More than 200 deer have been killed in Phoenix Park by a sniper hired by the Office of Public Works (OPW) since 2016, Dublin Live reports.
It is reported that a 68-year-old marksman from Wicklow was hired to perform the cull of the park's deer population and their carcasses were then sold to a Wicklow-based meat supplier for an average of €96 each – generating almost €20,000 for the state in sales of the 203 deer.
The deer were killed as part of a cull, according to a Freedom of Information request, with a spokesperson for the OPW revealing that the park remains open while the sniper is carrying out the cull.
Deer culling is carried out according to a detailed protocol using best practices taking full regard of the welfare of the deer and the safety of the staff and the public,” the OPW spokesperson said.
“An over-abundant deer population can result in increasing incidence of road traffic accidents and increase the potential role for deer in the epidemiology of specific diseases.
“The OPW works with the School of Biology and Environmental Science in University College Dublin with regard to the management and scientific research of the deer herd in the Phoenix Park,” she added.
It's also understood that a further 57 deer died of natural causes and road traffic incidents.