Rascals Statement About Illegal Grazing



Inchicore-based independent brewery Rascals Brewing Company flatly rejects Dublin City Council’s call to stop grazing its dairy cattle along the Grand Canal.

Statement from Rascals co-founder Cathal O’Donoghue: “One of the most popular beers we’ve ever made has been a Strawberry Vanilla Shake IPA. You could say our milkshake beers are always a big hit. In fact, the demand for more never stops.

Which is why we decided to give ourselves a competitive edge by producing our own lactose. And what’s the best way to do that? Produce our own milk, with a small herd of dairy cattle. Thanks to a by-law dating back to the mid 19th century, we discovered that as a local business adjacent to the Grand Canal we are entitled to graze livestock ‘not exceeding a dozen dairy cattle, pigs, or two dozen chickens’, along the banks, provided we can prove the livestock contribute to the business.’

Lactose is derived from cow’s milk and, when used in brewing, adds a sweetness and texture to the finished ale. Milkshake beers have become increasingly popular in the craft beer world.

“Rather than constantly sourcing it from suppliers, we now own five dairy cows, having purchased them at Blessington mart three weeks ago,” says Cathal O’Donoghue. “The long stretch of grass running from Goldenbridge to the canal bridge at Inchicore serves as a lush grazing area for the animals. In addition, the canal itself has proven popular with Julian, Dick, Ann, George and Timmy – the names of the cows – who seem quite partial to a dip now and again.

There has only been a small number of territorial disputes with the local swan population, but after a couple of weeks it would seem the creatures are happy to peacefully coexist. Local dog-walkers, joggers and cyclists have all given us positive feedback and most describe the cows as ‘a welcome addition to the neighbourhood’. Dung cleaning takes place daily and we always try to ensure the pathways aren’t dotted with cowpats.”

Rascals Co-founder Cathal O’Donoghue points to the controversial grazing area which the authorities want shut down. 

Cathal says: “Unfortunately, Dublin City Council have been less than supportive of our initiative. We have received a number of letters threatening all manner of things unless we removed our cows from the canal. Despite the existence of the by-law, officials have been writing to us about ‘public safety this’ and ‘can’t have cows roaming the streets’ that. As a compromise, we offered to saddle the cattle and provide educational fun rides for children up and down the canal, however this suggestion was rejected.”

Rascals Brewing will fight this issue and we vow to keep our cows on the canal.