Passing driver coaxes agitated horse off M18

Passing driver coaxes agitated horse off M18


Photo: © Pat Flynn 2019

A quick-thinking driver prevented a possible serious incident on a busy motorway when he stopped to round up an agitated horse that had run into oncoming traffic.

The incident happened at around 3.30pm today on M18 motorway near Clarecastle in Co Clare where traffic was passing at up to 120km/h.

The driver stopped his van in the hard-shoulder and managed to usher the mare into the grass verge before an accident could happen. He was able to to calm the animal and keep it under control until emergency services arrived.

It’s now believed that the horse had jumped over a wire fence and crash barrier, crossed a service road and leapt over a second fence before entering the motorway.

Such was the concern that the horse could cause a serious accident, units of Clare County Fire and Rescue Service converged on the scene from opposite directions from Ennis and Shannon stations. A number of Garda units also responded to the incident.

Emergency services were told that the horse was loose on the motorway at Killoo near junction 12. The first Gardaí on the scene assisted the passer-by with trying to maintain control of the animal.

Fire crews travelling to the incident used their trucks to create a rolling roadblock in an effort to slow traffic down behind them as they approached the junction.

After locating the scene, fire crews saw the animal by a fence in the grass verge and used their vehicles to fend off the scene and prevent traffic passing by until they had dealt with the incident.

Emergency services at the scene near Killoo on the M18 this afternoon – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2019

Fire crews and Gardaí had then to devise a plan to safely remove the animal from the area. With traffic backed up some distance, it was decided to pull down part of the fence and level it to allow the mare back into the field where her foal was located

While fire personnel were working on the fence, the mare broke away again and ran up the grass verge looking for a way back to the field. The animal was eventually coaxed back through the fence to safety.

Motorway maintenance crews also arrived to carry out repairs to the fence. Once the scene was declared safe, fire crews and Gardaí cleared the area of emergency vehicles and the motorway was reopened.