Animal Voice: April 2010
Campaign newsletter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports

In this edition:

01. What are your politicians saying about blood sports?
02. SUCCESS: Donedeal drops ads for dogs used in blood sports
03. Video shows struggling hare dying at Clonmel
04. ICABS criticises milk group over pro-hunting stance
05. Urge Labour and Fine Gael to back ban on staghunting
06. Another Ward Union deer chased into river
07. Cruelty of blood sports highlighted on RTE's Frontline
08. ICABS tells bishop: Clergy blessing hunt dogs is inappropriate
09. Farmer "angry that a hunt came across his land without permission"
10. "No Exemptions for Hunt Kennels": Farmers group
11. "Hare coursers are sick, bloodthirsty varmints" - Queen's Brian May
12. Queen star May launches bid to stop return of hunting
13. ICABS responds to Ruby Walsh's hunting statement
14. Mobile Phone Action Alerts
15. Queen's university's hare research criticised
16. Blood sports issues discussed on RTE TV and Radio
17. Galway TD urged to support Ward Union ban
18. Hunting horror for cousins: pet torn apart by hounds
19. New ICABS leaflet exposes deerhunting cruelty
20. Death by a Thousand Cuts - Act for Hedgerows
21. Hares killed in illegal hunting, man fined
22. Campaign Quotes
23. Parliamentary Questions and Answers
24. Petitions
25. Letters to Editors
26. Twenty Tweets

01. What are your politicians saying about blood sports?

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports' campaigns enjoy cross-party support. Please contact your anti-blood sports TDs/Senators to praise their efforts to get hunting and coursing banned. If your TD/Senator is in favour of animal cruelty, please let them know that their stance will affectr futvoting decisions.

For an updated list of TD and Senator views, visit our Politicians page at

02. SUCCESS: Donedeal drops ads for dogs used in blood sports

Irish classified ads website,, has responded positively to an Irish Council Against Blood Sports appeal in which we called for a rejection of ads for dogs used in hunting, baiting, digging-out and terrierwork. A big thumbs up to the Wexford-based company for updating its dog policy and beginning the process of permanently removing such ads.

When ICABS originally contacted DoneDeal about a number of dog adverts on their website, we were assured that "all of us at DoneDeal are big animal lovers" who didn't want their site to be used by those involved in cruelty.

As part of our appeal, we highlighted videos which explicitly show the cruelty involved in hunting and related activities such as the digging out of foxes and the use of terriers to trap animals underground and viciously attack them.

Donedeal's updated dog policy now includes the paragraph: "No Killing or Digging: We do not like the idea of dogs killing prey (e.g. foxes, badgers, deer, etc), as it can be a cruel experience for the prey, or the dog, or both. Therefore we do not accept ads that imply that the dog could/should be used for such activity. Also, we do not accept ads that mention or imply 'digging'." You can read the policy in full at

"We're absolutely delighted with the stand DoneDeal has taken on this cruelty issue," responded ICABS spokesperson Aideen Yourell. "We will now be stepping up our campaign to try and get legislation introduced in Ireland to ban this barbarism."

For more information about DoneDeal or to place/view adverts, please visit

03. Video shows struggling hare dying at Clonmel

A video filmed by two Swedish students shows a hare desperately struggling within a coursing enclosure at Powerstown Park in Clonmel. The disturbing footage can be seen at

"We could easily see the hare enclosure from the other side of the fence. Anyone could see the hares from there," the film makers, Emelie and Patrick, say in a statement. "We filmed through the fence. We had no intention of filming a dying hare. If we hadn't filmed the dying hare nobody would probably have heard about it. It would probably not have reached the media and people wouldn't know that there are hares dying because of hare coursing."

You can read the full statement at

The Irish Daily Mirror described the footage of the dying hare as "sickening". In an editorial headed "Mindless cruel 'sport'" (31 March 2010), the editor comments that "you don't have to be an ardent animal rights activist to be touched by the plight of dying hares at a coursing meeting".

"The scenes are shocking and disturbing. This sickening 'sport' pits defenceless creatures against lightning fast dogs. But even when the prey escapes the bloodthirsty hounds, they are often too exhausted, shocked or injured to survive."

A report in Swedish paper, The Local, refers to the hare "writhing in agony before dying" and states that police in Clonmel are investigating.

The hare seen suffering in this shocking footage is just one of many victims of hare coursing in Ireland. Please demand an end to coursing now. Phone, fax, email your TDs and demand that they act to bring this cruelty to an end. Email "Ban Hare Coursing in Ireland" to and To find out the names and contact details for your TDs, click on Politicians at

04. ICABS criticises milk group over pro-hunting stance

ICABS has expressed disgust to the Irish Creamery and Milk Suppliers Association after its president referred to carted deerhunting as a "humane country activity" and claimed that the ban on the Ward Union is "unwanted, uncalled for, unfair and unprecedented in terms of the bias it represents against traditional country pursuits". The group has been told about the cruelty of deerhunting and presented with the results of an opinion poll which show that a majority want the hunt banned.

The comments from president Jackie Cahill were made in an April 2nd, 2010 statement headed "Minister Gormley should 'cop-on' and drop Wildlife Bill".

