A report into the discovery of a mass grave of dogs said they were very likely racing greyhounds based on the strong muscles and clipped nails of one animal which ended up being well-preserved in a bog.
An investigation found that probably six or seven dogs had been buried at the site in peatland near Newbridge, Co Kildare.
The fact they were buried in a bog meant the remains of one of the animals was very well-preserved, and it was later possible to take DNA samples.
An investigation report said: “You could tell this was a large black dog with well-developed muscles consistent with that of a racing greyhound, and you could see its nails had been clipped in a manner consistent with that of a racing greyhound.”
It said the remains of six dogs had “damage to the top of [their] skull” where it met with their spine.
A vet from the Department of Agriculture bagged up all of the remains, which were later transported to the State Laboratory at Backweston.
The Greyhound Racing Ireland report – which was released under FOI – said: “The remains were spread over an area of approximately forty metres by fifteen metres.
“The remains were of a minimal of six dogs, five of which the skull and spinal cord were in one piece as well as one skull and one body of a dog which may or may not be the same dog.”
The remains were numbered from one to seven, with bag one to six skeletal remains, but the seventh bag in good condition having been “submerged in the bog”.
“When we pulled [these remains] out of the wet peat, the hind quarters were very much intact.”