Animal Voice, Issue 02, February 2014
Campaign newsletter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports

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In this month's edition:

01. Hare coursing president manhandles women
02. Join the protest against coursing - this Sunday 2nd March
03. Success: Hunt paintings removed from Meath hotel
04. Success: American Airlines removes bullfighting from website
05. Success: UK hotel disassociates from Ireland's cruel coursing
06. Ask Limerick Racecourse to stop hosting coursing
07. Shame on BoyleSports for sponsoring hare coursing
08. Protest at hunt ball in Ashbourne, Saturday 1st March
09. Protest against circus: Athlone, Saturday 1st March
10. New ICABS petition calls for end to cruel badger snaring
11. Ricky Gervais highlights ICABS petitions to 5.5 million
12. Contiki urged to stop organising bullrun trips
13. Surehaul asked to disassociate from hare coursing
14. Clonmel Park Hotel welcomes visitors to coursing cruelty festival
15. Injured fox rescued in Longford
16. Political Focus: Paudie Coffey TD (Fine Gael, Waterford)
17. Dail Questions and Answers
18. Campaign Quotes
19. Letters to the Editor
20. Petitions

01. Hare coursing president manhandles women

The individual who forcibly dragged two female observers out of the national coursing finals in Clonmel on Saturday, February 1st, has been identified as Brian Divilly, president of the Irish Coursing Club.

Divilly approached the Irish Council Against Blood Sports observers and said there was to be no filming of the event, then proceeded to drag the women from the grounds.

Divilly is caught on camera saying that he would have the women "removed". See footage at

Last September, during a TV debate on hare coursing, DJ Histon, CEO of the Irish Coursing Club, issued an invitation to the public to come and see coursing for themselves. Aideen Yourell, Campaigns Director of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports interjected at the time to say "as long as you don’t bring a camera".

Clearly, the coursers have much to hide and they will resort to bullying, intimidation and manhandling to hide their sick sport.

ICABS is more determined than ever before to have this disgusting bloodsport banned in Ireland.


Sign anti-coursing petitions:

Minister Coveney: Save hares from cruel coursing

Petition to Ban horrific Hare Coursing Cruelty in Ireland

Urgently contact An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and An Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore. Ask them to show compassion for wildlife and introduce an immediate ban on hare coursing and all bloodsports.

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
Telephone: 01-6194020

An Tanaiste, Eamon Gilmore
Office of the Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade,
Tel: 01 6183566 (Dail) or 01 408 2000 (Iveagh House)



02. Join the protest against coursing - this Sunday 2nd March

Please join the protest against cruel hare coursing, this Sunday 2nd March outside Limerick Racecourse. The ARAN-organised demo will take place from 12 noon to 2pm to coincide with the Irish Cup coursing meet at which hares will be forced to run for their lives.

When: Sunday 2nd March, 2014 from 12 noon sharp to 2pm
Where: Limerick Racecourse, Greenmount Park, Patrickswell, Co. Limerick


03. Success: Hunt paintings removed from Meath hotel

A big thank you to the Dunboyne Castle Hotel for responding positively to an ICABS appeal and removing hunt paintings from display.

The paintings, showing red-coated hunters on horseback and a pack of hunt hounds, were taken down following complaints.

In an email to the hotel, ICABS outlined the horrific cruelty of foxhunting and pointed out that with a majority of people opposed to the bloodsport, the scenes were likely to cause offence to many patrons.

"Any paintings depicting hunting scenes or which might be remotely related to same have now been replaced with different pieces," a spokesperson for the hotel stated in response.

ICABS has thanked Dunboyne Castle Hotel for this compassionate response. Find out more about the hotel at


04. Success: American Airlines removes bullfighting from website

American Airlines has been thanked for responding positively to an Irish Council Against Blood Sports appeal and removing references to bullfighting from its website.

The company's response is a big help to our ongoing campaign to encourage holidaymakers to avoid visiting bullrings.

A big thumbs up to American Airlines for its compassionate move. Find out more about the company and its routes at

AA joins a growing list of companies which have responded positively to ICABS appeals and removed references to bullfighting or bullrings. These include EasyJet, Jet2holidays, Marriott International, Hilton Hampton, Ebookers, Club Travel, Abbey Travel, Sunways, Low Cost, Travel Department, Cancun Holidays Information Center, Co-op Travel, Ultimate Travel, No Fly Cruising, City Breaks 101, Original Travel, Escape Trips, Charter Travel and NY.T.Roma Hotel.