"The President of the country's second largest farmers' organisation has given his association's full support to the RISE [pro-blood sports] campaign against the Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010," the statement says. "We have here a perfect example of Minister Gormley acting on the advice of a tiny but vocal group and banning something that the silent majority know to be a traditional and humane country activity."

"It is simply not acceptable to have perfectly legitimate pastimes banned," it adds.

In a letter to Jackie Cahill and ICMSA General Secretary, Ciaran Dolan, ICABS highlighted the suffering caused to deer by the Ward Union and rubbished claims that it was in any way "humane". Photos of terrified, exhausted, bleeding deer at the end of hunts, as well as links to our campaign videos, have also been forwarded to the organisation. We also dismissed the claim that the ban was unwanted, pointing to the results of an opinion poll which shows that a two thirds majority in County Meath want the hunt banned.


Contact the ICMSA and tell them that carted deer hunting is inhumane and that a ban is most definitely wanted.

Jackie Cahill, President
Ciaran Dolan, General Secretary
ICMSA Head Office
John Feely House
Dublin Road, Limerick
Tel: +353 (0)61 314532 / 314677
Fax: +353 (0)61 315737

Forward a copy of your correspondence to your local TDs and urge them to reflect the wishes of the majority by voting in favour of legislation banning the Ward Union.

Address your correspondence to:
Dáil Éireann
Leinster House
Kildare Street
Dublin 2.

Find out the name of your TDs and their email addresses

Dear Deputy

I am writing to urge you to vote in favour of the upcoming legislation which will outlaw the Ward Union deerhunt.

The unacceptable suffering caused to animals by this hunt is clearly presented in a new Irish Council Against Blood Sports leaflet which can be viewed at

I also encourage you to watch the following ICABS videos which explicitly show the cruelty: and

Deputy, I am one of the majority of the electorate who abhor animal cruelty. I want to see the Ward Union banned. Please do the right thing and vote in favour of the legislation.

Thank you. I look forward to your positive response.

Yours sincerely,



Please send "I support a ban on the Ward Union" to Environment Minister, John Gormley, and An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen - Send email now Ask all your friends, work colleagues, neighbours and family members who are against blood sports to support this action alert. Thank you.

05. Urge Labour and Fine Gael to back ban on staghunting

The Labour Party has said that it has "not yet taken any formal decision" in relation to the upcoming vote on banning the Ward Union deerhunt. Fine Gael, meanwhile, has reportedly said that it "will vote against the proposed ban and will repeal it if the party forms the next government". Please join us in urging both parties to show compassion and fully support the ban.


Please contact the leaders of the Labour Party and Fine Gael today and urge them to fully support the upcoming ban on the Ward Union.

Eamon Gilmore, TD
Leader, The Labour Party
Leinster House, Kildare St, Dublin 2
Tel: 01 6183566
Fax: 01 6184574

Enda Kenny, TD
Leader, Fine Gael
Leinster House, Kildare St, Dublin 2
Tel: 01 618 3105
Fax: 01 618 4502

06. Another Ward Union deer chased into river

A deer being hunted by the Ward Union in February ended up in the River Boyne, it has been reported. An article in the Irish Field describes how the unfortunate animal "entered the River Boyne to put the hounds off the scent". This is just the latest incident involving a deer jumping into a river to escape the pack of dogs. ICABS has brought it to the attention of Minister John Gormley.

The February 13th 2010 Irish Field report outlines that as the stag "retraced his way back down the river and returned to dry land" the hounds were called off and the animal was left to "remain at large as an outlier".

Previously, ICABS has highlighted an incident involving a deer being dragged out of the Broadmeadow River after being hunted for over two hours by the Ward Union. Another Ward Union deer was hunted for two and a half hours and "recaptured in the river at Burtonstown". On another occasion, a deer went into the Boyne near Navan during a chase which the Irish Times reported involved "50 huntsmen and huntswomen on horseback, in addition to some Ward Union staff...and a pack of hounds".

07. Cruelty of blood sports highlighted on RTE's Frontline

The cruelty of hunting in Ireland was highlighted to the nation in March on RTE's Frontline programme. The devastating impact trespassing hunts have on farmers was also featured.

Among those who highlighted the cruelty of carted deer hunting on the show were ICABS spokesperson, Aideen Yourell. Speaking on behalf of farmers negatively affected by hunts was Philip Lynch, chairman of Farmers Against Foxhunting and Trespass

You can watch Frontline online now at
[forward to the 14 minute, 20 second mark for start of debate]

ICABS thanks RTE/Frontline and Pat Kenny for covering this important issue.

08. ICABS tells bishop: Clergy blessing hunt dogs is inappropriate

In March, ICABS expressed disappointment to the bishop of Cloyne that a priest in his diocese was involved in a hunt blessing last season. We reminded then bishop of Cloyne, John Magee, about a previous statement from the Irish Bishops Conference that bishops "would not condone the practice of priests blessing foxhunts".

According to a report in the Irish Field of 12th Sept 2009, "hunt supporters and locals attended the blessing by parish priest, Fr Barry Flynn, of the United Hunt Club's new kennels in Clonmult, Co Cork last week." An accompanying photo shows the pack of hounds being blessed above the caption "Fr Barry Flynn blesses the hounds at the United Hunt Club's new kennels." The United Hunt is a foxhunt.

