Animal Voice, Issue 6, 2015
Campaign newsletter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports

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01. Assault, intimidation and theft at hare coursing meeting
02. Vincent Browne: Hare coursing causes torture to animals
03. "I have no plans to ban hare coursing": Shameful statement from Simon Coveney
04. Major blow to coursing: Australian company pulls ad from coursing website
05. Limerick veterinary surgeon sponsors hare coursing
06. Glanbia responds to criticism over association with cruel hare coursing
07. Green Party will bring in legislation to end bloodsports
08. Sadness at death of "true friend of the animals" councillor, Pat Kavanagh
09. Urge St Vincent’s Hospital to reject foxhunting fundraiser
10. Clergy involvement in hare coursing continues
11. €1 million for foxhunt point-to-point racing
12. 3 Sinn Fein politicians wish "best of luck" to cruel coursers
13. Lucinda Creighton thinks animal cruelty tourism would give Irish economy a boost
14. Brian May: Only barbaric sub-humans could call hare coursing a sport
15. I am in favour of a ban on Ireland’s cruel bloodsports” – Comedian Joe Rooney
16. Actress Pauline McLynn calls for ban on coursing
17. U2 signed anti-coursing petition
18. O'Donnells crisp company sends best wishes to hare coursers
19. Hare coursing arrests: ICABS responds to Irish Coursing Club hypocrisy
20. Hunters persecuting farmers in Waterford and Cork
21. Tributes paid in Seanad Eireann to anti-bloodsports Senator, Jack Fitzsimons
22. Listing for hare hunt and hunt ball removed from Evensi
23. Radisson Blu Hotel wishes "good luck" to hare coursers
24. Renewed appeal to Realex to stop facilitating sale of coursing tickets
25. Animal Interfaith Alliance calls for ban on hare coursing
26. Major EU victory in fight against bullfighting
27. Palma de Mallorca has declared itself against bullfighting
28. Letters to the Editor
29. Campaign Quotes
30. Petitions - Please sign and share

Happy Christmas and best wishes for 2016

We wish our friends & supporters a very happy, healthy holiday! Thank you for all your support throughout the year.

Nollaig shonasach agus athbhliain shuaimhneach from all at the Irish Council Against Blood Sports.

Over Christmas and into the New Year, there will be no respite for Ireland's persecuted wildlife. Hares will be running for their lives at coursing meetings and foxes will be chased to exhaustion and ripped apart by packs of hounds.

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports will continue pushing for a ban on this appalling cruelty and an end to the persecution of wildlife.

Please continue supporting our campaign by sharing our Facebook posts, retweeting our tweets, responding to our action alerts, contacting politicians, writing letters to newspapers and, if possible, making a donation to help fund the campaign.

Thank you for your continued support.


01. Assault, intimidation and theft at hare coursing meeting

On Saturday 28th November, Irish Council Against Blood Sports monitors were assaulted and had a video camera snatched by force at a meeting of Ardpatrick & Kilfinane hare coursing club at Bulgaden, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick. When they attempted to film the coursing cruelty from the public road outside the venue, they were threatened and intimidated by coursers, one of whom held a large stick.

Later when an ICABS observer was filming from a high bank on a private roadway, with permission from the landowner, she was rushed by a courser brandishing an umbrella in a threatening manner, chased to her car, where a struggle ensued, with the male courser demanding the camera, which he grabbed by force and fled.

Gardai were called to the scene, and later, the camera was handed in to the Garda station in nearby Bruff, minus the memory card containing footage of hares, used as live bait, running for their lives from greyhounds.

ICABS noted quite a number of instances of hares unable to access the so-called "escape area" - they were seen being hounded around the coursing field after the courses (race) were over, prolonging their terror and trauma. See our footage (filmed using a second camcorder) at

Clearly, the coursers have a lot to hide and resorted to violence and theft to prevent film evidence of their barbaric cruelty emerging.

We contacted the National Parks & Wildlife Service (which is under the remit of Minister Heather Humphreys who licences the taking of hares from the wild for this barbarity) to report the plight of the hares at the Ardpatrick & Kilfinane’s coursing event. The cruel abuse continued the next day at the same venue.

It is clear that the myriad of conditions attached to the hare coursing licence are well-nigh unenforceable, with a serious lack of National Parks & Wildlife manpower available. In any event, no matter how many conditions and regulations are laid down, they will not mitigate the cruelty and terror for the hare, or the risk of hares being hit and mauled by the greyhounds. The only solution is a total ban on this thoroughly barbaric activity that is already banned in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


Demand that Minister Heather Humphreys withdraws the coursing licence she shamefully issued.

Email "Stop cruelty to Irish Hares. Withdraw the hare coursing licence" to,,,,,

Tel: (01) 631 3802 or (01) 631 3800
Leave a comment on Facebook -
Tweet to Heather Humphreys: @HHumphreysFG

(If you have time, please compose your own personal letter)

Dear Minister,

I am one of the majority who want hare coursing outlawed. I am writing to urge you to revoke the licence you issued to the Irish Coursing Club.

In coursing, hares suffer at all stages - during the capture, during the time they are kept in captivity and during the coursing meetings where they run for their lives in front of greyhounds. Among the injuries recorded are broken legs, damaged toes and dislocated hips. Every season, hare injuries and deaths are documented.

I ask you to please act on the wishes of the majority, show compassion and permanently revoke the licence.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,


Urgently contact An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and ask him to ban hare coursing.

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion Street,
Dublin 2
Tel: 01-6194020


02. Vincent Browne: Hare coursing causes torture to animals

"The only principle on which you left Fianna Fail was that you were in favour of causing torture to animals" - Vincent Browne to pro-coursing politician Mattie McGrath during an exchange on TV3's The People's Debate last Wednesday.

Vincent Browne's condemnation of coursing as animal torture and his scorn for the Tipperary TD's support for the activity came after a member of the audience asked why the now Independent TD departed the Fianna Fail party in 2011.

"I left Fianna Fail...on account of coursing...we were voting on John Gormley's beck to ban coursing," mumbled McGrath, in an attempt perhaps to impress his coursing constituents.

But the vote Mattie McGrath referred to actually related not to hare coursing, but to carted stag hunting in County Meath. Despite the animal cruelty involved in stag hunting and the fact that a ban would not affect his Tipperary constituents, McGrath shamefully voted against the then government's legislation which banned the hunting of stags with packs of hounds. This led to him losing the party whip and later announcing that he was leaving Fianna Fail.

The TV3 debate took place in the Clonmel Park Hotel - an establishment that disgracefully embraces hare coursing. Vincent Browne's denunciation of coursing as animal torture should cause embarrassment for management who, on their website, describe hare coursing as a sport and those involved as "sports people". In the "Sporting Events" page of its site, the hotel advertises the annual coursing cruelty festival in the town, welcoming those who attend and hosting coursing video screenings in the evenings.


Appeal to the Clonmel Park Hotel to stop publicising the Clonmel hare coursing cruelty festival on its website.

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


03. "I have no plans to ban hare coursing": Shameful statement from Simon Coveney

Despite the continuing suffering of hares in Ireland's cruel coursing, the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has once again announced: "I have no plans to ban hare coursing". The Minister's shameful statement - in response to a Dail Question from Maureen O'Sullivan TD - came just days after ICABS filmed hares being hit and mauled at a coursing meeting in Balbriggan, County Dublin -

Hare coursing continues thanks to an exemption in Minister Coveney's Animal Health and "Welfare" Act which gives coursers immunity from prosecution for their animal cruelty.

In his reply to Maureen O'Sullivan, Minister Coveney repeats a farcical claim that those involved in snatching hares from the countryside for use as live bait for greyhounds "go to great lengths to ensure the highest standards of welfare are adhered to".

Shame on Minister Coveney for making excuses for those involved in some of the country's worst cruelty to animals and lacking the courage to ban this obscenity.

Dail Question and Answer

Maureen O'Sullivan TD: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will condemn the treatment of hares here, legally and illegally, in the name of sport; his views that a debate is required on this draconian cruel form of entertainment and his further views that there are real opportunities to stop animal cruelty, while retaining jobs through humane versions of coursing.

Answered on Wednesday, 25th November, 2015.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney: 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 (BnG).

The welfare of greyhounds involved in coursing is provided for in the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011 which inter alia requires that persons who course greyhounds must have regard to the “Code of Practice in the Care & Welfare of the Greyhound”, developed jointly by the ICC and BnG.

