Elderly campaigner attacked by circus thugs

Sunday, August 20th, 2006

Irish Examiner

Gardai are investigating claims that a 76-year-old Co Wexford woman was assaulted by circus staff. The woman has lodged a formal complaint with the gardai alleging she was assaulted by two male members of staff of the circus that is touring the South East.

Prominent animal protection worker Babs Mooney claims she was wrestled to the ground with her arm held behind her back, that she was kneed in the back, verbally threatened and that her bicycle was damaged.

Gardai in New Ross confirmed yesterday that the elderly woman has made a formal complaint about the incident and it is now being investigated.

Speaking at her home in Ballycullane, Co Wexford, yesterday, Ms Mooney said the attack took place on Tuesday on the main New Ross / Wellington Bridge road when she was placing anti-circus flyers over posters advertising the circus.

“I was doing so to alert the public to the cruelty that performing animals are having to endure,” she said. “Two men wrestled me to the ground, held my arm behind my back, kneed me in the back and then verbally threatened me.”

Ms Mooney said she immediately contacted the gardai in New Ross and they quickly arrived on the scene. “I later went to the garda station and made a full written complaint, detailing the entire assault incident,” she said.

When contacted yesterday a garda spokesman in New Ross confirmed that Ms Mooney had made a formal complaint and a written statement. “The matter is now under investigation by us and at this stage we cannot comment further,” the spokesman added.

Ms Mooney, who claims to be a qualified animal trainer, said the general public has no idea the cruelty that the circus animals have to endure. “The environment they are in is all wrong. They belong in a sanctuary if not the wild,” she said.

The circus could not be reached for comment last night.

What can you do

– Boycott circuses with performing animals

Become a Freedom for Animals supporter – you can help to make a difference

– Write to your Assembly Member/TD, asking them to support a ban animal use in circuses. Contact details can be found HERE for Republic of Ireland and HERE for Northern Ireland

– Write to your local newspaper highlighting what is wrong with circuses.

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Click HERE to get involved in our campaigns in the Republic of Ireland and HERE to get involved in Northern Ireland contact us info@captiveanimals.org to join our e-mail list.

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