Highlighting the cruelty of foxhunting, ICABS pointed to Paragraph 2418 of the Catechism which states that "it is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer and die needlessly". We also quoted from Paragraph 2416 which outlines that: "Animals are God's creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory. Thus men owe them kindness. We should recall the gentleness with which saints like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Philip Neri treated animals."

"We believe it is very inappropriate for members of the clergy to bless hounds that carry out cruelty to Irish wildlife," we added.

09. Farmer "angry that a hunt came across his land without permission"

A farmer on Liveline radio show expressed his anger that a foxhunt came on to his land without permission. Listen to what the farmer had to say by downloading and listening to the show.

Listen to the show

Liveline, RTE Radio
(Friday 26th February 2010)
(24 minutes, 5.6Mb)

or listen to it on the RTE website
["Liveline Podcast - hunts - Matt, a farmer who is angry that a hunt came across his land without permission"]

Keep hunters off your land: Further information

Make it known publicly that your land is off-limits to hunters. Place a preservation notice in your local newspaper now. Here is a sample notice that you may wish to use: "Take notice that all my lands at [Insert address(es) of land] are private and preserved day and night. All forms of hunting and shooting are strictly prohibited. Trespassers will be prosecuted. Signed [Insert name(s) of landowner]"

For more information, click on Farmers at You may also wish to contact the Farmers Against Foxhunting and Trespass organisation which is happy to offer advice to landowners. Chairman, Philip Lynch, can be reached at 056-7725309. Visit the FAFT website at:

10. "No Exemptions for Hunt Kennels": Farmers group

National farmers group, Farmers Against Foxhunting and Trespass (FAFT) has called on the government not to grant an exemption for hunt kennels under new dog breeding legislation. In a statement issued by the group, they describe foxhunting as anti-farmer and express support for a full ban.

Chairman Philip P. Lynch states: "Farmers Against Foxhunting and Trespass, representing thousands of farmers all over Ireland concerned about the havoc wrought by hunts on land (ripping up crops, scattering livestock, knocking fences, tearing domestic pets asunder in farmyards) wish it to be known that we wholeheartedly support Minister Gormley's inclusion of hunt kennels in the proposed puppy farms legislation. We, the REAL voice of rural Ireland, say: foxhunting is anti-farmer and should be banned completely."

"We believe it is absolutely vital from the point of view of safeguarding the interests of farmers in every part of Ireland that the hunt kennels are made accountable for their conduct. We hope that every Dail Deputy and Senator is aware of the destructive potential of dogs at loose in the countryside. Have you ever seen a dog attack a flock of sheep? Have you ever witnessed a full pack of hounds, or strays from a pack, attack sheep or other livestock?"

"We farmers have endured more of this rural vandalism and emotional heartache from the hunts than we can tolerate."

You can read the full statement on the FAFT website

11. "Hare coursers are sick, bloodthirsty varmints" - Queen's Brian May

Queen's Brian May has described hare coursers as "sick, bloodthirsty varmints". The guitar legend was reacting to a pro-hare coursing video on Youtube in which a Queen song is used without permission.

"It's hard to imagine a more despicable 'fun' activity," Brian says in a blog post. "I was sent this link [to the video] by someone who was appalled that they have used a Queen track as the soundtrack. They asked me if I could get it taken down from YouTube. Well, I nearly did... and maybe I will eventually. But, you know...maybe there is a better idea. I want to show it to anyone who seems to think it would be cool to repeal the Hunting Act...Perhaps it's worth seeing, to be clear just how low these people can stoop...I have a feeling that, given enough rope, these bloodthirsty varmints will hang themselves."

12. Queen star May launches bid to stop return of hunting

The following article from the Scotsman appears on Brian May's official website

Queen Star May Launches Bid To Stop Return Of Hunting
The Scotsman - 14 April 2010

Queen star Brian May has launched an effort to stop the return of hunting by financing his own poster campaign.

The guitarist is urging voters to find out how their candidates would stand if MPs have a free vote on the matter after the General Election.

Chart-topping May unveiled a giant poster in west London to raise awareness of his Save Me campaign, named after one of his band's hits.

The Tories have pledged to introduce a free vote on overturning the hunting ban in England and Wales, which was introduced by the Hunting Act in 2004. This made it illegal to hunt wild animals using dogs.

May said yesterday: "For me it's a very important issue. I think most of the issues we talk about are purely selfish; the money in our pocket and whatever. I've always felt that our relationship with animals is seriously not right, so this is an attempt to put things back."

May is asking members of the public to support animal welfare by signing up at and hopes to recruit a million supporters by polling day.

13. ICABS responds to Ruby Walsh's hunting statement

ICABS has responded to a claim by jockey Ruby Walsh that going hunting is "the best way to learn to ride". Galloping after a pack of dogs as they push a frightened animal across the countryside would undoubtedly be viewed by most as the least desirable way to learn, we stated.

Quoted in the Irish Times of March 15, Mr Walsh went on to speak out against a ban on the Ward Union and to express fear that it could lead to a ban on other blood sports. "This is a bigger issue than stag-hunting and has to be stopped before it gathers momentum," he said.

