Woman Mauled to Death by Dog on Her Birthday

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A community in Limerick, Ireland is in shock after 23-year-old Nicole O’Donnell Morey was killed by her own dogs on her birthday. The incident occurred at her home in Fedamore, County Limerick, as she returned from a birthday celebration on June 4. Morey was mauled at her front door, leaving family, friends, and locals devastated.

The attack by the dogs, described as American XL Bullies, happened late at night as Nicole was entering her home. Despite the efforts of paramedics, Nicole died from her injuries at the scene. Gardaí, the Irish police, responded quickly but faced aggressive dogs upon arrival. They had to shoot one dog to stop the attack and seized three others. Nicole’s body was taken to University Hospital Limerick for a post-mortem examination.

Morey, originally from Limerick City, was known for her deep affection for her pets, often referring to them as her “babies” and sharing their images on social media. Her granduncle, Anthony O’Donnell, described her as a lovely girl, with a great heart, who would do you a good turn. She was a reserved and kind girl who preferred her own company. He expressed the family’s disbelief and sorrow over the phone from Spain, where he was on vacation when he received the tragic news.

Local priest Father Richard Davern led prayers for Nicole at St. Mary’s Church, highlighting the community’s grief. “We offered prayers for her during mass this morning,” he said. “I buried her grandfather, Pa O’Donnell, just last February. They come from a wonderful family in St Mary’s Park.” Father Davern spoke of the community’s shock, describing the incident as horrific and expressing sympathy for the emergency responders who had to handle the aftermath.

The attack has prompted calls to review Ireland’s dog control laws. Ireland has restrictions on 11 breeds, including American pit bull terriers and English bull terriers, which must be muzzled in public and kept on short leads. However, the recent incident has sparked discussions about potentially banning certain breeds, similar to actions taken in the UK.

Councillor Conor Sheehan emphasized the need for immediate action, such as banning specific breeds and enforcing stricter controls. “This tragedy has sent a ripple of shock through our community. We must ensure this doesn’t happen again,” he said. Irish Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys expressed her horror at the incident and announced the formation of a stakeholder group to examine dog control measures.

James Madden, a vet and member of the working group on dog control, advocated for a ban on the XL Bully breed, citing their aggressive nature and potential danger. “These dogs have a powerful bite force and can inflict serious injury or death. We need to ensure public safety,” Madden stated.

The incident has also led to a broader conversation about dog ownership and responsibility. Experienced dog trainer Anne Rogers stressed the need for proper education for dog owners, highlighting that “dogs are not benign creatures” and that an understanding of their natural behavior is needed.

As the community mourns Nicole Morey’s untimely death, Gardaí have urged the public to refrain from sharing videos of the incident out of respect for the deceased. The investigation continues as authorities comb through the scene to gather more information.

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