Help us to convince other companies to drop bullfighting. Check out our latest Anti-bullfighting Action Alerts now.


05. Success: UK hotel disassociates from Ireland's cruel coursing

A UK hotel has responded positively to an Irish Council Against Blood Sports appeal and said that it will not advertise in hare coursing publications in the future.

ICABS complained to the Thistle Hotel group after an advert for its Cheltenham branch appeared in the booklet for the hare coursing finals in Clonmel this month.

We told the company that hare coursing is an illegal activity in the UK and that a majority in Ireland want it banned. We highlighted that before being forcibly removed from the Powerstown Park coursing venue in Clonmel, two ICABS monitors witnessed sickening scenes of cruelty as hares were repeatedly terrorised by greyhounds.

"The meeting in Clonmel is the culmination of a season of coursing cruelty around Ireland which, every year, sees hares being injured and killed by dogs," we stated in our correspondence. "Among the victims are a hare 'squealing in distress' after being caught by a muzzled dog, a hare suffering with 'a badly broken hind leg', a hare in agony in a coursing enclosure with its leg 'almost completely broken off', a hare destroyed by a vet after it was found suffering with a dislocated hip and hares with injuries so severe, they couldn't move; their conditions ranged from 'poor to almost dead'."

Responding to our complaint, Martin Orme, Manager of the Thistle Cheltenham Hotel apologised for the advert and stated that "there was and never will be any intention on our part to be associated with bloodsports of this type."

"You can be 100 per cent assured that no further adverts would be placed in publications associated with events of this nature," he added.

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports welcomes this positive response and we have thanked Thistle for disassociating from cruel coursing. Thistle is one of the largest hotel chains in the UK and the biggest in London.

Our attention now turns to other companies who advertised in the coursing booklet - including the Clonmel Park Hotel, Kasko pet foods, Gain dog food, Masterchefs Hospitality, Greyhound and Pet World Limerick, Ballyroe Heights Hotel Tralee, Surehaul and Boylesports.


06. Ask Limerick Racecourse to stop hosting coursing

Limerick Racecourse is again hosting a coursing meeting at which hares will be forced to run for their lives in front of greyhounds.

ICABS has previously filmed scenes of appalling cruelty to animals at the Irish Cup coursing meeting at Limerick Racecourse.

Last year, ICABS observers captured scenes of hares being hit and severely mauled by muzzled greyhounds - see videos on our Youtube Channel.

In one instance, a hare can be heard crying out in pain as it is mauled. The hare is then picked up, brought to the side of the course and put in a box. Another hare was similarly dumped in a box after being mauled by the dogs. Our footage also shows a hare pinned to the ground close to the escape area - this creature finally managed to get away but with the severity of the mauling it received, we can only speculate as to its fate afterwards, as many die from their injuries.

Limerick Racecourse has so far disregarded calls for the venue to reject the cruel bloodsport, including an online petition signed by over 2,500 people.


Please sign our petition - Limerick Racecourse: Stop hosting cruel hare coursing

Ask Limerick Racecourse to stop hosting hare coursing.

Russell Ferris, General Manager
Limerick Racecourse,
Greenmount Park,
Patrickswell, Co Limerick

Telephone: +353 (0)61 320000
Fax: +353 (0)61 355766
Twitter: @LimerickRaces and @Russellferris79


07. Shame on BoyleSports for sponsoring hare coursing

Shame on betting company, BoyleSports for sponsoring Ireland's cruel hare coursing. At the national coursing meeting in Clonmel in February 2014, hares were filmed running for their lives past a BoyleSports advertisement banner. The company says it is a "proud sponsor" of this disgusting cruelty.

An advert on the Irish Coursing Club website, meanwhile, declares that Boylesports is "No 1 for coursing betting" and offers a free bet to coursers.

"Please show compassion for Irish wildlife and stop backing this disgusting cruelty," we stated in an email to the company's head office in Dundalk.

Brought to its attention was our Coursing Cruelty Catalogue Report which reveals the suffering, injury and death caused to hares during the last coursing season.