He told the Times that he "occasionally rode out with the Ward Union Hunt" and went foxhunting in Limerick and Wexford.

"Ruby Walsh seems to be blinkered to the cruelty of hunting when he praises deplorable hunting as the best way to learn to ride," ICABS stated in response. "Galloping after a pack of dogs as they push a frightened, desperate animal across the countryside would undoubtedly be viewed by most as the least desirable way to learn."

We added: "Mr Walsh expresses concern that a ban on blood sports would result in job losses but it's more likely that it would act as a major stimulant for the rural horse scene. Taking cruelty out of the equation and transitioning to drag hunting immediately opens cross-country equestrianism to the compassionate majority who value a clear conscience. Drag hunting is the future for hunting in Ireland."

Read the full Irish Times report:
Leading jockey says proposed ban on stag-hunting 'has to be stopped'

Please make a donation to ICABS

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports relies entirely on your generosity to continue our campaigning for an end to blood sport cruelty. Please become a supporter of our work today - click on "Shop" at for more details or send a cheque to ICABS, PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland. Thank you very much.

14. Mobile Phone Action Alerts

Please download an Irish Council Against Blood Sports' action alert image on to your mobile phone and forward to your friends by MMS or email. Sending the image will help bring our important action alerts to a wider audience. Thank you for your help.

Note: The images are free but please check with your mobile phone operator for internet access/MMS/email charges.

Stop the Ward Union
Dimensions: 240x320. File Size: 49kb
Download link:

Help the Hares
Dimensions: 240x320. File Size: 34kb
Download link:

15. Queen's university's hare research criticised

Research carried out by Queen's University Belfast has been criticised by the League Against Cruel Sports in Northern Ireland. The research which claims that coursers benefit hare numbers has been described by ICABS as "a promotion for the Irish Coursing Club".

A statement issued by the League criticised the Queen's report for "failing to adequately consider vital issues" and went on to highlight that the Irish hare can "suffer from injuries and fatality at all stages of the coursing process including capture, handling, transportation captivity, during the coursing event and also after release."

"Of particular concern is the impact of a stress based syndrome 'capture myopathy'," League spokesperson Mary Friel added. "The syndrome leads to a compromise in the immune system and consequently death to hares which have appeared to initially survived a coursing event. This syndrome is thought to vastly increase the number of mortalities by the 'sport' and its effects on the local population are unknown."

Quoted in the Irish Examiner of February 25, 2010, Aideen Yourell of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports said the Queen's study "seems to be a promotion for the Irish Coursing Club".

"Hare preserves were merely places where coursers go to trap the animal rather than organised preserves," she said. "I would have no faith in any data that was supplied to this study by the ICC."

She also said clubs routinely struggle to trap enough hares.

Referring to their findings, the authors of the report concede that "we cannot rule out the role of habitat" and that the claimed level of hares recorded could be "because [coursing] clubs select areas of high hare density". On its website, it also adds that "it is necessary to evaluate the impact of removing hares from the source population and of returning coursed hares to the wild before the wider impact of coursing on wild hare populations can be determined."

According to the "Status of EU Protected Habitats and Species in Ireland" report (2008), the overall conservation status of the Irish Hare is "poor" and "factors likely to reduce hare numbers locally include loss of refuge areas, change from grassland to silage growing, increased urbanisation and HUNTING." The report confirms that the main pressures and threats to the hare include "trapping, poisoning, poaching" and concludes that the overall assessment of the hare is "unfavourable" and "inadequate".

16. Blood sports issues discussed on RTE TV and Radio

Blood sports and puppy farming were among the issues discussed on Prime Time on 15th April. Appearing on the show were Trevor Sargent of the Green Party and Nuala Donlon of the Campaign Against Cruel Sports.

You can watch the show online at,null,230

RTE Radio's Sunday Forum Show on April 11 included discussions about blood sports and vivisection You can listen to the show online at

The show features Green Party deputy leader, Mary White, TD and UCD sociology lecturer Roger Yates.

17. Galway TD urged to support Ward Union ban

Galway West TD, Padraic McCormack, has been urged to show compassion and vote in favour of a ban on the Ward Union deerhunt. The call is in response to a statement from the Fine Gael TD that his party will "oppose any change to existing licensing arrangements for stag hunting". The hunt is due to be banned this year.

In an email to an ICABS supporter, Deputy McCormack stated: "Fine Gael will oppose any change to existing licensing arrangements for stag hunting and will reverse any changes made by the present Government in that regard."

ICABS has appealed to him to reconsider his stance on the Ward Union issue.

"It is an extremely poor reflection on your party that it is unashamedly backing animal cruelty," we stated. "We urge you and Fine Gael to show compassion and side with the majority who want despicable activities like deer hunting, foxhunting and coursing outlawed in Ireland."


Please contact Padraic McCormack, TD and the leader of Fine Gael and urge them to fully support the upcoming ban on the Ward Union.

Padraic McCormack TD
Leinster House, Kildare St, Dublin 2
Tel: 01 618 3767 (Leinster House)
Tel: 091 568688/753992 (Constituency Office)
Fax: 01 618 4513 or 091 569204

Enda Kenny, TD
Leader, Fine Gael
Leinster House, Kildare St, Dublin 2
Tel: 01 618 3105
Fax: 01 618 4502

18. Hunting horror for cousins: pet torn apart by hounds

BBC News has reported that a pet dog in Newry was torn apart by a pack of hounds as two cousins looked on in horror.