The ICC has assured my Department that it has extensive systems and practices in place to underpin the welfare of hares and greyhounds involved in coursing and that it goes to great lengths to ensure the highest standards of welfare are adhered to.

A Monitoring Committee on Coursing is in place, comprising officials from my Department, the ICC and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), 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 both hares and greyhounds.

Hares can only be collected for coursing by clubs affiliated to the ICC in accordance with the terms of two licences granted by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

These licences contain 26 conditions which have refined over the years, the majority of which are central to hare welfare. These include a variety of measures, including a requirement that a qualified veterinarian attends at all coursing meetings to report on the health of the hares, a prohibition on the coursing of hares more than once in the same day, a prohibition on the coursing of sick or pregnant hares, and a requirement that hares be released back into the wild during daylight hours.

The ICC also attends to the welfare of the hare and undertakes a range of actions to address issues related to health and welfare. Coursing clubs are required to comply fully with directives, instructions and guidance notes issued by the ICC in all matters relating to the capture, keeping in captivity, tagging, marking, coursing and release of hares, and the muzzling of greyhounds. A review of the outcome for the most recent season indicates that the procedures and processes in place in terms of animal welfare are appropriate given that 99.4% of hares were released back to the wild at the conclusion of coursing.

I have no plans to ban hare coursing, but I have no hesitation in saying that it is critically important that those involved in the sport must operate in accordance with the regulatory framework and with the welfare of both hares and greyhounds in mind at all times.


Demand an immediate ban on hare coursing. Tell Minister Coveney to remove an exemption for hare coursing from the Animal Health and Welfare Act.

Simon Coveney, TD
Minister for Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Tel: 01-607 2884 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Tweet to: @simoncoveney


04. Major blow to coursing: Australian company pulls ad from coursing website

An Australian company has stopped advertising on the Irish Coursing Club website after the Irish Council Against Blood Sports highlighted the animal cruelty involved in coursing.

The New South Wales-based Hidez company withdrew its advert when told about the suffering, injury and death caused to hares used in the bloodsport.

The ad for Hidez greyhound compression suits stated: "Give your dog an edge this coursing season. The Hidez compression better prepared for the next course."

In an appeal to the company, ICABS wrote "It is surprising that Hidez would allow its products to be associated with a bloodsport which is illegal in Australia and which a majority here in Ireland want outlawed (it is already illegal in all our neighbouring jurisdictions - Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales). In Ireland's cruel coursing, thousands of hares are violently netted from the wild and used as live bait for greyhounds to chase."

Video footage from a recent coursing meeting in Edenderry showing hares being hit by greyhounds and sent tumbling - - was also brought to the attention of the company.

We pointed out that all the hares used in coursing suffer the fear and stress of running for their lives and that every coursing season, injuries and deaths are documented.

Responding, Hidez Managing Director Elwyn McCabe emphasised that the decision to advertise on the Irish Coursing Club website was "taken not as a show of support for coursing nor the work of the Irish Coursing Club" but to "expose our greyhound product to an audience of owners and trainers of the breed".

"We fully respect and understand why some view hare coursing as unacceptable," Mr McCabe added. "We have therefore instructed that the advertisement is removed from the ICC website."

The removal of this ad represents another major blow to coursing and once again demonstrates that sponsors and advertisers want to have nothing whatsoever to do with the cruel activity.

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has thanked Hidez for acting swiftly to become the latest in a long line of companies to disassociate from hare coursing.


05. Limerick veterinary surgeon sponsors hare coursing

We've had a Dundalk vet sponsoring a hare coursing event ("Ancu Veterinary Hospital Oaks Trial Stake...kindly sponsored by vet Brian Jones"), a veterinary nurse acting as a judge at a coursing meeting (Orlaith Farrelly at Westmeath United coursing), an FBD Insurance 'equine specialist' vet (Ian Brassil) at a Clare foxhunt and a vet in Limerick (Tommy Kearney) claiming that coursers “hold the welfare of the Irish hare very close to their hearts”. Now, we can reveal another.

According to a booklet for a hare coursing meeting in County Limerick this month, "John Garrihy Treaty Veterinary Clinic Limerick" not only sponsored the Oaks Trial Stake coursing event but was also set to present a cup to the owner of the winning greyhound. The Treaty Veterinary Clinic outlines that "John has lectured extensively at University of Limerick, in particular on Canine Husbandry and Equine Science (B.Eq.Sc). He has been nominated on a number of occasions for the Stronghold Pet Care Award. His particular interest is in canine and feline medicine and the injuries of the racing greyhound."

It's outrageous that members of the veterinary profession are continuing to openly support and participate in activities which cause injury and/or death to defenceless creatures.


Join us in once again urging the Veterinary Council of Ireland to act to end vet involvement in foxhunting and hare coursing.

Veterinary Council of Ireland
53 Lansdowne Road
Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
Tel: +353 (0) 1 668 4402

Ask John Garrihy Treaty Veterinary Clinic to stop sponsoring hare coursing.

John Garrihy
Treaty Veterinary Clinic
High Road, Thomondgate, Limerick
Tel: 061 328511
Leave a comment on Facebook:

Contact Ancu Veterinary Hospital and ask them to stop sponsoring cruel hare coursing.

Mobile: 087 2540999
Tel: 042 9321915 (Louth) or 028 30252000 (Newry)
Email from:

Leave a comment on Facebook:


06. Glanbia responds to criticism over association with cruel hare coursing

Dairy company, Glanbia, has responded to a complaint about its association with cruel hare coursing by stating "we do not pass judgement on sports or activities as long as they are undertaken within the confines of the law."

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports had contacted Glanbia to highlight the suffering caused to hares in coursing and to express disgust at its Gain brand's connection to one of Ireland's worst forms of cruelty to animals.

On the Gain website, a shameful statement entitled "Gain dog food dominates at the national [hare coursing] meeting in Clonmel", it is stated "Congratulations to the six Clonmel Champions for 2015... Six brilliant winners and we salute their owners, trainers and breeders."

An advert for "Gain Dog Food/Glanbia Agribusiness" appeared in the booklet for the Clonmel coursing meeting in February at which hares ran for their lives from greyhounds. In November, a prominent notice in the booklet for a hare coursing meet in Carlow stated: "Co. Carlow Coursing Club wish to thank Gain". Listing winning greyhounds at the Irish Coursing Derby as one of its success stories, Gain claims that coursing greyhounds "perform better on Gain than on any other food".

In our correspondence to Glanbia/Gain, ICABS wrote: "It is incredible that in 2015, any company would choose to associate its brands with animal cruelty. Particularly as hare coursing is an internationally condemned bloodsport, is opposed by a majority of people in Ireland and is already illegal in all our neighbouring jurisdictions (Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales). We are sure that the majority of animal lovers who recently visited the Gain stand at 'Ireland's Family Pet Expo' would be horrified to learn of Gain's association with one of Ireland's worst forms of cruelty to animals. We call on your company to fully disassociate from hare coursing."

Contrary to its claim that it hasn't passed judgement, Glanbia clearly has judged it acceptable to align its brand with cruel hare coursing.


Call on Gain/Glanbia to stop associating with Ireland's cruel hare coursing.

Siobhan Talbot
Group Managing Director
Glanbia plc
Ring Road, Kilkenny, Ireland
Tel: +353 56 777 2200
Leave a comment on Facebook: and Tweet: @GlanbiaPlc @GainPetFood


07. Green Party will bring in legislation to end bloodsports

The Green Party has pledged to work for bans on hare coursing, foxhunting, fur farming and badger snaring if they form part of the next government.

The party's updated Animal Welfare Policy outlines that "the Green Party is opposed to all blood sports, and will bring in legislation to end hare coursing, fox hunting, hare hunting and mink hunting". The party will also "ensure that sufficient resources are made available to enforce existing laws against stag hunting, dog fighting, cock fighting and animal baiting."

The Greens have also promised to

You can read the Animal Welfare Policy document in full at

See a list of the Green Party's 2016 General Election candidates at


08. Sadness at death of "true friend of the animals" councillor, Pat Kavanagh

ICABS is shocked and saddened to learn of the untimely death of Wicklow Councillor Pat Kavanagh.

An independent member of Wicklow County Council, Pat was a true friend of the animals and a highly regarded ally to animal rights campaigners. She was a founding member of Chance Animal Advocacy and a supporter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports, Animal Rights Action Network and other animal groups.

