The boa constrictor is now in a reptile zoo in Kilkenny.
Horseleap residents Sinead O'Neill and her boyfriend Paddy Barrett got the shock of their lives late last week when they discovered they were sharing their home with an unwanted guest - a six-foot boa constrictor.
The young couple, who moved into the rented house four months ago, discovered the snake when they were about to start cleaning out their shed.
Their reptilian guest was wrapped around an old bed frame that was being stored in the outbuilding.
Student Sinead said that they think that the animal belonged to the former tenants who had kept exotic pets.
"It had been living up there for six or seven months. His enclosure was in the shed (when we moved in) but we we re told that the snake was gone. Obviously it wasn't."
The boa had made quite a cosy little nest for itself in a cardboard box in the shed, dragging in some hay for added heat and comfort. When hunting prey, boas grab with their teeth before suffocating their quarry and consuming it whole. Sinead believes that it kept itself alive by feeding on the shed's previous occupants: "We noticed that there was a lot of swallow nests but no swallows."
When the animal-loving couple, who have two cats and two dogs, started ringing around to try and get someone to take away the boa constrictor, Sinead says they had trouble getting people to believe them.
"When I told the guards they asked was I on drugs," she laughed.
Eventually, Dublin Zoo put her in touch with the Reptile Village Zoo in Kilkenny where the snake is currently residing.
Zoo director James Hennessy, who travelled up to Horseleap to capture the animal, says the snake is as strong as an adult and could inflict serious, if not fatal injuries on a small child.
As for Sinead and Paddy they are still wondering how someone would move house and not bring all of their pets with them. They are also hoping that there are no more undetected lodgers about the place.
"I can't understand how you would leave a six foot boa constrictor behind," says Sinead.