The boys were out walking their dog, Pip, in a field when the hunt arrived. The out-of-control pack tore him to bits in what is the latest hunt-related mauling of a pet.

According to the March 18th report, the boys said a member of the hunt got off his horse and examined what was left of Pip - "He then threw the various parts into the hedge. When the boys asked him if their dog was dead, he replied 'yes', got back on his horse and rode off."

"The shock of what happened seems certain to remain with the boys for a long time to come," the BBC report concluded.

Source of information:

19. New ICABS leaflet exposes deerhunting cruelty

A new leaflet published by the Irish Council Against Blood Sports documents some of the horrendous suffering caused to deer by the Ward Union hunt. The leaflet has been brought to the attention of all Ireland's TDs as part of our appeal to them to support legislation banning the hunt.

The leaflet shows how deer suffer during Ward Union hunts and details casualties and fatalities based on data obtained from the NPWS and Veterinary Inspectors from the Department of Agriculture.

"We hope that having read the leaflet and watched our video footage evidence that you and your party will support the legislation to outlaw the Ward Union," ICABS stated in an email to TDs. "Your support will be welcomed by the majority of the electorate who abhor animal cruelty and want blood sports ended in Ireland."

Download the Leaflet
[pdf, 2.1 Mb]

20. Death by a Thousand Cuts - Act for Hedgerows

Please help protect Ireland's hedgerows and their resident wildlife by reporting illegal hedge cutting. The following article from the Irish Wildlife Trust website [] provides more information on what you can do to help...

Illegal hedgerow cutting is detrimental to Irish wildlife and the Irish Wildlife Trust are appealing to land managers to stop. Hedge cutting typically starts around now and continues well into the summer months but, unless for reasons of health and safety, this practice is prohibited by the Wildlife Act from the 1st of March to the 31st of August every year. At this time of year birds and mammals are breeding and flowering is providing seeds for the next generation. Despite this it seems that Local Authorities in Ireland only start cutting hedges in the summer months, creating eye-sores and causing untold destruction to wildlife.

Hedgerows are essential in providing habitats and corridors for maintaining wildlife diversity, supporting species such as badgers, owls, hedgehogs, stoats, blackbirds and innumerable plants, butterflies and other insects. Not only are they an invaluable reserve for much of our wildlife they are important in providing pollinators, cleaning our air, defining our landscape, storing carbon and by holding back the flow of water off land they can alleviate flooding.

"In spite of all these benefits, the Irish hedgerow is suffering 'death by a thousand cuts'. They are frequently mismanaged, flayed to within an inch of their existence, or simply removed during the construction of one-off houses and replaced with invasive alien cherry laurel - a plant of no value to wildlife." Commented Padraic Fogarty - IWT Chairperson.

Each year the IWT encourages the public to report instances of illegal hedgerow cutting to the IWT, which are followed up with letters to the relevant county council and the Minister for Environment. Just email the date, location, and if possible the name of the land manager involved and a photo to

21. Hares killed in illegal hunting, man fined

The following article was published in the Anglo Celt of 10th March, 2010

Hares killed in illegal hunting

Bilgun Argana, Kilnatruhan, Killoe was fined Euro300 for concealing wild mammals from conservation officer Michael Hackett, contrary to the Wildlife Act of 1976 at Rossduff, Moyne on May 5, 2009.

He was fined a further Euro300 for failing to comply with a requirement by Mr. Hackett and or impeding or obstructing him in the exercise of his powers, conferred by the Wildlife Act.

The defendant was fined a further Euro300 for not being the owner or occupier of lands and entering such lands at Rossduff to hunt wild animals without permission. He was also fined Euro300 for hunting exempted wild mammals on the occasion without a licence.

Mr Hackett, replying to Mr. Tory Hayden, SS, told the court he was on duty in the area on the date in question. At around 2.20pm he was informed that a person known to them was hare-hunting in the area. Witness went to the location and met Mr. Argana and two local men, who notified him about the activity.

Witness identified himself to Mr. Argana and he knew who witness was. He admitted that he did not have permission to be on the land.

Asked what he was hunting, the defendant told witness he was training puppies. Asked on what, the defendant said rabbits, hares, foxes and any damn thing.

Witness searched his vehicle and found two lurcher dogs and a greyhound. He found a roll of black bin liner in the front seat of the car.

Witness asked the defendant about a pool of blood where his vehicle had been parked, he said he was not responsible for it. He denied killing hares. A follow-up search uncovered two dead hares in a black bin liner.

Mr. Argana took off at speed in his vehicle. Witness later made contact with the gardai and went to the garda station in Arva, where he met Mr. Argana. Sergeant William Ward and Garda Linda Harkin were present.

He admitted that his dogs had killed the hares and he had put them in the bin liners. He apologised and asked to be given another chance.

Witness had not encountered the defendant before but other staff members had received complaints. He pointed out that one of the hares killed on this occasion was a female with dependant young.

