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Phoenix Park may get new red deer

THE possibility of relocating Irish red deer from Kerry to Dublin's Phoenix Park is to be examined by heritage officials.

Jimmy Deenihan, the Heritage Minister, said he would support the move if it was feasible, saying the red deer would be a huge addition.

The existing herd of fallow deer draws many visitors to the park in Dublin 8.

But Minister Deenihan said "red deer would be a major attraction and a major addition to the Phoenix Park, which is one of the most spectacular parks in any city in the world".

He added: "There may be some issue with mixing two species and there may be some reason this has not happened."


He was responding to Fianna Fail heritage spokesman Sean O Fearghail who made the suggestion in the Dail. "It has always struck me as strange that the magnificent Phoenix Park in this city is populated by a herd of fallow deer," he said.

Mr O Fearghail urged the government to consider relocating some red deer from Killarney National Park to "our primary city park" so it could have "examples of that magnificent species".

It was revealed in the Herald last year that culled deer from the Phoenix Park end up on dinner plates across the country.

The Office of Public Works makes nearly ?4,000 a year by selling deer carcasses for human consumption.