The OPW says it was needed to avoid an over-abundant population

Thirty four deer have been killed as part of a planned cull in Dublin's Phoenix Park.

The operation was carried out by park rangers earlier.

The Office of Public Works (OPW) says culls need to be carried out to avoid an over abundant deer population.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images

It says: "The role of the wild fallow deer herd in the Phoenix Park as a valuable component of biodiversity must be recognised.

"However, this must be balanced with an equal recognition of the potential for deer to impact adversely on a range of other biodiversity values, particularly where other conservation habitats and their dependent species are concerned."

Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images 

"An over-abundant deer population can result in an increasing incidence of road traffic accidents and increase the potential role of deer in the epidemiology of specific diseases."

Images showed a number of men with rifles and deer in the foreground - as well as what appear to be dead deer being physically removed from the park. 

Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images

The OPW says the carcasses have been purchased by a Department of Agriculture approved game dealer.

The herd of 400 to 450 fallow deer descend from the original herd, which was introduced in the 1660s.