Defending solicitor Ms Brid Mimnagh said her client, a Turkish national, had no previous convictions. He was not working and did not receive any income from any source. Her client instructed her that he did not own the dogs, but was looking after them for someone else.

Judge MacBride noted that the accused had been training young pups to hunt: "That tells me all I need to know about your client and his attitude to the law. He's lucky he's not going to prison - if he had not gone back to the garda station and copped himself on, I would have been giving him two months," said the judge.

He added that the picture of the dead hares handed into court was nauseating and terrible.

22. Campaign Quotes

"Former chairman of Meath County Council and Fianna Fail councillor Nick Killian [] said the proposed ban was 'the Green tail wagging the Fianna Fail dog' and he was 'disgusted' with his party for supporting the ban." Irish Times, December 15, 2009

"Foxes aren't so different to us. They have children that they love and families they have to feed. Therefore, it can be said that fox hunting is completely unnecessary and is animal cruelty at its worst. The people who participate in this disgusting pastime are devoid of any compassion towards animals and are stamping cruelty all over the countryside. I am passionate in my belief that the government should make fox hunting illegal." from Ban Fox Hunting in Ireland by popgirl14,

"Stag Hunting - If these blood thirsty heartless scum think it's such fun and that the stags/foxes are not terrified, why don't they take it in turns to get their sorry arses off the horses, give them a 10 minute headstart and let them run off into the fields then let the dogs loose after them." [From a comment on the website, 23/03/2010 -]

"Foxes are very good parents. Unlike some other wild animals, the dog-fox is an excellent father. He provides food for the vixen and her cubs and helps his mate to rear the family. The cubs begin to leave home in late summer. They soon go their separate ways for foxes are solitary animals and prefer to be on their own. Foxes do a very important job of controlling the numbers of pests like rats and mice." From a poster on the Ask About Ireland website -

"There are not so many hares left" (

"The Minister [Michael Finneran, Fianna Fail] does not propose to change his mind and does not respect or accept the bona fides of the Irish Coursing Club or greyhound industry." Paul Bradford (Fine Gael) Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009: Committee Stage, 9 March 2010

"I have no doubt that the ban on coursing in England will be lifted" Paddy Burke (Fine Gael) Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009: Committee Stage, 9 March 2010

"The Minister of State is a reasonable man and he will accept how well regulated is the coursing industry." Paul Coghlan (Fine Gael) Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009: Committee Stage, 9 March 2010

"As a very young girl I saw how well run coursing was and how the integrity of the industry was protected at all times." Ann Ormonde (Fianna Fail) Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009: Committee Stage, 9 March 2010

"Those involved in these rural pursuits are not breaking any law; they are only doing what previous generations did. They are concerned that the Bill will affect the viability of these pursuits, in the process threatening their existence. I can appreciate their concerns, which is why we have tabled amendments to protect an indigenous industry that dates back many generations." Paudie Coffey (Fine Gael), Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009: Committee Stage, 9 March 2010

"A number of months ago, the website of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals stated that the society's long-term objective is to have greyhound racing banned in Ireland...The ISPCA wants to close down the greyhound industry. It wants to close down the industry." Paudie Coffey (Fine Gael) Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009: Committee Stage, 9 March 2010

"Ban Blood sports.. It's bad enough we kill animals for meat but for sport is unacceptable...Keep up the good work." Pete Mac, lead singer, guitarist and songwriter of Irish based alternative rock/grunge outfit band Paradox. March 3, 2010

"It's only with the good will of the landowners that we are allowed out...our hunt along with several hunts in the country do a huge amount of work to raise funds for local schools and local benefits and it's that that generates the goodwill for the landowners and because of that farmers are very good to us and we really appreciate that." A member of a foxhunt speaking on RTE's Liveline, February 26th 2010. The link between hunt fundraisers and gaining access to farmers' lands - ICABS will be highlighting this quote as part of our appeal to charities to refuse money from hunts.

"Whether it's an apology or not, it's irrelevant because they ruined his land. Someone said they [the hunters] offered him alcohol. So what? You need to dig up the whole land, resow it...[Hunting] absolutely destroys land. Three or four horses going all across land absolutely ruins it." A former huntswoman describes the destruction caused by hunts, RTE's Liveline, February 26th 2010.

"On Monday morning, three local Fianna Fail TDs, Mary Wallace, Johnny Brady and Thomas Byrne, visited the Ward Union kennels at Greenpark in Skryne to see for themselves how it operated and how the hunt operated health and safety and other measures. Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey has already indicated his support for John Gormley's proposals to ban the hunt." (Meath Chronicle, 10th February, 2010)

"In recent years, a neurological condition of greyhounds has been observed at University College Dublin (UCD). This condition occurs in young dogs aged between four and 18 months, of both sexes, and often affects multiple animals in the same litter. The clinical signs vary in severity and type, but include any combination of dullness, weight loss, head tilt, unsteady gait, circling, blindness, aggression and vocalisation. The condition is invariably fatal despite treatment, and can be confirmed only by post-mortem examination." From the Irish Coursing Club website, February 2010

"Fox hunting has been banned in the UK for several years now. The industry suffered for a while but recovered. I worked in Equestrian manufacturing too for 8 years and saw it happen and people worked around it and drag hunting came in to play. No reason why it could not be banned here, drag hunting has also existed for decades here already." [From a comment on the website, 23/03/2010 -]