In a 2011 Sunday Times interview, Boylesports founder John Boyle, was quoted as saying "I love the coursing."


Sign a Petition: Stop sponsoring hare coursing in Ireland

Complain to Boylesports about its sponsorship of cruel hare coursing.

John Boyle
Managing Director
Finnabair Industrial Park
Dundalk, Co. Louth.

Tel: +353 42 939 3000
Tel (ROI): 1800 22 00 66
Tel (UK): 0800 22 00 66
Tel (International): +353 42 9393168
Fax: +353 42 939 3167

Leon Blanche
Head of Public Relations
Tel/Text: +353 87 9807986


08. Protest at hunt ball in Ashbourne, Saturday 1st March

On Saturday 1st March, the National Animal Rights Association will hold a protest outside the Pillo Hotel in Ashbourne, County Meath - venue for the Fingal Harriers Hunt ball.

When: 7pm - 9pm, Saturday 1st March 2014
Where: Outside the Pillo Hotel, Ashbourne, Co. Meath

NARA is urging people to contact The Pillo Hotel to complain about its hosting of a hunt ball.

Tel: 01 83 50 800


09. Protest against circus: Athlone, Saturday 1st March

Athlone SPCA will hold a protest against Duffy's Circus (which uses a sea lion) outside Athlone Town soccer grounds on Saturday 1st March at 1 pm.

"The sea lion is being kept in a paddling pool when it should be swimming in the sea," says the ASPCA's Billy Gallagher. "If any one can come and support us for 1 hour, it would mean a lot."

Read more about this issue at


10. New ICABS petition calls for end to cruel badger snaring

Please sign and share our new petition which calls for an end to the Department of Agriculture's cruel badger snaring operation. Nearly 100,000 badgers are believed to have been snared and killed to-date by the Department. Speak out against this assault on a supposedly protected species.

Sign and share our petition now

Find out more about the campaign against badger snaring


11. Ricky Gervais highlights ICABS petitions to 5.5 million

A big thank you to Ricky Gervais for retweeting a link to our petitions page to his 5.5 million Twitter followers. This is a tremendous boost to the campaign and has helped highlight the plight of Irish hares, foxes and badgers to many more people.

Among the petitions on the page are "Ban Blood Sports in Ireland Now", "Minister Coveney: Save Irish hares from cruel coursing", "Irish Government: Save foxes and dogs from horrific cruelty" and "Stop badger culling in Ireland"

Please visit our petitions page now and sign and share the petitions.


Please make a donation to ICABS

If you like our work, please consider making a donation. 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 the Paypal button at to make a donation or send a cheque made payable to ICABS to ICABS, PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland. Thank you very much.

12. Contiki urged to stop organising bullrun trips

Holiday company, Contiki, is being urged to stop organising trips to the Pamplona bullrun and encouraging holidaymakers to visit bullfights/bullrings.

On its homepage, Contiki presents the Pamplona bullrun as a "festival favourite" and invites people to "be part of the legendary Running of the Bulls on our 5 day Pamplona experience". Elsewhere on its website, the company encourages holidaymakers to witness "the thrill of seeing a Spanish bullfight".

In an email to Contiki, ICABS pointed out that Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) animal welfare guidelines make it clear to members that bullrunning and bullfighting are both considered "unacceptable practices" and must not be promoted.

"Considering the cruelty of bullfighting and the cruelty and public safety risk associated with bullrunning, it is disappointing that Contiki deems it appropriate to encourage people to support both," we stated.

Most holidaymakers lured in to the bullrings are left feeling shocked and disgusted at the bloody scenes they witness and it often spoils holiday memories, we added.


Join us in urging Contiki to scrap its Pamplona bullrun tours and to stop encouraging holidaymakers to attend bullfights.

Email: or via
Twitter: @contiki
Tel: 01 775 3838 (from Ireland)
Tel: +41 22 929 9216


13. Surehaul asked to disassociate from hare coursing

Commercial vehicles company, Surehaul, is being urged to stop advertising in booklets for cruel hare coursing.

The dealer for Mercedes, Mitsubishi and Renault, had a full page advert in the booklet for the national hare coursing finals this month.

In an email to Surehaul, the Irish Council Against Blood Sports highlighted the cruelty of hare coursing, outlining that it involves hares running for their lives from greyhounds and that every season there are hare injuries and deaths.

