Response to Sean Power's coursing comments
21 June 2006
Minister of State, Sean Power, revealed recently that, as a boy, he "had the pleasure" of travelling around Ireland to greyhound and coursing meetings.
During a Dail debate earlier this month on the Greyhound Industry (Doping Regulation) Bill 2006, Mr Power stated: "I was a greyhound owner in the past and my family was involved down through the years in the industry. I like a night at the dogs. In recent years, the issue of clerical abuse has received a great deal of publicity. However, as a former altar boy, my experience of the church was much different. I was an altar boy to a priest who loved both horse and greyhound racing and I had the pleasure of travelling around the country to attend horse and greyhound race meetings and even the odd coursing meeting. I learned a great deal and my experience with this priest was joyous and educational. I am grateful for the education I received about greyhounds and horses."
ICABS has issued the following statement in response to the Kildare TD's statement.
ICABS response to Sean Power's comments
Minister of State, Sean Power, TD, recently declared in the Dail that, as an altar boy, he learned a great deal about greyhound racing from a priest who brought him to races and "even to the odd coursing meeting".
The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has been calling on the Catholic Church over the years to ensure that all their priests adhere to paragraphs 2416 and 2418 of the Catechism which states that "animals are God's creatures...thus men owe them kindness" and "it is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer and die needlessly."
Snatching timid, delicate creatures out of the wild in nets and using them as live lures before greyhounds is, without a doubt, in direct contravention of these commandments to the faithful. Worse still is the fact that a priest of the Catholic Church took an impressionable altar boy to coursing meetings to witness hares being terrorised and abused for "sport".
The vast majority of Mr Power's constituents, and indeed the vast majority of the Irish electorate, are opposed to live hare coursing, as independent polls have revealed since the mid-seventies. The most recent poll indicates a massive 80 per cent in favour of a coursing ban. It's high time for Mr Power and his party in government to respect the wishes of the electorate and outlaw live hare coursing and other blood sport activities as our neighbours in the U.K. have done.
Action Item 1
Please contact Minister of State, Sean Power, to convey your opposition to hare coursing.
Mr Sean Power, TD
Please contact Environment Minister, Dick Roche, who issues a licence to coursing clubs to capture hares from the wild for their blood sport. Demand an end to coursing in Ireland. Tell the Minister that hares should be allowed to live free from the cruelty of coursing.
Minister Dick Roche
Tel: +353 (0)1-8882403
Please also contact your local TDs/Senators and urge them to work for an end to coursing and all blood sports. If you get a response, please forward a copy to ICABS.
Write to your TD at:
Write to your Senator at:
For the names of current TDs and Senators, please visit the Irish Government Website at www.oireachtas.ie/members-hist/.
Action Item 2
Please contact the Catholic Communications Office and ask them to ensure that priests do not breach the Catholic Catechism by involving themselves with coursing and hunt clubs. The Director, Catholic Communications Office, St Patrick's College, Maynooth, Co Kildare. Tel: +353 (0)1 505 3000. Fax: +353 (0)1 601 6413. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos and Video: Coursing Cruelty