General Election 2016 - Where do the candidates stand on animal cruelty issues?

'The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated' - Mahatma Gandhi
'Ultimately a great nation is a compassionate nation' - Martin Luther King

Before voting in the general election on Friday 26th February, read our guide to the candidates and where they stand on animal cruelty issues. Please make your vote count for the animals.

Individual candidate views may differ from official party policies, to which members are expected to follow in Dail Eireann. Click on the link to view party policies in relation to animal issues. Help us expand this list - let us know about responses you receive from candidates. If you are a candidate and wish to be included in this list, please get in touch with us now.


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James Gaffney (Green Party, Limerick City):
"I'm opposed to all blood sports." from a tweet to ICABS, 19th January 2016.

Sarah Jane Hennelly (Social Democrats, Limerick City):
"Sarah Jane Hennelly, Social Democratic candidate for Limerick City, is vehemently opposed to bloodsports and supports your campaign to ban the same." from an email to ICABS from the Social Democrats Limerick Director of Elections, February 2016.

Michael Noonan TD (Fine Gael, Limerick City):
In 2014, when ICABS Director Aideen Yourell met Finance Minister Michael Noonan in the run-up to the elections, she challenged him on the government's shameful failure to ban bloodsports, including hare coursing. Minister Noonan's blunt response? "Coursing is not an issue".

In March 2013, Michael Noonan TD voted against an amendment to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on fur farming.

In 2013, Fine Gael Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said that groups promoting hare hunting and fox hunting are "entitled to a tax exemption". Responding to a Dail Question from ICABS President Maureen O'Sullivan, the Limerick TD outrageously claimed that the "ordinary meaning" of sport includes activities such as hunting and therefore hunts can benefit under Section 235 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997.

Kieran O'Donnell TD (Fine Gael, Limerick City):
In March 2013, Kieran O'Donnell TD voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circus performances.

Jan O'Sullivan, TD (Labour, Limerick City):
"I do not support blood sports."

Willie O'Dea, TD (Fianna Fail, Limerick City):
In October 2015, Willie O'Dea expressed his support for the ICABS campaign for a ban on cruel hare coursing. Responding to an email in which we appealed to him to push for a coursing ban, the Fianna Fail politician stated: "I am happy to support this endeavour."

In 2009, the Irish Council Against Blood Sports welcomed a statement from the office of the then Minister for Defence, Willie O'Dea, in which we were told that the Minister "fully supports" our campaign. (Defence Minister "fully supports" ICABS campaign)

Cllr Cian Prendiville (Anti Austerity Alliance, Limerick City and County Council)
"I support a ban on hare coursing and foxhunting" from a tweet to ICABS, September 2014.

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