"Hare coursing is so cruel, it has been outlawed in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and here in the Republic of Ireland, a majority of citizens want coursing outlawed," we stated in our correspondence. "It is therefore very surprising, given this huge opposition, that SureHaul would wish to be in any way connected to the activity."

"Being associated with a form of animal cruelty is likely to prove very off-putting to many potential customers," we added.


Please join us in appealing to SureHaul to fully disassociate from hare coursing and give a commitment that no further ads will be placed in coursing booklets.

Surehaul, Derrrygrath,
Clonmel, Co. Tipperary
Phone 052-6138130
Fax 052-6138262


14. Clonmel Park Hotel welcomes visitors to coursing cruelty festival

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has expressed its disappointment to the Clonmel Park Hotel in response to a full page advert in the booklet for this month's Clonmel coursing cruelty festival. In the ad, the hotel "welcomes all visitors to the National Coursing Meeting 2014" and says that the hotel is a "5 minute drive to coursing grounds" and that a "coursing video" was to be shown every night at the hotel.

On its website, the hotel presents the local coursing cruelty festival as a "sporting event" and those who attend it as "sports people".

ICABS has told hotel management that hare coursing is not a sport but one of Ireland's worst examples of animal cruelty and that every coursing season, hares suffer painful injuries and are killed.


Appeal to the Clonmel Park Hotel to disassociate from hare coursing. If its ongoing association with this bloodsport would make you choose a different hotel, please make this clear in your correspondence.

Clonmel Park Hotel,
Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.
Tel: +353 52 6188700
Leave a comment on Facebook


15. Injured fox rescued in Longford

Source: Longford Leader,, 19 February 2014

A badly injured fox found in Longford has been taken under the wing of the Kildare Animal Foundation.

The ISPCA had received a call about a badly injured fox not far from the National Animal Centre in Kenagh.

"The caller was concerned about Sparky, who had been visiting her garden on and off for about a year," a spokesperson for Kildare Animal Foundation explained. "She would leave food out for him, but would stay well away so as not to encourage him to become friendly. Last week, the lady noticed that he had sustained significant injuries to his leg."

Cathy Griffin from the ISPCA responded to the call, bringing with her a humane fox trap and carrier, with the hope of safely capturing Sparky so that he could receive veterinary attention.

He was quickly caught and taken to the National Animal Centre where he spent the night before being transferred for specialist treatment to the Kildare Animal Foundation shelter.

The injuries that Sparky sustained were nasty, and had become infected. Though the foundation are unsure of the exact cause of the injuries, they suspect it may have been from a trap.

With wounds now clean and dressed, and with strong antibiotics and pain relief being administered, Sparky is still with the Kildare Animal Foundation. Though it will take weeks to find out whether or not Sparky will make a full recovery, things are so far looking good.

To keep up to date with Sparky’s recovery, visit the KFA wildlife unit page on Facebook.


16. Political Focus: Paudie Coffey TD (Fine Gael, Waterford)

"I was in Clonmel [at the hare coursing finals] and I did not witness any animal cruelty that you refer to." Pro-bloodsports TD, Paudie Coffey (Fine Gael, Waterford) in a tweet to ICABS on February 13th, 2014.

"You clearly are incapable of recognising cruelty," ICABS stated in reply. "Most decent people view coursing as abhorrent and want it outlawed."

If you would like to contact Paudie Coffey TD, his details are:

Telephone: 01-6183902
Fax: 01-6184572
Twitter: @paudiecoffey

Previous comments from Paudie Coffey, TD

"Can the Minister reassure the House that in his tenure as the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, he will not bring forth any legislation that will affect the hunting of foxes, coursing or any other shooting or hunting pursuits that are traditional in Ireland? Can he give a categorical assurance today that this will be an end to it?...The Ward Union Hunt has been a responsible organisation in carrying out its pursuits and activities. It has always complied with regulations and the licensing conditions put on it. Much of its resources and those of the State were used to ensure it carried out its activities in a proper way." Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010: Committee Stage, 2nd July 2010

"Those involved in these rural pursuits [e.g. hunting] 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." Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009: Committee Stage, 9th March 2010