She spoke out strongly against all forms of animal cruelty, including foxhunting and hare coursing. In 2014, she stated "I am COMPLETELY opposed to blood sports - cruel, barbaric, inhuman".

A statement on her website made clear her commitment to helping animals. She wrote: "I have a huge interest in Animal Welfare - I challenged the Council cull of 63 horses in Ballyguile and will continue to seek out a no-cull solution to the equine crisis in Ireland. I have been a member and supporter of 'Chance', Wicklow Dog Pound Lobby & Rescue group since its inception. I was responsible for bringing in the Wicklow Town ban on circuses which use wild animals from performing or advertising on public lands. I am a member of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports -"

As a Wicklow Town Councillor in 2013, she wrote to tell us "you can be assured that you have my full support."

In 2011, as the then Deputy Co-Ordinator of the Fis Nua political party, Cllr Kavanagh succeeded in getting the following motion passed at a party convention: "We denounce all forms of animal cruelty and terrorisation, and hunting animals for sport."

Pat stood out as one of the most dedicated animal advocates in Irish politics. The animals have lost a kind-hearted and compassionate friend. She will be greatly missed.

Our sympathies to her family, friends and colleagues.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dílis


09. Urge St Vincent’s Hospital to reject foxhunting fundraiser

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is thoroughly shocked and disappointed that St Vincent’s Hospital is set to accept the proceeds of a so-called charity hunt by the Killinick Harriers in Wexford. The fundraiser – described by organisers as “an exciting day’s hunting” – is due to take place this weekend.

The CEO of St Vincent’s Foundation, John Hickey, stated "It is not appropriate for a foundation such as ours to have an organisation position on matters such as this" and that the "responsibility to allow or otherwise is a matter for legislators and we would not interfere in that." In other words, St. Vincent’s is literally turning a blind eye to the cruelty involved in foxhunting, and citing its shameful legality in this country as an excuse for so doing.

We wrote to St Vincent’s Hospital, appealing to them to reject the proceeds of this hunt on the grounds of horrific cruelty to wildlife. We also cited a past incident involving Killinick Harriers hounds savaging a pet cat, tearing it to pieces in the driveway of a traumatised homeowner.

An Irish Field hunting report from January revealed the plight of foxes terrorised by the Killinick hunt. It described a hunt which involved an unfortunate fox being chased by a pack of hounds for over an hour and a half.

The report stated: "One and a half hours of hard hunting over some of the most challenging country in Ireland. The huntsman was up to it, the followers were up to it and the pack was on fire...The pack split momentarily but good work by the hunt staff had them settled on one fox and the field tackled five-bar gates, drains, rivers, wire and double banks through Ballycorreen in a wide circle back through Ashfield covert. Next the hounds swung left and embarked on a long run at pace in the direction of Kilmore Quay, then Tagoat village and left-handed parallel to the Rosslare road. The old black and tan hound Murdock, who is possibly 12 years old, could be heard in the distance hard on the line, pushing the fox back right-handed again."

The fate of the fox was later revealed - the pack of hounds "eventually marked him in briars at the side of the Rosslare road after a run of over one hour and 30 minutes."

In a related development, DoneDeal have responded positively to a request to remove an advertisement for the hunt. DoneDeal have similarly reacted in the past to other requests from us not to include ads for hunting dogs, and have a policy of rejecting ads that promote animal cruelty and bloodsports.


Join us in appealing to St Vincent’s Hospital Foundation to reject this foxhunt fundraiser and all fundraisers that involve cruelty to animals.

St Vincent’s Foundation
St Vincent’s University Hospital
Elm Park, Dublin 4
Tel: +353 1 221 5065

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is renewing its call on Irish charities to show compassion for Irish wildlife and reject cynical fundraisers organised by hunting groups.

ICABS is well aware of the cynicism of the foxhunting fraternity in their public relations exercise of raising funds for charities in order to give themselves and their cruel activities a veneer of respectability and an acceptance in their local communities. Charity fundraisers by hunts play a role in keeping this blood sport alive.

These events usually take the form of a cross country chase during which it is emphasised that no animal gets killed. However, these hunt rides are inextricably linked to the terrorisation and tearing apart of foxes.

Hunts which gain permission to cross land during a cross country charity ride effectively have their foot in the door and are more likely to retain that permission for subsequent hunt outings.

Furthermore, we believe that hunt fundraisers for charity are used as an opportunity to deceitfully "illustrate" false claims that foxes are rarely killed during a hunt. Those who take part in the fundraising ride for charity are given a distorted view of what the hunt is about.

Another function of these fundraising events is to secure positive publicity in the regional press. As it is an ideal opportunity to draw attention away from their normal blood sport activities, the hunt never fail to alert the media. As a result they invariably get a favourable write-up - normally, of course, without a mention of the thousands of foxes which hunts cruelly slaughter every year.

ICABS fully understands how difficult it is for Irish charities to raise funds for their worthwhile work on behalf of humanity but, we appeal to them to take a principled stand against animal cruelty. Our message is clear: Please refuse the hunt's "blood money" donation - those who accept are helping to keep blood sports alive.


10. Clergy involvement in hare coursing continues

Shame on Catholic priest Fr Dan Dunne who had a greyhound competing in Borris in Ossory hare coursing this month.

Fr Dunne's dog, Tullamoy Rebel, is included in the list of dogs unleashed to chase after hares during the 2-day coursing meeting.

Fr Dunne has also been involved with coursing meetings in Old Kilcullen this month and Edenderry earlier this year.

The Ballyadams Parish, Co Laois priest has previously been brought to the attention of church authorities as part of a formal complaint. In 2010, he was revealed to be the chairman of a coursing development committee that was "busy organising the Irish Coursing Club Stand [at the Ploughing Championships festival]".

According to the Sporting Press, the Irish Coursing Club's newspaper, "The Coursing Development Group Committee, under the Chairmanship of Fr Dan Dunne, has been busy organising the ICC Stand and they look forward to welcoming thousands into their marquee over the three days."

The Laois Nationalist reported at the time that Fr Dunne was "unmoved by the complaints and was not about to justify himself".

It is utterly shameful that a Catholic priest should be involved in a barbaric activity which has no place in a civilised society and should be long since banned. He is in direct contravention of the Catechism of the Catholic Church which clearly states that 'it is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer and die needlessly.'

Shame too on the Irish Bishops Conference for turning a blind eye to the cruelty of hare coursing and failing to act to end clergy involvement in activities involving cruelty to animals. ICABS has brought to their attention a June tweet from Pope Francis in which he wrote "it is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly #LaudatoSi".


Make a complaint directly to Dan Dunne.

Rev. Dan Dunne PP
Tullamoy, Stradbally, Co. Laois.
Tel: 059-8627123

Send a letter of complaint to the Church authorities

Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference
Columba Centre, Maynooth, Co. Kildare
Tel: +353 (0)1 505 3000
Fax: +353 (0)1 601 6401
Leave a comment on Facebook
Tweet to @CatholicBishops

(If you have time, please compose your own personal letter)

Dear Sirs,

Paragraph 2418 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that 'it is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer and die needlessly.' The Catechism also says 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.'

I therefore appeal to you to intervene to urge Fr Dan Dunne of Ballyadams Parish to end his association with hare coursing, a blood sport that causes suffering, injury and death to hares. According to a Sporting Press report, Fr Dan Dunne is chairman of the Irish Coursing Club's Coursing Development Group Committee which 'has been busy organising the Irish Coursing Club Stand [at the Ploughing Championships festival]'.

I find it shameful that any Catholic priest should be involved in promoting and developing a cruel and barbaric activity such as coursing. I hope you will act to ensure that clergy connections to coursing are ended.

Thank you. I look forward to your response.

With best wishes.

Yours sincerely,



11. €1 million for foxhunt point-to-point racing

It has emerged that point-to-point racing, run by foxhunting clubs, has received more than a million euro this year alone from taxpayer-funded Horse Racing Ireland (HRI).

Point-to-point racing is a major fundraiser for foxhunt groups. It is an absolute outrage that the state is channelling taxpayers' money to foxhunts in this way and indirectly helping to support their cruel foxhunting activities.

