Deep sadness at death of Tony Gregory, TD - the Animals' Champion
02 January 2009
The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is deeply saddened at the loss of our great ally, Tony Gregory TD, who was our Vice President for many years. Tony died today, January 2nd, at the age of 61. His untimely passing is an incalculable loss to our campaign.
Tony's deep sense of social justice and compassion for the vulnerable extended to the prevention of cruelty to animals in all its forms. He was to the forefront of the campaign to ban blood sports for decades, and in 1993, he courageously brought a Private Member's Bill to outlaw hare coursing, which although defeated, brought huge attention nationally to a barbarous activity that many other politicians would rather turn a blind eye to.
Tony's invaluable support continued down the years and right up until recently, despite his illness, he raised the issue of blood sports in the Dail and other public fora. Be it hare coursing, fox hunting or the Ward Union deer hunt, Tony was always willing and available to give his help and support.
He will be sorely missed by all of us. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis.
ICABS extends deepest sympathy to Tony's brother Noel, his partner Annette and to his extended family and friends.
Tony Gregory - The Animals' Champion
On behalf of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports, I wish to add to the many tributes paid to the late Tony Gregory TD, a deeply principled politician who worked tirelessly on behalf of his constituents and indeed for the greater good of all.
Tony Gregory's deep sense of social justice and compassion extended to animals, and he was a great ally of many groups campaigning on various animal welfare issues. We were most fortunate to have had Tony as our Vice President, and for decades he was to the forefront of the campaign to ban bloodsports. He informed himself very well on the issues, observing hare coursing, fox hunting and the carted deer hunt, so that he could see at first hand these cruel activities. And he wasn't afraid of getting his hands dirty either, when once coming across a badger sett illegally blocked by a foxhunt club, he rowed in and helped to unblock the sett, going on to face down the hunt and remonstrate with them in his usual direct fashion.
In 1993, he courageously brought a Private Member's Bill to outlaw hare coursing, which although defeated, brought huge attention nationally to a barbaric activity that many other politicians would rather turn a blind eye to. His performance in the Dail during the debate on coursing was spectacular. He spoke articulately with great passion, vividly describing the cruelty of hare coursing, and those of us present in the Dail gallery couldn't have been more proud of him. Sadly, only sixteen TDs supported the Bill, some of whom defied their party whip to do so. Would that others who had pledged their support at the time had done the same.
Tony continued down the years and right up until recently, despite his illness, raising the issue of bloodsports in the Dail and other public fora. His untimely passing is a huge loss to our campaign, but we are as determined as ever to secure the protection for animals that he so passionately pursued. He will be sorely missed by all of us. Ni bheidh a leithid aris ann.
Aideen Yourell, Campaign Director
Irish Council Against Blood Sports