17. Dail Questions and Answers

Question 613 - Answered on 18th February, 2014

Maureen O'Sullivan, TD (Dublin Central, Independent)

To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his attention has been drawn to the fact that an organisation (details supplied) recently forcibly ejected two animal welfare campaigners from the National Coursing Meeting preventing them filming, even though the organisation officials publicly said everyone was welcome at coursing meetings; if he has ever attended or seen film footage of a coursing meeting; and if so under what circumstances he considers coursing a sport.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney (Cork South-Central, Fine Gael)

Under the provisions of the Greyhound Industry Act, 1958 the regulation of coursing is chiefly a matter for the Irish Coursing Club (ICC) subject to the general control and direction of Bord na gCon, which is the statutory body with responsibility for the improvement and development of the greyhound industry, greyhound racing and coursing.

The National Coursing meeting was organised by the ICC. My Department had no role in the organisation of this event accordingly the Deputy should address her concerns regarding admission to the event to the ICC who are the appropriate authority to deal with the matter.

The ICC has confirmed that it has systems in place to underpin the welfare of animals participating in coursing events. These include mandatory inspections of hares and coursing venues in advance of the commencement of an event. Greyhounds involved in coursing are subject to the provisions of the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011 and the Code of Practice for the care and welfare of greyhounds, published by Bord na gCon. The ICC has assured my Department that it goes to great lengths to ensure the highest standards are adhered to during coursing.

The ICC ensures that a veterinary surgeon and a control steward are present at all coursing meetings. In addition to this, veterinary staff from my Department and rangers from the National Parks and Wildlife Service (part of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht) carry out random monitoring inspections during the coursing season to verify compliance with the licences and the rules governing animal welfare.

As a further control, a Monitoring Committee on Coursing was established during the 1993/94 coursing season and is comprised of officials from my Department and representatives from both the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the ICC to monitor developments in coursing and in that regard the situation is kept under constant review to ensure that coursing is run in a well controlled and responsible manner in the interests of hares and greyhounds alike.

A very high proportion (98.09%) of the hares captured for hare coursing were returned to the wild at the end of the 2012/2013 season.

Another disappointing response from Minister Simon Coveney.

Sign our petition - "Minister Coveney: Save Irish hares from cruel coursing"


18. Campaign Quotes

Anjelica Huston’s Memoir Reveals Her Animal Advocacy Began on Family Fox Hunts in Ireland. Anjelica Huston has vivid memories of her participation in her family’s fox hunts in Ireland when she was a child, but what set her apart from the rest of the participants was the fact that she rooted for the foxes.

In her new memoir, A Story Lately Told, the Oscar-winning actor reminisces about going on the hunts with her dad and brother during her formative years—and it may come as no surprise that young Anjelica, PETA’s 2012 Person of the Year, took the foxes’ side: "Followers of the hunt were ready to tell if they spotted a fox," she writes. "Occasionally a shout would go up if one would break away...a dash of red against the green." She adds, "I always wished he’d get away." from the PETA website, February 18, 2014.

Instances of significant animal cruelty were cited at this month’s meeting of Clonmel Borough Council, in support of calling on the agriculture minister to strengthen animal cruelty penalties. Horrific examples of neglect, abandonment and mistreatment of animals in Clonmel and South Tipperary were given by Cllr Helena McGee whose motion received unanimous support. "Animals impaled on fences, dogs left dead on our bypass, puppies thrown dead on footpaths on our bypasses, horses hung under bridges, horses found abandoned on the quays on Clonmel, horses found on green areas in our estates, I have even seen a horse tied to the middle of a roundabout in this town on my way home one night," she said. "It is absolutely deplorable that this is allowed to happen. from "Penalties need to be strengthened", The Nationalist, 20 February 2014.

"Jack Russell cross Patterdale: Good working dog from good stock, hunting ditches and digging foxes, very relyable" from an advert on, February 11th 2014. The ad was removed after ICABS contacted Donedeal.

This was the horrific scene as one of two once beautiful stags lay butchered in a Co Donegal field yesterday. One of the stags was shot just a couple of hundred yards form a house in Laghey. One of the stags was shot just a couple of hundred yards form a house in Laghey. The two animals were shot and abandoned by poachers in Laghey. People living nearby heard the shots and went to investigate. When they did they found vehicles in the area. The startled poachers jumped into their vehicles and managed to get away. However some vital information on the movement of the vehicles has now been passed onto Gardai and the wildlife services. The two stags were found dead in the same field. The two stags were found dead in the same field. Hunting stags is now illegal after the season closed in December. from Shock as stags found shot and dumped in Donegal countryside, Donegal Daily, 20th February 2014.


