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Absolutely ridiculous : Junior Minister Shane McEntee's coursing claim
02 February 2012

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports refutes utterly claims made by Junior Minister Shane McEntee in today's Irish Times that "there's no danger to the hare" during coursing.

What planet does this Minister live on? If a hare is forced to run before two greyhounds, muzzled or not, the risk of its being hit, pinned and mauled is clearly there, and this is borne out by National Parks monitoring reports, obtained by us under FOI, year after year.

For example, at Tradaree, 6 hares died of their injuries from being mauled by greyhounds, while 1 was put down directly after a mauling; at Freshford, 6 hares were hit by dogs, 3 injured and 2 died from injuries; at Liscannor, 3 hares were injured, 2 put down and 9 hares "sick or otherwise unfit" after coursing; at Doon, 7 hares were pinned by greyhounds, 4 injured, 2 of which were put down; at Tubbercurry, 2 hares were injured, 2 "sick or otherwise unfit after coursing", with 1 hare "injured in a box … and died"; at Loughrea, 2 hares were injured and put down, while another died "in transit to Mayo"; at Glanworth, 4 hares were injured during coursing and 5 hares were "sick or otherwise unfit" afterwards; at Ennis, 3 hares were hit by dogs, 1 injured and put down, with another dying from its injuries; at Mitchelstown, 6 hares were hit by dogs, 1 put down and 1 found dead in a box, with the vet's report stating that 8 hares were "sick or otherwise unfit" afterwards; at Thurles, 8 hares were hit by dogs, 2 died "overnight" and at Ballyheigue, 3 hares were hit, 1 injured and 1 put down.

It should be noted that not all coursing meetings are monitored by National Parks officials, so we can only conclude that the injuries and fatalities cited above are just the tip of the iceberg.

Deputies Maureen O'Sullivan and Clare Daly are to be applauded for their courage in bringing a Private Members' Bill to banish the barbarity that is hare coursing, and we appeal to any TD in Dail Eireann, with an ounce of compassion, to give their support to this Bill. After all, our neighbours in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have all banned hare coursing, leaving our Republic the last bastion of this backwoods barbarism.


If you are one of Shane McEntee's Meath East constituents, please contact him now.

Telephone: 01-6072977
Address: Department of Agriculture, Agriculture House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2


Contact Minister Jimmy Deenihan now and urge him to stop licensing hare coursing.

Jimmy Deenihan, TD
Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs
Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
23 Kildare Street
Dublin 2

[with a copy to An Taoiseach -]
Tel: (01) 631 3802
Fax: (01) 661 1201

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

Dear Minister Deenihan,

I am one of the majority who want hare coursing outlawed. I am writing to urge you to stop licensing this blood sport and put in place permanent protection for the Irish Hare.

In coursing, hares suffer and die at all stages - during the capture, during the time they are kept in captivity and during the coursing meetings where they run for their lives in front of greyhounds. Among the injuries recorded are broken legs, damaged toes and dislocated hips.

I ask you to please act on the wishes of the majority, show compassion and bring coursing to an end in Ireland.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,


Forward a copy of your correspondence to your local TDs:
Find out the name of your TDs and their email addresses.

Write to your TDs at:
Dáil Éireann
Leinster House
Kildare Street
Dublin 2.

Quotes: Shane McEntee and blood sports

Shane McEntee, TD (FG, Meath East):
"Those who hunt are great people — I have listened to them...Fine Gael and the Labour Party do not want to have to reintroduce stag hunting when Fianna Fail and the Green Party leave Government, whether it is now or in two years’ time. We do not want to have to spend time on that. However, we will bring it back in. That is guaranteed...I know all the people involved in the Ward Union Hunt and in other hunts. They are all farming-minded people, so to speak. As Deputy Michael Kennedy said, he was not a farming person but these people are all animal lovers. They would stay up at night to mind a calf that was born two months premature. They would get up ten times at night to make sure it lived. They would do it for any animal. They are not cruel people and I resent that insinuation from anybody." Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010: Second Stage, 24 June 2010. Deputy McEntee voted AGAINST the bill.

"I am calling on the Environment Minister, John Gormley to grant a licence to the Ward Union Hunt to hunt live stags...Any doubts about the future of the Ward Union Hunt should be removed. Meath would be a poorer place if the Ward Union Hunt was not allowed to hunt across its fields...hunting has a long and honourable tradition in County Meath" (From a statement headed "Hands off Hunting", issued by Shane McEntee in 2007. For more, please see Meath TD slammed for defending animal cruelty)

"The Ward Union is an iconic representation of rural life in Ireland...As a Deputy, I will oppose [a ban on the hunt]." (From Hunting Licences, Adjournment Debate, 2 December 2009).

"We will not be doing anything to ban hunting, coursing or other pursuits..." Welfare of Greyhounds Bill 2011: Second Stage Thursday, 30 June 2011

In complete contast, Deputy McEntee claimed to ICABS representatives in March 2010 that he is "against animal cruelty".

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