Police request fatal dog attack video is not shared

Gardaí (Irish police) are asking people not to share online video footage of a woman being attacked and killed by a dog in the Republic of Ireland.

Nicole Morey, who was 23, was treated by paramedics but died at the scene, gardaí said.

The attack happened at about 23:40 BST on Tuesday in Ballyneety, County Limerick.

A Garda spokesperson said officers from an armed support unit sent to the scene encountered a number of aggressive dogs.

In a statement on X (formerly Twitter) gardaí said they were "aware that footage of this incident is currently in circulation".

"Out of respect for the deceased, her family and all her loved ones we are requesting this this footage on social media and/or messaging apps and that if received, you do not re-share," it added.

Gardaí later said a post-mortem has been completed whose results are not being released "for operational reasons".

One dog was destroyed after the attack. Irish broadcaster RTÉ said it was understood to have been an XL bully.

On Thursday evening gardaí confirmed that three other dogs seized had also been destroyed.

They said all four dogs had been "of restricted breed".

'Ripple of shock'

Irish Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys said she was "absolutely appalled" by the woman's death and sent sympathies to her family.

She said more action was required in relation to dog control and that she had set up a cross-governmental stakeholder group, chaired by the retired Deputy Garda Commissioner John Twomey, to examine the issue.

“I have asked the group to examine the restricted breeds list, in line with actions being taken in the UK and Northern Ireland," she said in a statement.

“I am committed to working with colleagues across government in taking whatever action is necessary to strengthen our dog control laws."

What is an XL bully?

An XL bully is the largest kind of American bully dog.

The breed is a variant of the wider American Bully, according to guidance from the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

They are described as large dogs "with a muscular body and blocky head, suggesting great strength and power for [their] size".

Ownership of the XL bullies is subjected to strict controls in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

What dogs are banned in Ireland?

No breed of dog is banned in the Republic of Ireland.

However, some types of dog, including German shepherds and Rottweilers, are restricted.

In March, Northern Ireland Agriculture Minister, Andrew Muir, said the breeding and selling of XL bullies will be banned in NI.

Owners will be required to get an exemption certificate for their XL bully and the dogs will have to be muzzled and on a lead in public.

Ownership of the breed is subjected to strict controls in England, Scotland and Wales, following a series of attacks across the UK.

Call for ban on XL bully dogs in Ireland

Speaking to BBC News NI, James Madden, who is also a vet and a member of the working group examining dog control measures in the Republic of Ireland, has advocated for a ban similar to the one currently in force in the UK.

"It's the potential to inflict injury that makes these dogs so dangerous, they're incredibly strong and the force of their jaws have the ability to cause serious damage," he said.

"We are seeing more and more XL bullies in the Republic as the sale and breeding is not restricted here and more and more people want them so there is a market here."

Mr Madden also works with training dog wardens and said he is hearing more and more reports of XL bullies being aggressive and attacking members of the public.