Guys I have to share the experiences of the past 3 weeks.
I was travelling through Pomeroy heading to Omagh when a huge dog fox, the biggest I had ever seen ran in front of my car at about 10pm. the white lines in the middle of the road allowed me to gauge its size and I estimate it was easily german sheperd to lab in length. As I got closer having to slow the car down so not to hit it I realised it was in fact a huge cat, ginger in colour with the unmiztakable round ears and rounded tail!
I was then reading a Tyrone newspaper and someone else had written in 2 days later saying they had seen it less than 10miles from where I did. It was without doubt a bigcat!!! My second as I saw a black panther close to Loughgall back in 1996.
Now this is where it gets really interesting. I visted my brother who is based in the Irish Army in Dundalk, and during a training excercise less than 4 days ago he was standing on a mountain track with night vision accompanied by another highly experienced lad, both doing scout. They switched on the night vision equipment, latest in technology, not the old gen 1 stuff, and they couldn't believe what they saw. A lynx was approx 12feet away! My brother gave a squeak as though to attract a fox, and it moved silently backwards in a stalking motion. My brother said he couldn't believe how quiet the animal was through the heather. They didn't hear one ruffle or crack of heather. This all happened up the Cooley Mountains.
So there ya go, 2 genuine sightings by 2 people who have hunted all their lives.