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Westmeath coursing club refused licence
13 September 2007

A hare coursing club in County Westmeath has been refused a licence for a meeting in October. Although ICABS is pleased that at least one club has been stopped, it's little consolation - the licence recently issued by Minister Gormley allows 90 other coursing meetings to proceed. Our campaign against this deplorable blood sport continues.

Westmeath United Coursing Club, based in Raharney, was refused a licence for the 2-day meeting due to a serious licence breach in August 2006 when they were found to have hares on their premises, outside the licence period.

The club was reported to the National Parks and Wildlife Service by ICABS after a caller to our offices alerted us to the presence of hares on the club's grounds.

The club was subsequently convicted at Killucan District Court last June. Club chairman, Brendan Farrelly, admitted at the time that the hares had been caught outside the period specified on the licence. Quoted in the local media, he claimed that "it was simply over-enthusiasm on the part of some members."

Mr Farrelly resigned his position as chairman of the general purposes sub-committee of the Irish Coursing Club, but maintained that this was unconnected to his own club's licence breach.

"On the basis of breaches of the previous licence the Minister has decided to exclude one of the affiliated clubs from the licence for the coming season and to curtail the activities of two other affiliated clubs," Minister Gormely announced in a statement.

ICABS has welcomed this season's ban on the netting of hares for use as live lures by the Westmeath United Coursing Club. ICABS spokesperson Aideen Yourell commented: "At least the hares in that area are spared the trauma and terror of being snatched from the wild and kept captive in a coursing compound to be used as live lures before greyhounds in a barbaric activity more suitable to the dark ages than present day Ireland."

Our campaign to secure a ban on all coursing clubs continues. Please help by responding to our action alerts below.

Hare Coursing Gallery - Image 1
A hare is mauled into the ground by a muzzled greyhound during a coursing meeting. This is one of the thousands of hares cruelly captured in the Irish countryside every year for use in the blood sport.


Please contact Environment Minister, John Gormley, and appeal to him to reconsider his decision to licence hare coursing. Urge him to stand firm against the Ward Union and refuse a licence for their abuse of deer.

Sample Letter
(Please compose your own personal letter if possible. If you do not have time to do this, please send the short sample letter below. Be assertive, but polite, in all correspondence. Thank you.)

Minister John Gormley
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Custom House, Dublin 1.

Tel: 01 888 2403.
Fax: 01 878 8640.

Dear Minister Gormley,

I am writing to express my great disappointment at your decision to licence hare coursing in Ireland. This licence not only disregards the awful animal cruelty of coursing but also the wishes of the majority of Irish adults who want this barbarism banned. I hope that you will find a way to urgently bring coursing to an end in Ireland.

I understand that you will be considering the licensing of carted deer hunting in the coming weeks. I implore you to stand firm against the Ward Union and refuse this licence.

In its pre-election manifesto, the Green Party pledged to ban blood sports when in government. You now have the opportunity to fulfil this promise and end the suffering of deer and hares.

Yours sincerely,



Please contact your local TD and Senator and ask them to make an appeal to Minister Gormley on your behalf.

For the names of your TDs, please click on your county on the Irish Government website

Contact your TD at:
Dail Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 337889 (1890 DEPUTY).

For a list of Senators, please visit the Irish Government website

Contact your Senator at:
Seanad Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 732 623 (1890 SEANAD).

Videos: The cruelty of hare coursing and carted deer hunting

Hare coursing Carted deer hunting

More information about blood sports

Carted deer hunting: Leaflet | Photos | Videos | Petition

Coursing: Leaflet | Photos | Videos | Petition

Foxhunting: Leaflet | Photos | Videos | Petition

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