Man Prosecuted for Cruelty to Dublin Carriage Horse

Published: Thursday, 31 May 2018 Tags: Press Release /

Myles Howe to 2 months suspended sentence and 3 years disqualification for owning, possessing or being in control of ANY animal in a shocking case of cruelty to a Dublin carriage horse.
Man Prosecuted for Cruelty to Dublin Carriage Horse


  • 4 May 2018, Myles Howe sentenced to 2 months suspended sentence and 3 years disqualification for owning, possessing or being in control of any animal.
  • Judge describes it as "a shocking case of cruelty".
  • Sentence sends a strong message that cruelty to animals will not be tolerated.

On 4 May 2018, Myles Howe, who had earlier pleaded guilty to animal cruelty, was sentenced by Dublin District Court Judge Gráinne Malone to 2 months suspended sentence for animal cruelty and 3 years disqualification for owning, possessing or being in control of any animal. 

Judge Malone remarked that it was a “shocking case of cruelty” and that Mr Howe could “was not in a position to look after himself, let alone a horse”. 

The sentencing for animal cruelty was dealt with separately to the non-related offences for which Mr Howe was also in court for. 

The incident began on the evening of 21 October 2016 when a vigilant member of the public reported a very thin carriage horse operating in Dublin's popular tourist area of Temple Bar.  The incident was reported to Gardaí at Pearse Street Station and to My Lovely Horse Rescue. 

A number of Gardaí attended and Garda Seán McCarthy subsequently authorised seizure of the horse by DCC's horse pound contractor.   An MLHR witness took video and photo evidence.

According to Dublin City Council's veterinary report, the 15:3hh piebald stallion was very thin and had marks on head, shoulders and stifles (rear limbs) from badly fitting tack as well as ocular (eye) discharge.  The horse was not microchipped or passported and no horse licence existed for the horse (which are all legal requirements).

In order to assist Gardaí with their prosecution, MLHR also provided Gardaí with further veterinary and physiotherapist's reports as evidence of the horse's poor condition, which Judge Malone took into consideration.

MLHR are pleased with the sentence as it sends a strong message that cruelty will not be tolerated by the Courts and helps set a precedence going forward in any future cases.  

MLHR would like to thank everyone involved in bringing this case to a successful conclusion, including the public, vets, the physiotherapist and Garda McCarthy for his determination in pursuing this case.  MLHR would also like to thank Judge Gráinne Malone for giving MLHR an opportunity to make a statement in court. 

A very special word of thanks also to our fosterers who have worked very hard since November 2016 in patiently rehabilitating Seán.

MLHR recommend Dublin City Council urgently introduce ad hoc and routine welfare checks on all carriage horses operating in Dublin City to prevent any further incidents.

In 2016, only 15 horses in the DCC area were licensed. MLHR call on Dublin City Council and An Garda Síochána to proactively enforce horse licensing as per the Control of Horses Act 1996 and Dublin City Control of Horses Bye-laws 2014 to ensure horses are microchipped, passported and have adequate stabling. 

MLHR are also calling on Dublin City Council to commence the process of review of the existing Control of Horse Drawn Carriages Bye-laws 2011 as soon as possible. We want this to be on the Council's agenda for the next Transport SPC meeting in July.

About My Lovely Horse Rescue

My Lovely Horse Rescue regularly assist Gardaí and Department of Agriculture in moving equines and donkeys to a place of safety.  MLHR rehabilitate and rehome rescued and surrendered animals or horses transferred from Local Authority horse pounds.  MLHR is a not-for-profit voluntary organisation and the majority of our funding is from public donations or via our website


Notes for Editors 

The horse, who has been in foster care since November 2016 and now named “Seán” has since been gelded (castrated) and now at an ideal weight.  However, he has a long road ahead psychologically.  He is still wary of strangers, especially men, but fully trusts his fosterers who are now planning on adopting him.  He enjoys being out in the field along with the company of other horses and has regular health checks, including physiotherapy. 

The deterioration in this horse’s body condition did not happen overnight.  The witness who made the report to Gardaí on 21 October 2016 [name and contact details with writer] had, over a period of months, made numerous welfare complaints to Pearse Street and Kevin Street Gardaí, Dublin City Council's carriage licensing department, DSPCA and Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, advising them of the deteriorating condition of this horse.

MLHR call on authorities to work together to commence ad hoc and regular weekend, evening and out of hours welfare inspections on all carriage horses operating in Dublin city. 

Since this incident, MLHR has engaged with Dublin carriage drivers and owners, Gardaí, Dublin City Council and equine professionals to identify issues with the current licensing system and recommendations for improvement:

MLHR would like to see the following urgently implemented:

  1. Enforcement of existing legislation to be prioritised by Gardaí.
  2. Introduction of ad hoc and routine equine welfare inspections.
  3. Complete overhaul of the current DCC Control of Horse Drawn Carriages bye-laws and licensing process.
  4. Education on equine welfare for working horses and stable management.

Further details of our research and findings can be found below:

For further information regarding any of the above, please contact

Additional Media

Seized Carriage Horse

Dublin Carriage Horse Sean

Seized Carriage Horse, Seán May 2018


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