Speaking in Dail Eireann during the Horse Racing Ireland Bill 2015, Agriculture Minister Coveney revealed that "HRI do fund [point-to-points] and have spent over a million euros this year supporting integrity services for point-to-points." Watch the speech at

Addressing concerns from pro-bloodsports TD Willie Penrose, Minister Coveney pledged that the aims of the bill did not amount to "some kind of takeover from voluntary hunt clubs of the scheduling and operation of point-to-points".

He said that the "running of point-to-point racing will remain with hunt clubs and the national hunt committee. The only thing that will change essentially is the registration fee that is being paid to register a hunter will actually come through the new streamlined office that will just be managing that process."

The new legislation, he explained, aimed to ensure that "point-to-points, in terms of the horses that are involved, the owners, the betting that takes place, that they're actually covered by the rules and you need legislation to do that, particularly when you're putting the kind of public money resources into point-to-point racing."

"For people who are breeding horses, it will more or less be the exact same structure - except they'll send their check off to a different office but the money will still find its way into the hunt clubs..."

Similarly, hare coursing is a major beneficiary of state funds. In May, a Dail question from Clare Daly TD uncovered that last year, the Irish Coursing Club was paid more than €100,000 by the taxpayer-funded Irish Greyhound Board. The bulk of the money made its way to coursers via advertising in the Sporting Press - the Irish Coursing Club's "greyhound and coursing newspaper".

Such funds for advertising are annual payments and have been going on for years. In 2005, the Irish Independent revealed that the greyhound board had made a decision not to advertise any more in the coursers' paper but later reversed this decision and actually doubled the amount paid out to 148,000 euro per year.

It was announced in October's budget for 2016 that the state has allocated a massive €74 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound industries (€14.8 million for greyhound racing and €59.2 million for horse racing). That's an increase of €6 million over this year's figure.

Quoted in the Irish Times, pro-bloodsports Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Tom Hayes, welcomed the increase, saying the Irish Greyhound Board provides “a range of infrastructural supports and services without which this sector could not continue to exist”, adding that “the additional funding should be used to encourage participation in the sport."

Hayes' support for cruel foxhunting and hare coursing is well documented. He is on record as saying "I love what is good in rural Ireland, whether it is coursing, hunting hares, beagling or whatever". In 2011, he posed with foxhunters during a hunt at which he canvassed hunters for their support.


12. 3 Sinn Fein politicians wish "best of luck" to cruel coursers

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is disgusted to learn that three Sinn Fein politicians have wished the "best of luck" to hare coursers in County Kerry. An advert which appeared in the booklet for the Listowel hare coursing meeting sees Martin Ferris TD and Kerry County Councillors Robert Beasley and Dianne Nolan stating "Best of luck to Listowel Coursing Club".

It is disgraceful that in 2015 any public representative would convey a good luck message to those involved in terrorising, injuring and killing Irish wildlife in a bloodsport that brings shame on the nation.

At the Listowel coursing meeting, hares desperately ran for their lives from greyhounds. Hares have been hit, injured and killed at this coursing meeting in the past. Victims have included a hare severely mauled by greyhounds and put down as a result of injuries suffered and 12 hares caught and pinned by greyhounds with three dying. At the 2011 Listowel coursing meeting, there were a total of 7 fatalities.

Deputy Martin Ferris and Councillors Beasley and Nolan are in a small minority of politicians who openly support cruel coursing.

Among the growing number of politicians expressing support for a ban on Ireland's bloodsports are numerous Sinn Fein representatives but despite this, the official party stance currently remains that it is not opposed to the activity.

ICABS has brought the disgusting Listowel Coursing Club advert to the attention of Sinn Fein's head office and renewed an appeal to the party to modernise its animal welfare policies and back a ban on hare coursing and foxhunting.


Please join us in urging Sinn Fein to back a ban on hare coursing and foxhunting, in line with the majority view that these cruel activities must be outlawed.

Tel: (353) 1 8726100 / 8726932 OR 02890 347350
Tweet: @sinnfeinireland Sinn Fein - Back a ban on cruel hare coursing and foxhunting
Leave a comment on Facebook:

(If you have time, please compose your own personal letter)

Dear Sinn Fein,

I am one of the majority who want hare coursing and foxhunting outlawed in Ireland.

I urge your party to modernise its animal welfare policies and back a ban on this deplorable animal cruelty.

Yours sincerely,


Contact the three Sinn Fein politicians who have shamefully put their names to a good luck advert in the Listowel coursing booklet

Martin Ferris TD
Tel: (01) 6184248 (Dáil office) or (066) 7129545 (constituency office)

Cllr Robert Beasley
Phone: 086 3622114

Cllr Dianne Nolan
Phone: 087 7944642

Sign the petition: "Sinn Fein: Support a ban on cruel hare coursing"


13. Lucinda Creighton thinks animal cruelty tourism would give Irish economy a boost

"There's definitely room for further promotion. Would be a huge boost for neglected rural economy." The outrageous response from Renua leader Lucinda Creighton TD when ICABS challenged her on her suggestion that hunting be developed as an Irish tourism product.

During a November Dail debate on the Horse Racing Ireland Bill, the Dublin South–East TD stated: "I think we need to develop a lot more of our tourism industry around the horse equestrian sector generally - be it sport horses, be it the hunting sector, be it racing and so on. A lot of that can be integrated because often it's the same people who are interested in all the different elements. I think there's real potential there" -

When ICABS expressed shock and disgust at the statement, Lucinda Creighton tweeted back to say "It already is [developed as tourism product]. There's definitely room for further promotion. Would be a huge boost for neglected rural economy."

The reality is that, due to the appalling animal cruelty involved, Ireland's tourism body Failte Ireland, has long since stopped promoting hunting. On its website, the tourism body makes it clear that "Blood sports including coursing or hunting are not promoted in any Failte Ireland publications."

Any move to present foxhunting as a tourism product would surely damage Ireland’s international image – particularly in a modern tourism market where respect for the environment, wildlife and nature ranks highly among potential visitors. Our international image already suffers due to our government's failure to act to ban barbaric bloodsports such as foxhunting and hare coursing.

It is appalling that Lucinda Creighton, as a member of our national parliament, would stand up in this day and age and promote such blatant cruelty to animals. She can’t be unaware of the barbarism involved – foxes chased for miles to exhaustion and torn apart by a pack of hounds when caught. And when foxes manage to find refuge underground, terriers are sent in after them to corner and attack them while merciless terriermen with spades, dig out the terrified foxes to brutally kill them.


Join us in urging Lucinda Creighton and her Renua party to reject cruelty to animals and adopt animal welfare policies that support a long overdue ban on foxhunting, hare coursing and all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs.

Leave a comment on Facebook
Tweet to @LCreighton @RENUAIreland
Tel : (01) 6183527


14. Brian May: Only barbaric sub-humans could call hare coursing a sport

Brian May has condemned those involved in Ireland's cruel hare coursing as "sub-humans".

Responding to an Irish Council Against Blood Sports call for a ban on hare coursing, the Queen legend tweeted: "Only barbaric sub-humans could call this a sport."

Last month, Brian May blasted hare coursing as "a disgusting so-called sport" that "belongs in history".

Tweeting on October 5th after a performance in Buenos Aires, he was reacting to ICABS photos of hares in captivity in a coursing field in Edenderry.

Brian May tweeted: "A disgusting 'so-called' sport. Belongs in history. Let's keep fighting for decency, folks."

ICABS has thanked Brian May for his support.


15. I am in favour of a ban on Ireland’s cruel bloodsports” – Comedian Joe Rooney

"I am in favour of a ban on Ireland's cruel bloodsports" - Actor/Comedian Joe Rooney (Father Ted, Killinascully, Roy, RiRa)

A big thank you to popular actor and comedian, Joe Rooney, for his support.

Express your support for a ban on bloodsports by signing our petitions now


16. Actress Pauline McLynn calls for ban on coursing

A big thank you to actress and author Pauline McLynn for expressing support for a ban on Ireland's cruel hare coursing.

In a tweet to ICABS, she stated: "[Hare coursing is] AWFUL. BAN IT!!!!!"

Pauline McLynn is the author of ten books and as well as her famous role as Mrs Doyle in Father Ted, she has starred in several TV shows and films, including Eastenders, Shameless, Far and Away, Angela’s Ashes, When Brendan Met Trudy, An Everlasting Piece, etc

Pauline is a patron of Kildare-based Little Hill Animal Sanctuary and has helped knit jumpers for hens rescued from egg industry battery cages. Earlier this year, she said she was "so sad and angry" to learn that a rescued hen was killed by a pack of hunting hounds that invaded a garden in Cork. She told the homeowner "you are now a victim of the hunt too" and advised her to email Simon Coveney's office to protest at the continuation of hunting.

