Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Farmer's praise for rescue team that saved sheep stuck on the Sperrins

The North West Mountain Rescue team was today praised after saving a Tyrone farmer's sheep from a cliff ledge 60ft above ground level.

Farmer Peter McCullagh said his ewe had got stuck in the Butterlope Glen area of the Sperrins Mountains near Glenelly last Thursday night.

After contacting various emergency services for over a week, Mr McCullagh from Plumbridge was redirected to the local mountain rescue team, based in Londonderry.

He said today: "I tried everybody. I tried the animal rescue people at the USPCA and the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service.

"At one point I even tried myself with a rope but the rope wasn't long enough and it was a brave drop.

"I also phoned the police and they came up and contacted the Mountain Rescue team. Right enough they came up on Thursday and said they would be back on Friday evening."

Mr McCullagh joined a group of local people to watch the rescue which involved volunteers abseiling down with a net to catch the ewe and bring her to the bottom.

Paying tribute to the efforts of the NW Mountain Rescue he said:

"They are a great bunch of people. I am going to raise a couple of pounds for them in one of the local pubs.

"I hope they get more people to support them and help them."

A spokeswoman for the Mountain Rescue team said today: "One of the things we are involved in is animal rescue and we went out to Mr McCullagh and the sheep was rescued safe and well.

"The sheep must have wandered onto the ledge from above."

The North West Mountain Rescue Team was formed in 1980 in Londonderry, and currently has over 40 members.

The team is entirely voluntary and depends mostly on public support to finance its operations.

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