"Still watching Frontline & I cannot understand these people's mindsets...All these animals have a right to be treated well & cruelty of any form is just unacceptable. I say fair play to anyone who gets in the way of these so called traditional hunts or any kind of animal cruelty. It's just sick imo & beyond my comprehension altogether!" [From a comment on the website, 22/03/2010 -]

"I've just been watching Frontline & they were on the topic of the Stag hunt. They showed a clip of a hunt in session & my God, my stomach was turning at all the dogs surrounding the Stag & grown men holding onto the terrified thing.I've never witnessed a hunt in my life & I'm left wondering why the hell people would do this??" [From a comment on the website, 22/03/2010 -]

"On Saturday 13th March 2010, I was appalled to see over 100 meters of ancient and biologically rich hedgerow destroyed outside Tullamore...It is all the more disturbing as this happened during Ireland's 'National Tree Week'-a nationwide event run annually by The Tree Council of Ireland to help us all to appreciate our native trees and associated biodiversity." (Tom Roche, Just Forests, Rhode, Co Offaly. Extract from letter on Irish Environmental Network website)

23. Parliamentary Questions and Answers

Question 507 - Answered on 26th January, 2010

Maureen O'Sullivan, TD: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if a deer was killed during a hunt (details supplied) on 29 December 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr John Gormley): The hunt which was organised by the club in question on 29 December, 2009 was monitored by a team from my Department. No deer was killed and the hunt passed off without incident. However, my Department's monitoring team had attended a hunt meeting held on 11 December, 2009 where a deer collided with a motor vehicle. The deer was examined by two veterinary surgeons, including the veterinary surgeon employed by my Department, and it was decided to euthanise the deer on account of its injuries.

24. Petitions

Ban Blood Sports in Ireland Now

Hare coursing will start again if protection is lifted

Help India's monkeys

Stop Burning Live Bulls - End Sadistic Festivals

Live bull to be set on fire in Spain - action needed

25. Letters to Editors

Sunday Business Post, April 11 2010

Tom McGurk (28/3/2010) attacked the Green Party's views on animal welfare issues, and called them ''our own homegrown suburban Taliban''.

McGurk says he was struck by the arrogance and moral self-righteousness of the Greens and others who appeared on RTE's Frontline programme seeking to advance the issue of the prevention of cruelty to animals.

He goes on to say that animals reared to feed man are subjected to suffering in their lives and deaths.

His article is typical of the type of argument one gets each time one seeks to address the glaring issue of animal abuse.

Hunting a wild animal with hounds for fun and entertainment is a well-organised form of animal abuse: comparing it to other animal abuses is neither here nor there.

Those of us concerned for the welfare of animals in general are well aware of other animal welfare issues. We do not need Tom McGurk to remind us through his efforts to defend the Ward Union Hunt and others like them.

Brendan Purcell Rathkeale, Co Limerick

Irish Independent, April 12 2010

The Irish Coursing Club has offered a reward of 20,000 Euro for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever caused a hare to be ill-treated in an incident caught on film by two Swedish students who attended the National Coursing Meeting in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, in February.

While commending any initiative that advances the cause of animal welfare, I cannot help reflecting that such proactive concern and compassion for the plight of Irish hares used in coursing has not been evident in the past.

To my knowledge, no coursing club has ever previously offered a reward in relation to any one of the many thousands of hares that have been terrorised, injured, or killed at coursing events over the decades.

Still, I welcome this new-found solicitude for the inoffensive hare in the higher echelons of the politically well-connected coursing fraternity.

Can I suggest that the ICC might now take the next logical humane step and consider replacing the live hare in coursing with a mechanical lure, with the aim of eliminating all cruelty from coursing?

John Fitzgerald, Callan, Co Kilkenny

Meath Chronicle, 7th April, 2010

Dear sir - After watching the recent RTE 'The Frontline' programme which dealt with the subject of hunting in Ireland, I was compelled to write this letter to outline my disgust and abhorrence at this so called form of 'sport'.

I listened to apologist after apologist claim that the animals involved, be they stags or foxes, did not suffer during this barbaric activity. These people claim to be animal lovers, however they have no problem sitting in their comfortable fleece lined saddles chasing defenceless animals to the point of exhaustion. A film clip was shown in which a stag gasping and on the point of collapsing was cornered by some of these brave 'animal lovers' and manhandled back into captivity. Surely not the actions of people professing to love and care for animals.

Some tried to justify their existence by claiming that stag and fox hunting is a tradition in this country. This does not necessarily make it right. Perhaps in olden times when people were hunting for food for their families there may have been some justification but not any more. Others tried the age old argument that urban dwellers are ganging up on country folk and trying to spoil their bit of so called fun. These days most of the hunting fraternity come from rich middle class urban society so this does theory not wash either.

It was also suggested that if hunting was banned, other pastimes such as fishing would follow suit. This is nonsense. Unlike hunting, fishing is a skill. The fisherman uses his knowledge to find where fish are located and uses his skill to find which bait is required to catch the fish. Only a very small amount of the catch is ever kept and those that are kept are instantly killed ensuring that they do not suffer.