Find out more about Pauline, her acting and writing at

See the other celebrities who have expressed support for a ban on bloodsports at

Express your support for our campaign by signing our petitions now


17. U2 signed anti-coursing petition

25 years ago, members of U2 signed our "Ban Hare Coursing" petition.

Larry Mullen Jr., Adam Clayton, The Edge and Bono all put their names to the petition which stated: "We, the undersigned, conscious of the cruelties and terror inflicted upon hares, do hereby demand that our government introduce immediate legislation to ban live hare coursing"

Sadly, a quarter of a century later, the cruelty and terror continues and hares are still running for their lives. The campaign will continue until a total ban on this cruel bloodsport is secured and hares are free from persecution.

Join U2 in signing our anti-coursing petition


18. O'Donnells crisp company sends best wishes to hare coursers

The company that produces hand-cooked Tipperary crisps has been blasted for conveying "best wishes" to hare coursers.

O'Donnell's had an advert in a booklet for a coursing meeting in which was stated: "Best wishes to Clonmel & Kilsheelan and Clonmel Open Coursing Clubs from O'Donnell's. Ed O'Donnell, Seskin Farm, Kilsheelan."

"It is very surprising that in 2015, any company would choose to tarnish its image by associating with animal cruelty," ICABS stated in a message to O'Donnell's. "Particularly as hare coursing is an internationally condemned activity, is opposed by a majority of people in Ireland and is illegal in all our neighbouring jurisdictions (Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales)."

Hare coursing is one of Ireland's worst forms of cruelty to animals - hares are snatched from the wild in nets, kept in captivity for weeks and used as live lures for greyhounds to chase. They suffer the fear and stress of running for their lives. Those hit by the dogs may be killed or suffer painful injuries such as broken bones and dislocated hips. O'Donnell's has been told that every coursing season, official monitoring documents reveal the hare injuries and deaths that occur.

"We are sure that the majority of O'Donnell's customers in the Republic and Northern Ireland would disapprove of your association with hare coursing," we added. "We appeal to your company to show compassion for the persecuted Irish hare and disassociate from coursing."

Members of the O'Donnell family also have links to foxhunting. In the Irish Field of 7th December 2013, a hunting report focusing on Tipperary's Kilmoganny Foxhounds revealed that "back in the saddle was former whip Marianne O'Donnell, who was out with her daughter Katie. The O'Donnell family, who are major potato growers on the Tipperary borders, produce the popular O'Donnell range of crisps." An accompanying photograph showed them on horseback at the hunt. The report described how the hunt's hounds were brought along the banks of the Linguan River and under Whitehall Bridge in search of foxes.


Complain to O'Donnell's about the coursing booklet advert and the best wishes message to coursers. If their association with bloodsports would make you choose another crisp brand, point this out in your correspondence.

Ed O'Donnell
O'Donnell's Crisps
Seskin Farm,
Kilsheelan, County Tipperary

Tel: +353 (0)52 613 9016
Mobile: +353 (0)87 2558 142
Leave a comment on Facebook
Tweet to @odonnellscrisps


19. Hare coursing arrests: ICABS responds to Irish Coursing Club hypocrisy

The recent arrests relating to illegal hare coursing are to be welcomed and will hopefully lead to a major clampdown on the gangs rampaging through the countryside mercilessly hounding hares to their deaths.

In a sickening display of sheer hypocrisy, the Irish Coursing Club - whose members are responsible for some of the worst persecution of the Irish Hare - have condemned the illegal coursers for having a negative impact on hare conservation.

Their problem is surely that these "illegal" coursers are making it more difficult for the "legal" coursers to locate hares for their own brand of abuse. This was in evidence last year when members of Doon coursing club felt the need to travel over 100 km to poach hares in a protected nature reserve in Offaly - a Wildlife Act offence for which they pleaded guilty.

Despite the "protected" status of the unique Irish hare species, the Minister for Arts and Heritage Heather Humphreys issues an annual licence which allows for thousands of hares to be cruelly snatched from the wild and used as live bait for greyhounds to chase. Claims by licensed coursers that muzzling the greyhounds has eliminated the cruelty and killing are completely untrue.

Every year, official monitoring reports show that hares are being battered and mauled by muzzled dogs, and dying from their injuries. For example, last season, 9 hares were struck at Tubbercurry by greyhounds, with 1 hare being put down and 4 dying afterwards; at Borrisoleigh, 6 hares were hit, with 4 dying overnight (“most likely from the injuries they received on the previous day,” according to a National Parks ranger); at Macroom, 2 hares were struck, 1 killed; in Wexford, 4 hares were pinned, 1 injured and 1 euthanised; in Kerry 4 hares were struck, 2 died; at East Donegal, 2 hares were hit and died; at Dundalk 8 hares were struck, 3 put down; at Balbriggan, 3 hares struck, 3 died, and so the list goes on.

Hare coursing is inherently and intrinsically cruel from beginning to end, from the snatching of vulnerable, timid hares from the wild, their captivity for several weeks in coursing compounds to their use as live lure for greyhounds on the days of coursing. Every single hare taken from its habitat in the wild is subjected to terror and trauma from being corralled and coursed, which can affect their immune systems and leave them open to disease. Hares have been known to die in large numbers in coursing compounds.

It is an offence, according to the Animal Health & Welfare Act, to cause unnecessary suffering to an animal, but licensed hare coursing has shamefully been exempted from prosecution in the Act, thanks to the present Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney.

Hare coursing, both the "legal" and "illegal" forms, is utterly abhorrent, and should have no place in a civilised country. We are light years behind our neighbours, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, who have long since banned this barbarism.


20. Hunters persecuting farmers in Waterford and Cork

Farmers in Waterford are among those being persecuted by hunting gangs trespassing on to their land, a joint policing committee meeting has heard. The hunters use high powered lights to dazzle wildlife before unleashing lurcher dogs to chase and cruelly kill the creatures.

The response of the Irish Farmers Association? An appeal to the cruel thugs to kindly request the permission of landowners before coming on to private property to engage in their shameful bloodsport.

A report in this week's Waterford Mail newspaper highlights that Gardai have received 19 related complaints in the Tramore area over a 6 week period.

The report highlights that a senior IFA official "appealed to people intent on hunting rabbits or hares to seek permission from farmers in advance".

Cork IFA regional development officer Sean Clarke is quoted as saying: "Most farmers probably wouldn't mind lampers accessing their land if they asked in advance."

Mr Clarke went on to say that daytime trapping of hares was "also a growing problem in North Cork with fences broken and other damage regularly incurred".

A farmer at the meeting said that cattle and calves on his land were scattered after being frightened into stampeding by the hunters, their lights and their dogs.

Another growing fear among farmers is that hunters may be taking the opportunity to do some thieving after their bloodlust has been satiated. The Waterford Mail reports that "Garda Superintendent John Mulligan said inquiries, particularly in West Waterford, had established no connection between lampers and burglaries but said being in a farmyard was considerably more suspect than being in a field some distance from a farmhouse."

Worryingly, Supt Mulligan reportedly told the gathered landowners that "unless someone refused a request to leave a field, effectively no offence was committed."

If Supt. Mulligan said this, he is mistaken. According to the 1976 Wildlife Act, it is an offence to enter onto lands for the purpose of hunting a wild animal, without the permission of the owner. This provision was amended in the 2010 Wildlife Act, to put the onus on a defendant to prove that he/she had permission to be on the land.

ICABS will be contacting the Waterford Gardai to highlight the fact that the very presence of a hunter on land, without permission, does actually constitute a crime.


21. Tributes paid in Seanad Eireann to anti-bloodsports Senator, Jack Fitzsimons

Tributes have been paid in Seanad Eireann to anti-bloodsports Senator, Jack Fitzsimons, who passed away in November last year. Jack was remembered as "a vocal opponent of hunting and hare coursing" and "a man of great principle and enormous political courage".

Jack was a Fianna Fáil senator from 1983 to 1989 and following his resignation from the party after the 1989 election, went on to become an independent member of Meath County Council.

He was a vocal opponent of bloodsports and wrote "Coursing Ban Be Damned" - a book in which he clearly showed that "coursing, hunting and all cruel practices are immoral and should be banned."

