United in Grief and Anger: Rally Against Shannonside Foods

Yesterday morning there was a sense of anger, passion and purpose in Thoroughbred country. The clock struck 11am as crowds of amazing humans arrived to put ribbons on the railings and gates of the corrupt Shannon Side Foods Abattoir in Straffan Co Kildare. 

This was a “meetup” but not a normal one… RTE Investigates has cast a dark shadow over the equine industry, our leadership and our governance. The sickeningly illegal behaviours of a few at the detriment of many and of course, our beloved horses. It was not just a scandal; it was a truly sickening watch and Charlie McConalogue, Department Vets and the Department of Agriculture have a lot to answer… that is not to say that systems and leadership at some of the other associations shouldn’t be called into question too. But that is not what today’s article is about.

Today we want to focus on the incredible group of 300-400 amazing people that supported My Lovely Horse Rescue is campaigning for immediate change and action outside the Shannonside Food facility in Straffan, Co Kildare. Here is their press release on yesterday campaigning for change.

My Lovely Horse Rescue Press Release:

We stood together in solemn silence, honoring the animals that have suffered at the hands of these merciless individuals.

John Joe Fitzpatrick, his son, their employees, and officials from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, along with the Irish government, have a lot to answer for. The public is outraged, and My Lovely Horse Rescue (MLHR) will not rest until justice is served and the ongoing corruption and greed are severely punished.

Tears flowed freely today. The paddocks at Shannonside Foods, usually teeming with horses, stood empty. These paddocks, often the final resting place for horses that are dead, injured, underweight, or sick, now hold a haunting silence.

Where have all the horses gone? Why has their removal been allowed?

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and An Garda Síochána have stated that investigations are underway. These investigations are focused on serious breaches of the Animal Health and Welfare Act, including abuse, cruelty, and criminal activities related to microchipping and passports.

So why were the perpetrators, clearly filmed in Prime Time footage, allowed to remove these horses?

Last night and early this morning, a large number of horses were removed by the owners of Shannonside Foods. The same truck was seen at the owner’s house in Limerick.


These are serious questions that demand answers. The whereabouts of these horses must be determined as a matter of urgency!

Keep sending emails and making calls… WE WILL NOT LET THIS GO!


When a community unites, when people stand together, when we decide not to take anymore shit, lies, deception or misdirection… we are an unstoppable force. And that is what we need to be to make sure this can not and does not ever happen again.

To My Lovely Horse Rescue, this was both sad and amazing to see. Sad it had to happen but amazing to see the community United.

The pressure was felt from yesterdays gathering, from the community and right across the industry and the wider public as “The Department of Agriculture has confirmed that it has “fully suspended” the operation of the Shannonside Foods plant in Co Kildare”.

Piece to follow on this announcement.


United in Grief and Anger: Rally Against Shannonside Foods

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