If these people really care about the well being of animals they would change to drag-hunting. They could still spend their days galloping around the fields, blowing their horns, shouting 'tally ho' and jumping across briar filled ditches content in the knowledge that no animal was suffering unnecessarily in their pursuit of enjoyment. Surely this would be an acceptable compromise for all concerned.

Yours, Jimmy Rafter, Hill of Tara.

Sunday Tribune - February 14, 2010

Resistance by the hunting fraternity to this government's attempt to improve animal welfare through the proposed Puppy Farming Bill is hardly surprising - after all, hunters and coursers routinely frighten, hurt and kill animals for fun. It is annoying though, that these same people have been allowed to turn the current discourse on this bill into a 'rural v urban' debate.

As someone who grew up on a farm and still resides in rural Ireland, I resent the implication that common decency and compassion is somehow the preserve of city dwellers. It is particularly galling, by the way, when this message is delivered in the Dublin 4 accent of some of hunting's most prominent spokespersons.

If these gentlemen were to get off their horses or out of their four-wheel drives for longer than it takes to kill a fox, then they would soon discover that the great majority of us who are of rural Ireland deplore animal abuse, whether it is perpetrated for profit or for fun. I don't know anyone in my rural community who has a problem with dog-breeding establishments of any kind being subject to inspection. How could anyone with a genuine concern for animal welfare have a problem with that?

Could it be that if the practices of hunt breeding kennels were at last exposed to public view, then the hunting fraternity would have to answer some very awkward questions indeed? Questions such as, where do all the hounds who have outlived their five-seasons hunting career go? Hunting hounds have a natural life span of 12-14 years. Yet, on the admission of the hunters themselves, these animals are not homeable, and would have to be killed should hunting be banned. What happens to the dogs who are bred to surplus and never make it into the hunting pack? Or the ones who have failed to make the grade during the cub hunting season when fox cubs are used as live bait to blood the hounds? It is, perhaps, no wonder that the hunters are afraid of the Puppy Farming Bill.

It is way past time that those of us who live in rural Ireland and are opposed to wanton cruelty to animals (and make no mistake, we are in the majority) had our voices heard by both the media and our public representatives. Rural Ireland has had enough of hunters creating an urban-rural divide where none exists, in an effort to divert attention from the fact that the vast majority of Irish people oppose killing animals for fun.

Nuala Donlon, Watervale, Rooskey, Co Roscommon.

26. Twenty Tweets

Follow ICABS on Twitter -

Here are twenty of our tweets from the past month. Please re-tweet them and help increase support for our action alerts. Thank you.

Thumbs up to Failte Ireland and Tourism Ireland for their anti-blood sports policies
New Green Senator highlights drag hunting as humane alternative to terrorising animals
A large proportion of the Irish public consider [hunting] is no longer acceptable. Minister of State, Tony Killeen
Speak out against Norway's cruel whale slaughter
"I am opposed to all blood sports." Joe Costello, TD (Labour, Dublin Central) More TD views at
"Meath East Fianna Fail TD Thomas Byrne said he opposed a ban on stag hunting" More TD comments at
Dublin SPCA says: Don't exclude greyhounds from dog breeding bill
Give the Irish Hare full protection in Northern Ireland. Sign the petition now
The Impact of Coursing on the Irish Hare - a report by Mike Rendle
Hares killed in illegal hunting. Man fined. Judge said picture of the dead hares handed into court was nauseating
Boycott Canada - Save the Seals. Video showing ARAN protest against cruel seal slaughter
More than 1,000 of the 10,000- plus stray or unwanted Irish dogs put down in 2008 were greyhounds
"Fine Gael will strongly oppose [the ban on deer hunting]" James Bannon TD [Longford]. More TD comments at
Please download and forward our campaign literature
Support our campaign to protect Irish animals. Make a 20 Euro donation today. Click on Paypal at Thanks very much.
NARGC urges hunters to support the party which has "committed to protecting our interests-FINE GAEL"
Fianna Fail Cllr Nick Killian 'disgusted' with FF for supporting ban on cruel deerhunting
FG Senator, John Paul Phelan, criticises foreign animal campaigners
Lovely photo of an Irish fox Save foxes from cruelty - ban hunts from your land and support the campaign against hunting
TDs Jackie Healy Rae and Michael Lowry bemoan Green Party's "lack of empathy with country pursuits"

Top ways you can help the campaign

Please make a donation to ICABS

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports relies entirely on your generosity to continue our campaigning for an end to blood sport cruelty. Please become a supporter of our work today - click on "Shop" at for more details or send a cheque to ICABS, PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland. Thank you very much.

Keep hunters off your land

Make it known publicly that your land is off-limits to hunters. Place a preservation notice in your local newspaper now. Here is a sample notice that you may wish to use: "Take notice that all my lands at [Insert address(es) of land] are private and preserved day and night. All forms of hunting and shooting are strictly prohibited. Trespassers will be prosecuted. Signed [Insert name(s) of landowner]" For more information, click on Farmers at

Tune in to the ICABS Channel

Footage of blood sport cruelty and the humane alternatives can be viewed on the ICABS Channel on Youtube - or by clicking on "Videos" at Please ask your local TD/Senator to view our videos and back a blood sports ban.

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