latest news

Department investigating hare netting from islands
24 August 2010

The Department of the Environment is investigating claims that hares were netted on two west coast islands last year without the permission of the landowners. Read more in the newspaper reports below.

Department investigates hare-netting allegations
Sean Mac Connell, Agriculture Correspondent
The Irish Times - August 23, 2010

Claims that hares were netted on two west coast islands last year without the permission of the landowners are being investigated by the Department of the Environment.

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports said the hares were netted on Hog island off Clare and Oyster island off Sligo in breach of Section 44 of the Wildlife Act. It said documents obtained by it under the Freedom of Information Act from the National Parks and Wildlife Service, showed that in last October, 39 hares were netted from Hog island for Killimer Kilrush coursing club.

Other documents showed that in December 2009, 34 hares were taken from Oyster island for use by the Tubbercurry/ Kilcreevin/ Ballymoe coursing club. The council said that when it contacted the owners of the islands, it was informed that permission to take the hares had not been given in either case. “Furthermore, we were informed that in the case of Oyster island, the Rosses Point gardaí instructed the hare netters to leave the island on December 16th, 2009, and recorded 47 hares taken by them in contrast to the club’s figure of 34 hares,” it said.

In a statement last night the Department of the Environment said it was investigating the cases identified by the council. The department said while it had issued the Irish Coursing Club with their licences to capture hares for the 2010-2011 season, the Minister can still apply sanctions against individual clubs if it can be proven that they breached conditions of the licence.

The council against blood sports had called on the Minister for the Environment John Gormley to refuse licences to these clubs on the basis that they breached the Wildlife Act and to prosecute those involved under the Wildlife Act.

The Irish Coursing Club, which controls coursing in Ireland, said it had received a letter from the National Parks and Wildlife Service containing the complaints about the allegations relating to Oyster island. This letter, which was dated August 19th, was forwarded by the coursing club to the Tubbercurry club for its comments.

Michael Kilcoyne, secretary of the Tubbercurry and district coursing club, who is abroad, said he would deal with the allegations made against the club when he returned home later this week.

Efforts to contact the other club involved, Kilimor/Kilrush club, were unsuccessful but the Irish Coursing Club said it would be asking both clubs for reports on the allegations made.

The netting season for hares for the 2010-2011 season began last weekend and the Irish Council Against Blood Sports criticised Mr Gormley for allowing netting to go ahead.

Investigation into reports of illegal netting of hares
by Andrew Hamilton
The Clare People - 29 August 2010

The Department of the Environment is investigating reports of illegal hare netting on Hogg Island off the west Clare Coast.

According to information obtained from the National Parks and Wildlife Service under the Freedom of Information Act, 39 hares were netted on the small island last October. According to the Irish Council Against Blood Sport (ICABS), the island is routinely being raided for hares by coursing clubs without the owners permission.

ICABS say they contacted the owners of Hogg Island who said that no permission has been given to use the island and the group has now called on Environment Minister John Gormley to refuse a licence to any coursing club which is found to have trapped hares from Hogg Island or any other location without permission from the landowner.

The trapping of hares without the permission of the landowner is a breach of the current Wildlife Act.


Urge Minister John Gormley to stop licensing coursing. Send a copy of your correspondence to all of your TDs and encourage them to back a ban on the blood sport.

Minister John Gormley
Department of the Environment, Custom House, Dublin 1.
[CC - An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen]
Tel: 01 888 2403. Fax: 01 878 8640.

Find out the names of your TDs and their email addresses

(If you have time, please compose your own personal letter. Otherwise, send the short sample letter below. Be assertive, but polite, in all correspondence. Thank you.)

Dear Minister Gormley,

I am disappointed to learn that you have issued a licence to the Irish Coursing Club for another season of coursing cruelty.

In coursing, hares continue to die at all stages - during the capture, during the time they are kept in captivity, during the coursing meetings and also subsequent to their release back to the wild. Such deaths have been documented by your NPWS division. These timid and fragile creatures die as a result of physical injuries or from the stress caused by human handling and being chased by greyhounds.

I urge you to act on the wishes of the electorate who want this activity outlawed. Please stop licensing coursing.

Thank you, Minister.

Yours sincerely,


Campaign Videos: Ban Coursing in Ireland

More ICABS Videos

Slideshow: the cruelty of hare coursing in Ireland

Further Reading
The Facts About Hare Coursing
Stress and Capture Myopathy in Hares
Irish Hare: "conservation status is poor"
Hares and rabbits factsheet

More information about hare coursing

Coursing: Leaflet | Photos | Videos | Petition

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