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Trespassing hunts will be "dealt with severely": farmers group
06 April 2006

The chairman of Farmers Against Foxhunting and Trespass has warned that hunts can expect the "severest legal action" if they continue to trespass on to farmland. The statement, published in the Kilkenny Voice newspaper, comes following an incident which saw a landowner desperately firing a shot into the air to keep a hunt at bay.

The statement from Mr Philip Lynch was published in the Kilkenny Voice of 28 March 2006 and appears below:

"On Stephen's Day last an embattled farmer in the Thomastown area of Co Kilkenny was compelled to fire his shotgun into the air, away from the hunt, over his farm. This as a last resort to stop a local hunt from entering and terrorising his livestock and vandalising his property. The shot was the only thing that could be heard over the din of the hunt.

"The farmer was one of 14 landowners in this area who had over a number of years placed advertisements in the local newspapers and sent letters to all five hunts that vandalise the area, asking them to stay away. All to no avail.

"The IFA had failed them in not implementing their agreements with the hunts. The Thomastown farmers then looked for the support of Farmers Against Foxhunting and Trespass (FAFT) and with our support and their determination an ultimatum has been issued to the hunting clubs.

"The hunting fraternity were then summoned to a meeting of the farmers in question, in the presence of their solicitor and they were threatened with the severest legal action if the hunts continued to trespass and vandalise the area.

"The hunts then apologised for their actions and stated that they would not intimidate or trespass on those 14 farmers' lands gain. The farmers thanked FAFT for the support they received and we will continue to be vigilant and monitor the hunts' movements to ensure that those events do not recur ever again.

"It is most regrettable that this favourable outcome to those farmers' problems could only be achieved through the barrel of a shotgun. Mr McDowell, please note. So much for the hunts' claim [that they] only go where they ask and have received permission from farmers.

"In the Tullaroan area also where the local hunt have been intimidating farmers and vandalising their property, video evidence of this was submitted by the farmers at a meeting with Kilkenny Gardai. A satisfactory outcome was achieved. It is now expected that this behaviour is at an end but video surveillance by the farmers will continue and any hunts in breach of farmers' wishes will be dealt with severely."

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