latest news

Heritage Council questioned over wildlife grant to gun club
13 March 2008

The awarding of a wildlife grant to a gun club has been questioned by ICABS Vice President, Tony Gregory, TD. The Leitrim shooting group received 4,000 Euro from the Heritage Council under its 2007 Wildlife Grants Scheme. ICABS is calling for groups connected to wildlife killing to be excluded from future grant schemes.

In a Dail Question to Environment Minister John Gormley, Deputy Gregory questioned the appropriateness of giving a grant to a gun club. Although the Minister outlined that he is not responsible for choosing grant recipients, he confirmed that the Council's function is to "propose policies and priorities for, preservation and enhancement of the national heritage."

In a letter to the Heritage Council, ICABS asked how they could justify a wildlife grant to a group involved in shooting wildlife. The grant was for a red grouse habitat survey and habitat management plan.

Responding, Heritage Council, Wildlife Officer, Cliona O'Brien stated: "Council assessed the project application on its own merits, determined the project met the relevant criteria and was awarded a grant."

The gun club which received the grant is affiliated to the National Association of Regional Game Councils whose members are responsible for the killing of tens of thousands of wild creatures every year.

In 2006, following representations from ICABS to the Heritage Council (relating to a massive grant for the eradication of rabbits from an island), we were led to believe that in the future, the Heritage Council would consider avoiding projects with connections to animal killing.

A Heritage Council spokesperson stated at the time: "The Heritage Council will address this more seriously in the grant programme from here on out. I would hope that for the 2007 round of grant awards, policy advice in this area will have been developed and issued from the Heritage Council where necessary."

ICABS has renewed its appeal to the Heritage Council to give a commitment that no further funds will be awarded to groups involved in the killing of Irish wildlife. Please help by responding to the action alert below.

red grouse
A red grouse - one of the many bird species shot by recreational shooters in Ireland. Photo: Bird Watch Ireland


Please contact the Heritage Council and ask them to exclude from its grant schemes any group connected with killing animals.

Cliona O'Brien,
Wildlife Officer,
Heritage Council,
Rothe House, Kilkenny.

Tel: 056 7770777

Parliamentary Questions and Answers

Question 314 - Answered on 5th March, 2008

Tony Gregory: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the reason the Heritage Council felt it was appropriate to give a grant to a gun club (detail supplied) in County Leitrim under the 2007 biodiversity fund for a Red Grouse habitat survey/habitat management plan.

Written reply. Ref No: 9565/08

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr. Gormley): The Heritage Council was established in July, 1995, under the Heritage Act, 1995 to "propose policies and priorities for the identification, protection, preservation and enhancement of the national heritage." I have no direct function in relation to grants schemes, including the Wildlife Grant Scheme, administered by the Council and any enquiry in regard to a specific grant should be made directly to the Council itself (Rothe House, Kilkenny or tel. 056 7770777).

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.

News Menu | Join | Top | Home