He ran as an independent candidate for the European elections in 1994 and his manifesto included strong anti-hunting and anti-coursing policies. An election flier outlined that one of his top priorities was to "abolish coursing and hunting". Presenting his vision for "a loving, caring, responsible, civilised society", he denounced the "power-crazy political parties who have systematically and selfishly destroyed almost everything worthwhile in this country".

Extracts from "Tributes to Former Senator Jack Fitzsimons"
Seanad Eireann, Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Maurice Cummins (Fine Gael): Following his time as a Senator, Jack stood in the local and European elections as an independent candidate on an anti-blood sport ticket, seeking a mandate for his view that hare coursing should be banned. He was elected to Meath County Council on that platform and worked tirelessly to highlight the plight of the hare in the Irish countryside. He organised a march from his native Kells to Dublin where he spoke to a large gathering outside Dáil Éireann about the need to protect the Irish hare. This spoke volumes of his devotion to the cause. In 1994 Jack published a book in which he made a powerful case against hare coursing, Coursing Ban Be Damned, continuing his whimsical and ironic humour in the titling of his works. He went on to back Deputy Tony Gregory's attempt to tackle hare coursing by means of a Private Member's Bill in 1993. Although the measure was voted down, it led to coursing clubs muzzling greyhounds from then on.

Thomas Byrne (Fianna Fail): Today we pay tribute to a man of zealous political capability who was prepared to put his way of thinking on the line. He was an extremely principled man. When our Leader mentioned the issue of hare coursing, I recalled a story that Michael Lynch told me about canvassing with Jack in County Tipperary. They were on different panels, so they were not in direct competition with each other. Michael Lynch told me that he begged Jack to tone down his opinions on hare coursing in front of the Tipperary councillors, but he was simply not prepared to do so. He went to Tipperary with what would have been an unpopular viewpoint among Fianna Fáil councillors and refused to set aside the principles to which he was deeply committed. I think that is to be commended, because too often politicians are worried about what people want to hear. Jack certainly did not go with that. With Jack's passing, we have lost one of life's great gentlemen and most colourful characters. We have lost a man of distinction and immense ability. Jack's political life reminds the rest of us who are so lucky and privileged to be elected to these Houses that we must not always follow the herd instinct. We must stand up for what we believe in and, in some cases, disregard our own political ambitions and aspirations for the greater good. Jack was bold, brave and courageous in all facets of his political and personal functions.

Ivana Bacik (Independent): As we have heard, Jack was also well known for his views as a vocal opponent of hunting and hare coursing and his resolutely principled stance on those issues. As others have said, he also took a principled and independently minded stance with his resignation from Fianna Fáil in 1989 on the grounds that there was, apparently, no ideology, consistency or positive approach within the party at the time.

Paschal Mooney (Fianna Fail): He was a bitter opponent of Mr. Charles Haughey and, as Senator Byrne noted, he was a man of great principle and enormous political courage. I remember he took the position against hare coursing at a number of parliamentary party meetings during my time here when there would have been a very powerful hare coursing lobby. Senator Byrne was correct in his description of the anecdote involving Senators Lynch and Fitzsimons and the Tipperary councillors. I remember canvassing at the time and being asked straight out my position and that of Senator Fitzsimons. I regret to say that my opinion now is the same as my opinion then. He lost his Seanad seat directly as a result of the position he took on hare coursing within the Fianna Fáil group. He was certainly one of the most effective Senators, as has been outlined.

Sean Barrett (Independent): His opposition to hunting and hare coursing would fit with the opinions of many today, and he had the courage to do it, as Senators Mooney and Byrne stated, even in the heart of coursing territory, such as Tipperary. He was a man of principle.

Denis O'Donovan (Fianna Fail): Earlier Senators spoke of his dedication and principled stand. No doubt not relinquishing his principles in the area of hare coursing probably cost him his seat. Having canvassed in places such as Waterford and Tipperary, and, indeed, Kerry and parts of Cork, I am aware that it is nearly a crime to mention anything about those involved in hare coursing, who are a powerful and strong lobby. As Leas-Chathaoirleach, I am honoured to pay tribute to Jack today.

You can read the full transcript at


22. Listing for hare hunt and hunt ball removed from Evensi

A notice about a hunt ball and a hare hunt has been removed from international events website, Evensi, after ICABS highlighted the appalling animal cruelty involved in hunting.

The listing for a Tara Harriers hunt ball in the Headfort Arms Hotel advertised tickets for both the hunt ball and "a day's hunting".

It stated: "This year we will be hosting a lawn meet in the fabulous Brittis Estate the morning of the ball. This will be a perfect opportunity to enjoy a days hunting in a wonderful setting, before getting on the glad rags for a brilliant nights craic. So now is the time to book your tickets for what promises to be a fantastic days hunting and a wonderful hunt ball that night."

In a message to Italy-based Evensi, the Irish Council Against Blood Sports wrote: "In hunting, hares and foxes are chased by packs of hounds and when caught, they are torn to pieces. We appeal to Evensi to remove this listing for a day's hunting in Meath, Ireland and disallow listings for any event that involves animal cruelty or killing."

A posting for the event on the Tara Harriers Facebook page features an image of a hare in a tuxedo - a far cry from what a hare looks like when caught by hounds during a hunt. Hares are mauled, bitten and torn limb from limb by the dogs. "The hounds caught up with the hare and totally demolished it" is how one distraught eye-witness described the end of a hare hunt in County Dublin. "All that was left was a tiny piece of fur blowing in the breeze."

Despite being a supposedly protected species, the Irish Hare may legally be persecuted by licensed hare coursers as well as by shooters and hunts with packs of hounds.

About Evensi: Evensi is a search engine dedicated to geo-located events. It currently lists over 35 million events all around the world. Find out more at


Complain to the Headfort Arms Hotel about its hosting of a hunt ball.

Headfort Arms Hotel,
Headfort Place,
Kells, Co. Meath, Ireland

Telephone: +353 (0) 46 927 4222
Tweet to: @Headfort
Leave a comment on Facebook:

Urge Minister Heather Humphreys to show compassion for the persecuted Irish Hare and end the hunting, coursing and shooting of the species.

Email "Save hares from hunting, shooting and coursing" to
Tel: (01) 631 3802 or (01) 631 3800
Leave a comment on Facebook -
Tweet to Heather Humphreys: @HHumphreysFG

(If you have time, please compose your own personal letter)

Dear Minister Humphreys,

The Irish Hare is under severe pressure from hunters, shooters and coursers. Under licence from your Department, the creatures may be netted from the wild during seven months of the year for use as live bait for dogs in coursing. During six months of the year, your Department allows hares to be blasted to death by shooters who take pleasure in destroying our wildlife heritage. They are also chased by packs of hounds and torn apart.

Hares urgently need protection. I urge you to act to give permanent, year-round protection to this species.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,



23. Radisson Blu Hotel wishes "good luck" to hare coursers

ICABS has expressed disappointment to the management of the Radisson Blu Hotel in Limerick after the hotel wished "good luck" to hare coursers.

In a Radisson tweet posted in April, it was announced: "Tonight we host the ICC awards #goodluck #enjoy."

The Irish Coursing Club's awards took place following a coursing season which saw more suffering, injury and death to hares. The awards celebrated the dogs considered best at chasing live hares in coursing fields around the country.

In an email to the Radisson Blu, ICABS highlighted just some of the victims of coursing last season:

"Given the animal cruelty involved, it is surprising that the Radisson Blu not only hosted a coursing-related event but also wished the coursers good luck," ICABS stated in a letter to the hotel chain. We asked them to show compassion for Irish wildlife and reject hare coursing.


Urge the Radisson Blu to stop hosting hare coursing-related events.

Radisson Blu Limerick
Ennis Road
Limerick, Ireland
Tel: (+353) 61 456200


24. Renewed appeal to Realex to stop facilitating sale of coursing tickets

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is renewing an appeal to online payment company, Realex, to show compassion for Irish hares and stop facilitating the sale of tickets to next year's coursing cruelty festival in Clonmel.

In an email to Realex and parent company, Global Payments Inc, ICABS stated: "Your companies are making the online sale of tickets to a 2016 hare coursing event possible by providing payment processing services to the Irish Coursing Club. Coursing is one of Ireland's worst forms of cruelty. Hares violently netted from the wild are forced to run for their lives in front of greyhounds. This is a bloodsport which a majority of Irish people are opposed to and which is illegal in most countries (including England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the United States)."

