

“Up and down the slipway and back and over the road, he led our volunteers on a very merry chase. Thankfully, some very kind samaritans also stopped and did their best to aid the ladies.”

Eventually, at around 9pm, the goat was grabbed and brought under control using a makeshift restraint comprised of scarves and dog leads.

“Once this was applied, he seemed to realise that the game of tag was over, and he settled down,” she added.

The stray goat was examined by a local vet, who also contacted a colleague about using their barn to accommodate the animal overnight.

He was transported to his new digs by two other Galway SPCA volunteers in the back of their van.

It is not known how the animal, now named Billy, came to wander dual carriageways on the outskirts of the city.

However, he is believed to have to straying in the area since around 1pm that day.

Nicole Grealish from Salthill, Galway reported seeing the animal in Ballybrit at around 3pm, but got the sense from her telephone call to the Garda that she had not been the first to notify them of the unusual sighting.

“I called the gardaí as soon as I could,” she said.

“I got through to someone and started off by saying, ‘This is going to sound really weird.’ They immediately interrupted me and said, ‘Let me guess, you’ve seen a goat?’”