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Hunts on roads: Gay given evidence
08 September 2006

To coincide with the formal establishment of the Road Safety Authority, ICABS has this month sent video footage to chairman, Gay Byrne, showing numerous instances of hunts encroaching on to public roads. We are calling for the elimination of this potential danger by making roads off limits to hunts.

The footage follows a letter sent to the RSA back in March in which we highlighted the hazards. In reply, Gay Byrne stated: "I note with interest the points you make about the potential road safety issues arising from hunts and their access to public roads. This is an issue the RSA will consider further."

ICABS has welcomed this positive response and are pleased to now be able to supply the video evidence which explicitly shows the true extent of the problem. Our footage shows:

  • Mounted hunters causing tailbacks by hogging entire lanes

  • Hunters riding on both sides of a main road

  • Hunt-related traffic forcing an ambulance and school bus to stop

  • Hunters and hounds coming on to a road right in front of an approaching car

In our latest letter to Gay Byrne, ICABS has asked him to view the footage and prioritise moves to keep hunters off the roads. We pointed out that if a motorist hits a hunt horse or swerves to avoid a collision with horses or hounds, serious injuries or fatalities may result.

Mounted hunter and hounds on road in front of red car
They think they own the roads: A hunt master blindly leads a pack of hounds on to a main road - directly into the path of an oncoming vehicle. The motorist is forced to slow down and stop to avert an accident.

Four images showing hunts on Irish roads
Clockwise from top left: A motorist brakes hard as the road ahead becomes clogged with hunt horses, a hunt follower trots across the path of a car on a main road, whose lane is it anyway: hunters gallop along after hounds, totally indifferent to the traffic behind, a mounted hunter alongside a riderless horse blocks a country road.


Action Item

1. Please do not hesitate to complain to the Gardai if hunts come on to public roads and interfere in any way with the free flow of traffic.

The phone numbers of Garda stations all over Ireland can be found at

2. Please write to Garda HQ and ask for urgent action to be taken to keep hunts off our roads.

If you have seen hunters, hunt horses and hounds and/or hunt followers causing inconvenience or danger to road users, please mention this in your correspondence.

Mr Noel Conroy
An Garda Siochana
Garda HQ
Phoenix Park
Dublin 8


3. Urge the Road Safety Authority to prioritise action to make roads off-limits to hunts.

Mr Gay Byrne
Road Safety Authority
Government Offices
Co Mayo

Tel: 096-78289
Fax: 096-78287
Email: (Mr Noel Brett, CEO, RSA)

4. Write to your local TD and Senator and alert them to the dangers of hunts coming on to roads.

Urge them to support the campaign to clear our roads of hunt horses and hounds and remind them of the merits of drag hunting, the humane alternative to fox and deer hunting. In draghunting, the route followed by the "hunt" is pre-planned so as to avoid encroachments on to public roads, railway lines and prohibited land.

Write to your TD at:
Dail Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 337 889.

Write to your Senator at:
Seanad Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 732 623.

For the names and contact details of politicians, please visit the Irish Government Website at:

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