Realex disregarded an appeal last year for the company to disassociate from cruel coursing.


Please join us in urging Realex and Global Payments Inc to show compassion for Irish hares and stop online payment services to coursers.

Mr Paul Garcia
CEO, Global Payments Inc
Tweet to @realexpayments @GlobalPayInc
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Tel (London): +44 (0) 20 3178 5370
Tel (Dublin): +353 (0) 1 702 2000


25. Animal Interfaith Alliance calls for ban on hare coursing

The UK's Animal Interfaith Alliance has appealed to Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to ban hare coursing in Ireland.

"We are appealing to you to reflect on the futile cruelty of this activity, consult your conscience and remove the exemption for hare coursing from the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013," spokesperson Marian Hussenbux stated in a letter to the Minister.

"Such practices are throwbacks to a darker, less enlightened time, and surely we know better these days than to torment defenceless creatures and, furthermore, teach our children that it is acceptable to do so," she added.

A big thank you to Animal Interfaith Alliance for joining us in calling for a ban on hare coursing.

Animal Interfaith Alliance is an alliance of faith groups concerned about the welfare of animals. Members include Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Jews, Muslims and Sikhs. Find out more at


26. Major EU victory in fight against bullfighting

"This is a beautiful day for all Europeans who ask for better treatment of animals." - the words of delighted Dutch MEP Bas Eickhout (Greens/European Free Alliance) whose anti-bullfighting amendment secured the support of a majority in the European Parliament on 28th October.

438 out of 687 MEPs voted in favour of the EU Budget Amendment to stop an estimated €150 million of EU subsidies to breeders of bulls used in bullfighting in Spain, Portugal and France. It's a major blow to bullfighting and one which will hopefully hasten its demise.

This is a huge victory for animal welfare groups around the world, including the Irish Council Against Blood Sports, which have been campaigning to stop the shameful use of European taxpayers' money for this most barbaric and evil bloodsport.

The bullfighting mafia have wielded their power and influence on the EU for years, and were successful in maintaining the EU subsidies for their horrific cruelty. When members of ICABS were in the European Parliament a few years ago, trying, along with other anti-bullfighting groups, to persuade MEPs to stop the subsidies, the bullfighters had taken over a huge space in the EU building, where they were plying MEPs with free food, wine and goodie bags. But their influence has cleared waned - just like their cruel bloodsport which continues to experience falling attendances, lack of sponsors, numerous travel agents rejecting it and growing international opposition.

We understand that before the amendment becomes law and the subsidies are abolished, it requires the final approval of EU finance ministers. More details to follow.

A big thank you to the Irish MEPs who did us proud and voted in favour of this historic amendment. They are:

Lynn Boylan, MEP, Matt Carthy, MEP, Nessa Childers, MEP, Luke Ming Flanagan, MEP, Marian Harkin, MEP, Liadh Ni Riada, MEP, and Brian Hayes, MEP (Fine Gael's Brian Hayes last year abstained but this year admirably rebelled and voted in favour). Absent from the vote, due to medical reasons, was Brian Crowley, MEP. Thank you also to all three Northern Ireland MEPs - Martina Anderson, Diane Dodds and James Nicholson - who voted in favour of the amendment.

Shame on the three Fine Gael MEPs Deirdre Clune, Sean Kelly and Mairead McGuinness who disgracefully voted against the amendment despite being well aware of the appalling suffering inflicted on bulls in the blood-soaked bullrings of Spain, Portugal and France. MEPs Clune, Kelly and McGuinness last year abstained in a similar vote but this time decided to actually vote against the latest anti-bullfighting amendment.


Ask the three Fine Gael MEPs why they shamefully voted against the anti-bullfighting amendment.

Mairead McGuinness, MEP
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Telephone: 041-6854633

Sean Kelly, MEP
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Telephone: 061-468788

Deirdre Clune MEP
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Telephone: 0032 228 45292


27. Palma de Mallorca has declared itself against bullfighting

Source: CAS International

Palma de Mallorca, the capital of the autonomous Spanish Balearic Islands, has declared itself against bullfighting! Until now this is the most important success of the campaign ‘Mallorca Sense Sang’ (Mallorca without Blood) by CAS International and AnimaNaturalis. The total number of anti-bullfighting municipalities in Mallorca is now 20, 16 of them declared themselves anti-bullfighting thanks to our campaign! The main objective of ‘Mallorca Sense Sang’ is to completely abolish bullfighting on the Spanish Balearic Islands and to obtain as many anti-bullfighting municipalities as possible.

Thanks to political lobby Palma de Mallorca has declared itself now as an anti-bullfighting municipality. The political parties PSOE, Som Palma and MÉS voted in favour of the initiative, PP and Ciudadanos against it. More than 130,000 signatures have been presented to the city council of Palma de Mallorca to request the end of bullfighting in the city.

Guillermo Amengual, spokesman of Mallorca Sense Sang, states that a historic step has been taken for the animals in Palma de Mallorca. The declaration of Palma de Mallorca as an anti-bullfighting municipality is the first step towards the end of bullfighting on the Balearic Islands. Now preparations are being made to start a citizen initiative that will lead to the end of bullfighting on the islands.

The worldwide list of anti-bullfighting municipalities now stands at 132. Marius Kolff, director of CAS, commented: "CAS is very happy that the capital of the Balearic Islands is now free of bullfighting. This gives us extra support to get bullfighting abolished on the Balearic Islands in general."

Please help by signing and sharing the petition at


28. Letters to the Editor

Help raise awareness about Ireland’s animal cruelty issues – write letters to the editors of local and national newspapers to speak out against hare coursing, foxhunting, etc.

Cruelty of hare coursing ramped up at Christmas
Irish Examiner, December 04, 2015

Christmas is less than a month away and, as always at this time of year, Ireland’s hare population is being harassed to the nth degree by coursing clubs whose idea of fun is to set up these gentle creatures as bait for pairs of hyped-up greyhounds.

I have seen these so-called ‘sportspeople’ in action in recent days. Fans cheered or marked their cards as the hares swerved and dodged in desperation to avoid their pursuers. They ran through wind-swept and water-logged fields, splashing their way in all directions as the muzzled but deeply frustrated and aggressive dogs sought to catch them.

Unable to sink their teeth into the soft brown fur, the hounds had to be content with forcibly striking the hares, pinning them to the soggy ground, mauling them, or tossing them into the air like broken toys.

And the fans never stopped cheering and laughing, decked out in their comfy winter gear, insulated from the rain and high winds, some of them sipping from whiskey flasks.

I have been observing coursing events for more than 30 years and still can’t fathom why a certain type of human being gets a thrill from watching this act of organised animal cruelty.

Even more depressing than this stomach churning addiction to animal suffering that some call ‘sport’ is the fact that so many politicians won’t take a stand against it.

True, they might lose a few votes in constituencies where hare coursing is entrenched, but does doing the right thing count for anything with them?

A few days ago, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney, responding to a Dáil question on the issue, said he had “no plans to ban hare coursing” and went on to repeat the government’s official position that the ‘sport’ is “well regulated”, and that the organisers do everything within their power to ensure animal welfare is catered for.

His words struck me as purely political whitewashing, devoid of any real meaning and completely divorced from reality. His ‘assurances’ rang especially hollow with me last weekend as I watched a hare doing a triple somersault after a greyhound sent it hurtling skyward, its progress followed by 50 or more pairs of gaping eyes.

The hare’s cry of anguish has been compared to that of the mythical banshee. If only it could double up as a cry heard by all against the political cowardice that keeps hare coursing alive in Ireland and the need felt by some human beings to make animals suffer for ‘sport’.

John Fitzgerald
Campaign for the Abolition Of Cruel Sports
Callan, Co Kilkenny

Renua offers old hat on fox hunting
Irish Examiner, December 04, 2015

Lucinda Creighton’s recent call during a Dáil debate for fox hunting to be promoted as a tourist attraction, will surely have dismayed those who believed her earlier promise that, in government, Renua would enact compassionate social policies.

Of all the appalling cruelties humans inflict on animals, terrifying and killing them for the fun of it, must surely rank as one of the most loathsome. It is hardly surprising that every opinion poll on the issue of fox hunting carried out in this country has shown a clear majority of Irish people in favour of it being banned.

