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Offaly coursers lose licence
01 June 2006

An official from the Ballinagar Coursing Club has been fined 300 Euro after being convicted of obstructing a NPWS wildlife ranger. The offence took place following a coursing meet in October 2004. The Offaly club has now lost its licence.

As reported on RTE's Six One News on Tuesday, Judge Thomas Fitzpatrick - speaking at Tullamore District Court - said that coursing was a rather controversial "sport" that a lot of people objected to. But, he said that this case had absolutely nothing to do with cruelty.

For full details, please view the RTE News report by clicking on the following link:

Offaly coursing club loses licence
(RTE Six One News - 30 May 2006)

Charlie Colgan
Fined 300 Euro: Charlie Colgan outside Tullamore District Court.

Newspaper Report - The Star

Coursing man fined over hares row
by Kevin Farrell
The Star (31st May 2006)

A coursing club official was fined yesterday for obstructing a wildlife ranger and refusing to give the ranger his name. The court heard that Offaly's Ballinagar Coursing Club had lost its licence as a result of the incident on October 25, 2004.

Charles Colgan (62) of Cappincur, Tullamore, was fined 200 for obstruction and 100 for refusing to give his name. Judge Tom Fitzpatrick said he accepted that Colgan was a highly respected member of the local community with no previous convictions. But it was not Colgan's function to tell wildlife officers how to do their job, he said.

Ranger Noel Bugler told the special sitting of Tullamore District Court that he had been checking boxes of hares being loaded into a van. But Colgan told him to get out of the van, and had pulled him. He said Colgan had told him to f*** off" - and had refused to move when he said he had being assaulted. Bugler told a defence solicitor who suggested he had appeared "out of nowhere" and jumped into the van - on top of the hares - that he had been trying to "speed things up".

Colgan who said he been involved in coursing for 40 years told the court "I said "Hold on there - I' ll take them out for you, but he kept moving on top of the hares. " He said Bugler began to get on his nerves - "so I said to him: "get to hell out of there."

Colgan said the only physical contact had been when Bugler's rubber boot contacted his arm as the ranger was getting out of the van. He agreed that he might had told Bugler to "feck off".

The judge said that he found it hard to reconcile a defence suggestion that getting on top of the hares would frighten them with the fact that the same hares were chased by greyhounds.

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