Clarke condemns high wire strung across Tollymore Path

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Saturday, June 16th, 2012
Alliance Newcastle Councillor Patrick Clarke has strongly condemned a throat high wire strung across a path in Tollymore Forest Park last week which resulted in a veterinary surgeon escaping serious injury after narrowly avoiding the throat high wire. Mr. Terry Smith was riding a horse through the forest close to the Bryansford Road last week when the attempted garrotting incident occurred.
The Rathfriland-based vet ducked to avoid a low branch at which point he felt something catch his left shoulder. He then spotted the wire which had been attached to two hooks on trees either side of the path and was clearly designed to cause serious injury. Mr. Smith said it was “purely by chance” he avoided the wire and said had he not ducked when he did, the wire would have caught him just under his chin. The rider immediately cut the wire and reported the incident to Forest Service staff. However, it has since emerged the Forest Service has not reported the incident to the PSNI.
Councillor Patrick Clarke stated: “I wish to strongly condemn the dangerous actions by someone who placed a wire across a popular pathway at Tollymore Forest Park in Bryansford. Such a deliberate and criminal act by someone could have caused major injuries to a human and a horse given the height the wire was deliberately across the pathway.”
“Thankfully the person who spotted the wire across the pathway did not sustain any life threatening injuries and was able to remove the dangerous wire. Placing a wire across a forest path could have without doubt caused serious injury to any person riding a horse.”
He added, “I welcome that the rider immediately cut the wire and reported the incident to Forest Service staff but I am disappointed to learn that the matter was not forwarded onto the PSNI for investigation given the seriousness of the incident.”
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