19. Letters to the Editor

Sinn Fein could pay for supporting blood sport
Belfast Telegraph - 27 February 2014

While organised cruelty to animals may not be the biggest issue concentrating people's minds in the run-up to the European and local elections, I believe that Sinn Fein needs to ditch its abhorrent support for live hare coursing.

Not only does the party have an official policy of condoning and promoting the continued legality of this blood sport in the Republic of Ireland. It has already tried, unsuccessfully thank God, to reverse the hare coursing ban in Northern Ireland.

If it had succeeded, coursing clubs would have reactivated their "sport" and once again be free to capture hares and use them in baiting sessions in the North.

The hare is a treasured part of Ireland's wildlife heritage, north and south. How anomalous and shameful that a party supposedly committed to preserving all things Irish can display such callous disregard for the gentle Irish hare.

Sinn Fein speaks of a united Ireland. I would remind the party that repeated marketing surveys point to a big majority of Irish people, north and south, favouring a ban on hare coursing. Ireland IS united against this animal cruelty posing as "sport".

Is Sinn Fein so out of touch with public opinion as to believe that its backing for this perversion will be overlooked?

John Fitzgerald
Campaign for the Abolition Of Cruel Sports

Clonmel - ‘Cruelty capital’ of Ireland
Leinster Express, 10th February 2014

The three-day National Coursing Festival in Clonmel marks the culmination of four months of medieval savagery in our countryside. Hares have been forced to perform in some of the worst weather conditions for years, with fans snuggled up in comfy winter clothing as the animals twisted and dodged on wind-swept, frozen or water-logged fields.

The aficionados of this so-called "rural pastime" clapped, roared, cheered or marked their cards, oblivious to the terror being inflicted on defenceless wild animals for fun. Hares were mauled, tossed about like broken dolls, or pinned to the ground, and all for a laugh or a bet on the dogs. Even websites dedicated to promoting hare coursing carried pictures of the horror that some human beings seem to find amusing.

Clonmel becomes the Cruelty Capital of Ireland for the duration of the hare baiting extravaganza, with Powerstown Park race course taking on the ambience of a tin-pot coliseum. The fans may not wear togas or play lyres and there mightn't be a chariot in sight, but it’s definitely Nero’s scene.

The government had the chance to outlaw this practise last year via the Animal Health and Welfare Bill. Instead it had a special clause inserted into the bill EXEMPTING hare coursing from abolition, enshrining its legality and throwing the hares of Ireland to the dogs.

Hare coursing has long been a beneficiary of Irish style cute-hoor politics, with the party whip system also acting as a lifeline to it. Many TDs and Senators favour its abolition, but are prevented from voting for a ban by our antiquated and undemocratic parliamentary procedures.

Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland and in Britain the same act of barbarism is banned.

Special police units work tirelessly to track down hare coursing gangs in those jurisdictions and convicted coursers are not only fined heavily. By contrast, Gardai at the Clonmel event will be directing traffic outside the gates. Some day, a government with guts will ban it.

John Fitzgerald
Campaign for the Abolition Of Cruel Sports

Two leading anti bloodsport campaigners forcibly ejected from National Hare Coursing event
The Avondhu, 11 February 2014

We are shocked and disgusted at the thuggish ejection of two leading animal welfare campaigners from the so-called national coursing meeting, held over the weekend at Powerstown Park, Clonmel.

Two leading members of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports (ICABS) attended the event with the aim of video recording the so-called 'sport' and gathering further evidence of animal cruelty of the kind witnessed at previous coursing fixtures such as dogs mauling the hares, striking them with great force, or pummelling or pinning the animals to the ground.

While filming, the two women were approached by men purporting to be stewards who ordered them to put away the camcorder. When they objected, the men asked them to leave the hare coursing venue. When they further questioned this, they were manhandled and literally dragged from the grounds by the men.

This incident exposes as a complete sham the repeated claim by the Irish Coursing Club that everyone is welcome at coursing events and that hare coursing has 'nothing to hide'.