Yet, shamefully, successive Irish governments have shied away from ruffling the feathers of the well-healed minority who engage in this medieval barbarism, and in so doing have failed miserably to honour the wishes of the people they represent.

Renua may have promised to reform politics, but on the issue of bloodsports at least it would appear that ‘no change’ will be the order of the day. Irish voters who find such cruelty to animals unacceptable — take note!

Nuala Donlon
Spokesperson, Irish Animal Welfare Forum
Lanesborough, Co Longford

Another stream of rural terrorism?
The Southern Star, 7th November 2015

Media coverage of rural crime has placed emphasis on criminal elements that terrorise rural communities and who act within a vacuum of light touch judicial application. Overlooked is another stream of rural terrorism that is legal in nature and arrogant by breeding.

Every hunting season brings the visit by the local hunt on horseback or on foot to rural areas causing distress to people and damage by those who refuse to acknowledge that their activity is not welcome in the area and that access to private property is denied to them.

Contrary to popular belief, hunts do not have any special rights to cross lands as and when they please. Hunts have no rights to enter or cross the vast majority of land and/or property in this country. This inconvenient truth is ignored by many who believe they have a legal right to trespass in their pursuit of an animal kill.

Over the years, the actions of some hunt followers have been well documented with cases of damage to private property, crop damage, killing of pets, worrying of livestock, alleged assaults of landowners and hunt monitors from animal welfare organisations.

Many of these incidents have failed to see the inside of the court due to light touch or non-existent policing. Should these incidents enter the court system, it would not be unusual for the local hunt to ignore court findings against them.

It is left to farmers and non-farming rural dwellers to deal with the problem. They have to work the legal system at their own expense to get these people off their property or, in the event of an incident, to seek damages.

Rural crime is not always carried out by criminals drawn from a dodgy postal code area arriving in a rural area.

John Tierney Campaigns Director,
Association of Hunt Saboteurs,
PO Box 4734, Dublin 1. Yes, the hare is a remarkable work of nature — leave it that way
Irish Examiner, November 04, 2015

With the hare coursing season in full swing, the Irish Coursing Cub (ICC) has stated on its official website that the Irish hare is “a remarkable work of nature which has thrived for thousands of years on our island, and will continue to flourish only with the assistance of coursing clubs.”

While agreeing with the first part of the statement, I marvel at the ICC’s audacity in claiming that coursing clubs benefit hares.

Do they really believe this? The clubs snatch these gentle creatures from their natural home in the countryside and confine them in holding pens for weeks before setting them up as bait for greyhounds.

Though the dogs are muzzled, they can and do inflict injuries on the hares. The hare is a brittle boned animal, and bone breakages cannot heal.

Even hares that appear to have escaped without obvious injury can die soon afterwards or following release back into the wild. Not to mention the ones that die while being netted or in captivity, from stress-related ailments.

The perverse and perpetually unrequited love bestowed upon this gentlest of creatures by the “sportspeople” continues to exact its toll in suffering and cruelty.

Or could it be that they are right and that anti-blood sports campaigners have been giving them a raw deal?

True, the Arctic Hare is managing quite well to survive and even thrive up there in a freezing hostile environment, to find food and stay a step ahead of predators like the snowy owl, the lynx and the fox.

But would they be happier if they could experience the unique tender loving care that only coursing clubs say they can provide?

Would life be more interesting for them if they could be captured with nets in the snow or along the ice carpeted hills and made to run from hyped-up dogs?

Who knows, maybe they’d appreciate the conservationist expertise of people who could arrange to have them mauled, pinned to the ground, forcibly struck by dogs at high speed, and tossed up into the air like rag dolls?

All these years the Arctic Hares have been getting along in blissful ignorance of a “sport” that the Irish Coursing Club is promoting as beneficial to our iconic Irish hare.

Do they know what they’re missing up there?

John Fitzgerald
Campaign for the Abolition Of Cruel Sports
Callan, Co Kilkenny


29. Campaign Quotes

The Irish Council of Cruel Sports has hit out at a Dungannon Coursing Club it says is travelling to Cavan to take part in a Hare Coursing event this weekend. In a statement to the Times it said: "Dungannon coursing club will travel south to engage in a cruel activity that is outlawed in Northern Ireland - live hare coursing...The Dungannon coursers will be hosted by Cavan coursing club on Saturday and Sunday [Nov 14/15], when hares will be used as live bait before greyhounds. And in January, 2016, Tubbercurry, Co Sligo, will host Ballymena at their coursing meeting. It is an absolute travesty that the hare, while being rightly protected from this cruelty in the north of Ireland, is subjected to this cruel abuse in the south. from "Call for Hare Coursing ban in Ireland as Dungannon coursers travel to activity ‘outlawed’ in North", Tyrone Times, 14 November 2015

"I will happily participate in the legislation, although my colleague, the Minister of State, Deputy Tom Hayes, makes most of the decisions on the greyhound industry. Changes are needed there and change is under way. Deputy Wallace has raised questions about this, as have many others. This is why we had an Indecon report and why we are making significant changes to the industry to put it on a proper financial footing again, so we can start to increase prize money to create incentives to breed and manage dogs appropriately. It is also why we have welfare legislation, to ensure it is done properly in the interests of the animals as well as the owners and the people involved." Agriculture Minister, Simon Coveney, during the Horse Racing Ireland Bill 2015, 11 November 2015.

"It was the hunt’s opening meet brought forward from its traditional date of All Saints Day. It was also Daragh Hassett’s first day as incoming master. Daragh, from Spancil Hill, practices as a solicitor in Ennis and comes from a long sporting Clare tradition. His father Paddy, a well know Clare veterinary surgeon, hunted all his life and was chairman of the hunt on several occasions. His uncle John, another veterinary surgeon, is also a successful trainer." from a Clare Foxhounds hunting report, Irish Field, November 2015.

“I represent the majority of Spanish people, who are ashamed to be associated with this appalling cruelty. It doesn’t represent us. There is more to Spain than bullfighting. Bulls feel pain and suffer, just as humans do. I couldn’t leave him to die alone.” Spaniard Virginia Ruiz who jumped in to a bullring to try and comfort a tortured bull who lay dying. August 2015.

"Fully opposed to hare coursing" Dublin City Councillor Eilis Ryan (Workers' Party)

"Best wishes to Cappoquin/Clogheen coursing club" from a Castle Hotel Macroom advert in a coursing booklet. According to a coursing website, the hotel has also sponsored coursing, with a photo showing a hotel representative presenting a trophy to the owner of a winning greyhound. Please join us in urging the Castle Hotel Macroom to disassociate from hare coursing - Eileen Lynch, Manager, Tel: +353 26 41074 / 1850 924123, Email: / Facebook

In the ring he is dubbed ‘The Pride of Dublin’, but boxer Anthony Fitzgerald has never looked more puffed up than he does with the spoils of a night’s lamping. With the bodies of six dead rabbits thrown over his shoulders he poses for the cameras holding aloft a fox that has been ripped apart by lurcher dogs. Fitzgerald hasn’t had as much success in the ring and last year was knocked out by Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan, despite threatening beforehand to “punch and bate him from pillar to post”. from “The Pride of Dublin” shows of brutally savaged animals, Sunday World, 10th December 2015


30. Petitions - Please sign and share

Irish Government: Save foxes and dogs from horrific cruelty

Minister Simon Coveney: Ban ALL Tail Docking – No Exemptions

Ireland: Stop badger snaring cruelty NOW

Petition to Ban horrific Hare Coursing Cruelty in Ireland

Stop sponsoring hare coursing in Ireland

Protect the Irish Hare

End Cruel Blood Sport of Fox Hunting in Ireland

Spanish Tourism - Stop promoting cruel bullfighting

Petition to EU Commission against Bullfighting and Blood Fiestas Subsidies

Limerick Racecourse: Stop hosting cruel hare coursing

Coillte – Ban hunters from your forests

European Parliament, ban glue traps from Europe

Primrose: Stop selling extremely cruel glue traps

Ban Fur Sales on eBay

Stormont Assembly: Ban Fox and Stag Hunting in Northern Ireland

Ban Torturous Hanging of Greyhounds in Spain

Arts Council of Ireland: Stop funding animal circuses

Petition – Add “Report Animal Abuse” option on Facebook

End Bullfighting in France

Protect Pygmy Rabbit from Extinction


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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