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Eircom glamorises blood sport barbarism in World Cup advert

13th June, 2002

Eircom glamorises blood sport barbarism

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports says thumbs down to Eircom for their appalling bullfight image which appeared in half page adverts in the Irish Independent and Irish Times during the World Cup.

In opting for an image which shows a bull with spiked banderillas embedded in its shoulders and a matador wearing a green jersey (the idea being, no doubt, that the matador - the Irish team - is pitted against Spain - the bull), Eircom has turned a blind eye to the barbarism and cruelty of this blood sport.

Eircom Glamorises Bloodsport Barbarism
Eircom saw nothing wrong with placing an Irish jersey alongside an injured and bleeding bull.

Over the past five years, the Irish Council Against Blood Sports has been appealing to holidaymakers, with the help and co-operation of Irish travel agents, not to visit the Spanish bullrings where thousands of animals are tortured and killed annually for "entertainment". It is mainly tourists to Spain who keep this cruel activity going. The majority of Spanish people oppose bullfighting and many animal welfare groups in Spain are campaigning for an end to this vile animal abuse.

Shame on Eircom for associating Ireland, Irish soccer and the green jersey with this sick and brutal practice which causes immense suffering to thousands of innocent animals.


Please contact Eircom's CEO and complain about this glamorisation of bullfighting. Point out how thousands of bulls are slowly tortured and killed in Spain's bullrings every year and how bullfighting has nothing whatsoever to do with real sports like football.


Philip Nolan
Eircom Plc
St Stephen's Green West
Dublin 2.

Email: (Philip Nolan's personal assistant)

Star's cheap shot with front page World Cup matador image

16th June, 2002

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is outraged at the Star Newspaper's grotesque and shameful front page image yesterday showing Mick McCarthy's head superimposed on a matador. The image also includes a bull with the horrific instruments of torture (banderillas, i.e. sharp spikes with barbs) embedded in its shoulders and a look of sheer terror on its face.

This theme of the Irish football manager (the bullfighter) taking on the Spanish team (the bull) is cheap, tacky and highly offensive. It does a disservice to the sport of football, to the manager, Mick McCarthy, and to the team as a whole. It is also offensive to the many Spanish and Irish people who oppose bullfighting. It is an insult to compare real sports people with torturers who mete out horrific cruelty to innocent animals.

Eircom Glamorises Bloodsport Barbarism

This image of cruelty follows on from Eircom's sponsorship advert on a similar theme last week. The advert which appeared in the Irish Independent and Irish Times was the subject of complaints from members of the public to both Eircom and the Advertising Standards Association.

ICABS is shocked and disappointed that the Star Newspaper, a publication which has championed our campaign against cruel bloodsports over the years, should stoop so low as to carry an image which we see as endorsing and glamorising one of the world's worst bloodsports. We feel particularly let down by the Star as they were the recipient of our Edward White Memorial Award some years ago for exposing the cruelty of live hare coursing in a dramatic picture.

Has the Star Newspaper abandoned its principled stand on animal cruelty? We challenge them to research the issue of bullfighting and carry a report on the reality of this truly sick and evil activity. The facts and images showing the full horror of bullfighting can be obtained on the website of Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe at


Please write to the Star and ask them not to glamorise bullfighting in this way again. Also suggest that they publish an article on the cruelty of bullfighting in an effort to redress the balance.


The Editor
The Star
Star House
Terenure Road North
Dublin 6W.

Tel: 01-4901228.
Fax: 01-4902 193

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