The treatment meted out to the ICABS members at the national coursing meeting is reminiscent of what one might expect in North Korea, not in a supposedly democratic society.

Campaigners against the vile "sport" of hare coursing will not be deterred by such bullying tactics. The campaign will continue until Ireland follows Britain, Northern Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and most of mainland Europe in banning this practise whose very survival depends on a well organised cover-up, as clearly demonstrated yet again at the Clonmel event.

John Fitzgerald,
PRO, Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports
Lower Coyne Street, Callan, Co Kilkenny

We Can't Talk
Irish Independent, 12 February 2014

There has been a huge outcry against the killing of a giraffe at Copenhagen zoo and the feeding of its carcass to lions while people looked on.

I share the revulsion as I cannot see any justification for the act. If inbreeding was an issue the animal could have been sterilised.

But forgive my cynical reaction when a caller to an Irish radio programme here said this wouldn't happen in Ireland.

In fact the Danes overall treat animals far better than we do.

They don't, for example, allow live hare coursing where animals are set up as live bait to be terrorised by salivating dogs.

Marius the giraffe, though I wish the poor animal was still alive, at least died instantly and without pain.

Hares are snatched from the verdant Irish countryside, held in unnatural captivity, and then forced to run from greyhounds in the confines of a wire-enclosed field.

They can be mauled, pinned down, or tossed about like rag dolls.

The public was free to witness or film the feeding of Marius to the lions.

If you try to film an Irish coursing event you'll soon find yourself being circled by the guardians of this "sport" and promptly ejected from the venue.

There is no justification for hare coursing apart from the need some people feel to inflict pain and terror on a dumb animal.

I do think Ireland should be brought into line with all the countries, including Denmark, that have banned this cruel and cowardly blood sport.

John Fitzgerald
Campaign For The Abolition Of Cruel Sports


20. Petitions

Ban Blood Sports in Ireland Now

Minister Coveney: Save Irish hares from cruel coursing

Irish Government: Save foxes and dogs from horrific cruelty

Minister Simon Coveney: Ban ALL Tail Docking - No Exemptions

Stop badger snaring cruelty NOW

Ask An Taoiseach Enda Kenny to Ban Hare Coursing

Stop sponsoring hare coursing in Ireland

Protect the Irish Hare

End Cruel Blood Sport of Fox Hunting in Ireland

Limerick Racecourse: Stop hosting cruel hare coursing

Coillte - Ban hunters from your forests

National Trust - stop allowing hunters and terriermen on your land

Ban Fur Sales on eBay

Stormont Northern Ireland Assembly: Ban Fox and Stag Hunting in Northern Ireland

Ban Torturous Hanging of Greyhounds in Spain

Dunnes Stores: Lift Ban on Animal Charities Fundraising

Arts Council of Ireland: Stop funding animal circuses

Stop the EU funding bullfighting

Stop Torturing Bears: End Bear Bile Farming In China

Add report option "Animal Abuse" on Facebook

End Bullfighting in France

STOP Spain's cruel and barbaric Toro de la Vega


Please make a donation to ICABS

If you like our work, please consider making a donation. 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 the Paypal button at to make a donation or send a cheque made payable to ICABS to ICABS, PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland. Thank you very much.

Top ways you can help the campaign

Top ways you can help the campaign
Join our email list and respond to our Action Alerts
Become a campaign supporter and make a donation to help fund our efforts
Contact your local politicians and ask them to support a ban on blood sports
Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube
Sign up for our free text alert service and receive occasional campaign updates to your phone
Link to our website and display one of our banners
Monitor blood sports meetings in your area and provide us with photos, video and reports.
Write a letter to your local newspaper about the cruelty of blood sports
Sign and collect signatures for our petitions
Organise a fund-raiser to help raise funds for the campaign
Set up an online anti-blood sports group to cover your area.
Download, print and display our posters and leaflets
Set up an information stand at your school/library/youth group/adult group, etc
Introduce your friends to our website and encourage them to get involved.
Simply keeping your ear to the ground. about any blood-sport related incidents in your area.

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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Make a donation to ICABS

Please consider making a small donation to ICABS. For more details, please click on the button below or follow this link to find out how to become a campaign supporter. Thank you.

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