Dog bite victim was training for marathon in America

By Dionne Meehan

AN elite athlete was training for an upcoming marathon in America when he was attacked by a dog on a Donegal greenway.

The man, from Derry aged in his 20s, was jogging on the greenway between Muff and Quigley’s Point on the Inishowen peninsula when he was set upon by the dog on Saturday.


The dog, understood to be a Rottweiler, was being walked on a lead but managed to break free from its owner.

The dog chased the man before biting him a number of times on the leg.

The man was rushed to Altnagelvin Hospital where he had to undergo immediate care.

The dog has since been handed over to the local authority dog warden.

Meanwhile, a Garda investigation is ongoing.

Speaking to the Donegal News this week, local councillor Terry Crossan said the injured man has been left traumatised by the incident.

“There was a lot of damage to muscle, tendons and the bite came very close to an artery,” he said.


“There were concerns about permanent tendon damage as it is quite a substantial injury.

“I have seen images of it and it is absolutely horrendous, I think he had to get at least 18 stitches.

“That shows you the size of the wound.”

Due to his injuries, the man who has been described as an avid runner, will be unable to participate in the upcoming event in America.

“He has to take approximately six weeks off because of the nature of his injury and the damage that has been caused to the muscle tissue,” Cllr Crossan said.

“He has to give it complete rest to give it a chance to recover.”

With the local community still in shock following the “unprovoked” and “unexpected” attack, Cllr Crossan said had it been a child, we would be looking at catastrophic injuries.

“Where the bite actually happened on his upper leg would have been around head height of a four-year-old child.

“There are a lot of children who use the greenway,” he said.

Cllr Crossan continued by urging owners to take responsibility to ensure their dogs do not cause harm or injury to other people or to other animals.

Over the past year, Cllr Crossan said there have nearly been 500 hospitalisations in the wake of dog attacks in Ireland and about 150 of those involved were children.

“It is a growing issue, it is a growing problem and people need to be more responsible,” he said.

Cllr Crossan also hit out at the low number dog wardens in Donegal, describing the figure as “totally inadequate”.

“There are two dog wardens that cover the whole county.

“The dog pound is only opened from 10.30am to 1.30pm from Monday to Saturday.

“There is no way of contacting a dog warden at the weekend, no way of contacting them on a Bank Holiday or holidays like Easter or Christmas,” he said.

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