Pizza prank politician returns "distasteful" ICABS appeal
13 December 2012
Cork TD Michael McCarthy who was last week slammed for playing a cruel pizza delivery prank on Mattie McGrath has been challenged by ICABS after he returned correspondence in which we urged him to back a ban on Ireland's worst animal cruelty.
As part of our campaign to outlaw foxhunting, the digging out of foxes and the use of terriers to flush them out, we wrote to every single Minister, TD and Senator in the Oireachtas, appealing to them to support an amendment to ban this barbarity in the new Animal Health & Welfare Bill. To leave no doubt about the suffering involved, we enclosed photographs of injured Irish dogs and foxes.
Instead of expressing sympathy for the plight of the animals and offering to help, the Cork South West Labour TD, put our letter and photographs back into an envelope and sent them back. His accompanying curt message was: "If the purpose of this letter was to get my attention, then it worked. Very distasteful. Michael."
On phoning Deputy McCarthy's office to ask why he had returned our mail, a member of his staff proffered the view that we had "crossed the line" in sending the images and lectured us on how to correctly approach a TD.
We have since asked Deputy McCarthy, given that he took such offence to the images, if he had contacted the Minister for Agriculture and encouraged him to ban the digging out of foxes. He has not replied.
ICABS stands by its decision to send out the photos, particularly as there is an Animal Welfare Bill progressing through the Oireachtas, and we desperately need to let our elected representatives know about the horrific reality of what is happening on the ground in terms of cruelty to animals.
Last weekend, the Irish Independent reported that Deputy McCarthy was the TD who made a hoax phone call from the Dail Bar to Mattie McGrath TD on Friday, December 7. Deputy McGrath received the call while staging a sit-in at the HQ of the Friends First Finance Company, following an incident involving the attempted repossession of a tractor from a family farm in Wexford.
The report went on to say that McCarthy fooled McGrath with his impersonation of a pizza delivery man. "People have taken it in very bad taste that they were trying to make an eejit of me, especially on pre-Budget night," Mr McGrath was quoted as saying. "Instead of being inside lobbying the Minister for Finance about child benefit and carers, this was all they were doing, warming their a***s off the fire and pranking me."
A representative for Farm Contractors of Ireland, who was involved in the stand-off at Friends First, said he was "disgusted" with McCarthy and the other TDs who were in on the prank. "They should be ashamed of themselves," he said.
McCarthy was linked to more bad publicity earlier this month after Gardai were called to his Dunmanway constituency office to "deal with" a lone protester who attempted to photograph her placard in front of the building. The home-made placard displayed the message: "My disabled son needs 24/7/365 care. I get one hour and eight minutes help per day. I do ALL the rest, every day of every week of every year. Slashing the RESPITE GRANT is INHUMAN."
The Cork West Times of December 10th reported that when the protestor attempted to take a photo of the placard, a member of Deputy McCarthy’s staff challenged her. When told that the placard was part of a protest, the staff member reportedly said "this is private property, the guards are on the way."
A squad car subsequently arrived in response to the call.
"We have no garda cover here for large chunks of time due to cuts and yet a car-full can be mobilised instantly to protect your office from one carer of mature years with a placard," the protester observed in an email to Deputy McCarthy who later apologised.
URGENT ACTION ALERTS
Urge Labour leader, Eamon Gilmore, and his party colleagues to push for a ban on coursing, foxhunting, digging-out and terrierwork.
An Tanaiste, Eamon Gilmore
Office of the Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade,
80 St. Stephen’s Green,
Tel: 01 6183566 (Dail)
Tel: 01 408 2000 (Iveagh House)
Fax: 01 408 2400
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (With a copy to Labour Party TDs)
Contact Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney now and demand that a hunting/coursing exemption is removed from the Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 and that a full ban on digging out and terrierwork is introduced.
Minister Simon Coveney
Department of Agriculture
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
CC: email@example.com (An Taoiseach)
Tel: 01-607 2884 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.
Dear Minister Coveney,
I support the Irish Council Against Blood Sports' call on you to ensure that digging out and terrier work are among the activities outlawed under the new Animal Health and Welfare Bill. These horrendous acts of cruelty are carried out by sadistic individuals and also by merciless foxhunting groups. There is absolutely no excuse for this shameful animal abuse.
I urge you to ensure that the new Bill makes it an offence to dig out any animal, an offence to send terriers or other dogs below ground to catch or attack animals under any circumstances and an offence to use a pack of hounds to harass, attack, injure and/or kill any animal. I also urge you to outlaw hare coursing.
Thank you. I look forward to your positive response.
Contact all your local TDs now. Demand that they urgently help save foxes from cruelty and back a ban on hunting and digging out.
If you prefer to post a letter to your TDs, address your correspondence to:
Video: Stop Digging Out Cruelty in Ireland
Video: "Digging out is unacceptable" - Minister Simon Coveny
Videos: Foxhunting Cruelty
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