Snake falls out of ceiling onto man at house in Dublin

One day after St Patrick’s day, ‘Paddy’ the 5ft rat snake catches homeowner by surprise

St Patrick’s legendary powers failed this year after a five-foot snake fell out of the ceiling of a Dublin house onto a unsuspecting homeowner just one day after the national holiday.

The Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA)was called to a house in Glasnevin last Friday where the non-venomous rat snake was discovered during renovations.

The homeowner had been standing on top of a ladder when the snake, which has been named Paddy by the DSPCA, fell out of a freshly-made hole in the ceiling onto him, before slithering beneath some lifted floorboards.

The snake is believed to have belonged to the previous tenants of the house.


The landlord had been aware his tenants had a snake, but had presumed they had taken the reptile with them when they moved out.

DSPCA head of education Gillian Bird said such calls are not uncommon at this time of year, and the society will generally get five or six calls in March and April in relation to the discovery of stray snakes.

“It is not uncommon for escaped snakes to live in ceiling spaces and wall cavities feeding on small mice and insects. This is the time of the year we start getting calls such as these as the animals often sense the warming temperatures and start coming out to look for food,” she said.

“The snake is rather thin, which would lead us to think it has been loose for some time, but is recovering well in the DSPCA Shelter in Rathfarnham.”

The DSPCA would be willing to talk to Paddy’s owners if they wanted to come forward, Mr Bird said; otherwise, he will be put up for adoption.

“It is more difficult to find homes for snakes than other pets, but we do always try to find homes for them, and if no one comes forward Paddy will be put up for adoption.”

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times