Belfast Telegraph

Bull attack woman: I thought I was a goner

A woman had a miraculous escape after being knocked to the ground and trampled on by a bull close to a popular beach.

Mother-of-four Sonya Byrne (46), from Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, and her 11-year-old son Patrick were walking their dogs at the back of Mullaghmore beach in Co Sligo when they were attacked last Sunday.

They were walking close to cows and calves on commonage land, which is not fenced off from the beach, when a bull emerged from the herd and began charging towards them.

“They all started to stampede. I could hear the snorting,” she recalled yesterday.

“The bull butted me in the base of my back and I was knocked to the ground. I could see Patrick's legs and I could see other animal legs and I thought ‘this is us. We are the last walkers here tonight and we will not be found until the morning. We are goners’.”

The bull had trampled on Ms Byrne’s left thigh and injured the calf of her left leg and ankle.

“When I let go of the dog, which is a Great Dane, the bull went after the dog. I suppose it was what it was after,” she said.

The Byrne family has appealed to the local authority to take action to prevent such attacks happening in the future.

Sligo County Council said it was carrying out an investigation and had advised the public that the beach was unsafe because of the cattle.

”The problem is that the council only owns a small portion of the land,” Councillor Patsy Barry said.

”There is very little they can do,” he said.

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