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Pro-hunt email doesn't reflect company opinions: Sherry Fitzgerald
21 November 2007

The Managing Director of estate agents, Sherry Fitzgerald, has assured ICABS that a pro-hunt email sent from one of its Meath franchise offices does not reflect the company's opinions. The author of the message signed herself as an employee of the branch and claimed that there were "thousands of reasons why [the Ward Union] should be supported".

The message, emailed to Dail Eireann, asked TDs to urge Minister John Gormley to issue a licence to the controversial hunt which a majority of Meath residents want banned.

"I kindly ask you [to] do anything in your power to push him to make a move on this issue," the message stated. "There are thousands of reasons why this hunt should be supportred...any help you can give us in pushing minister Gormley would be hugely appreciated."

In correspondence to Sherry Fitzgerald's Head Office, ICABS highlighted the cruelty of carted deer hunting.

We listed some of the victims of the Ward Union hunt in recent years.

  • A deer which died as a result of fractured ribs

  • A deer that drowned in a quarry

  • Two deer which died of aneurisms brought on by the stress of the chase

  • A deer hanging by its front leg on barbed wire during a hunt

  • A deer "accidentally" choked while being re-captured by the hunt

  • A deer, "having run eight miles in 90 minutes, showing extreme physical distress, panting through its mouth, with a lather of white foam around its muzzle"

  • A previously hunted deer showing body tremors, excessive salivation and panting - before the hunt even began

  • A deer with a bleeding leg

  • A stag struck dead by a truck during a hunt

  • A deer "covered in a lather of sweat [with] his tongue hanging out."

  • A deer charging down the main street of a Dublin village and jumping on to a shop roof in a frantic bid to escape

  • An exhausted stag "ready to collapse" at the end of a hunt with "steam and sweat coming off him"

Also brought to the company's attention was the results of the recent Meath Post opinion poll which found that nearly two thirds of Meath residents want the Ward Union deerhunt banned. 64 per cent of those polled by the newspaper said that they want Minister Gormley to refuse a licence to the hunt.

"It would seem therefore that your employee is in the minority of those wanting to retain this cruel hunt," Campaign Director, Aideen Yourell stated. "We have no doubt that the vast majority of your clientele nationally would not support her view."

In response, Sherry FitzGerald Countrywide Managing Director, Ian McCarthy MIAVI, assured ICABS that the email reflected the views of one person and not that of the branch or the company as a whole.

"The email was written in an absolutely personal capacity reflecting the author's personal and individual opinions and in no way was it intended to reflect either the opinions generally of that particular Sherry FitzGerald franchise office, the company or its employees generally," he stated.

ICABS has conveyed this clarification to the TDs who originally received the email. We have outlined to them that views expressed in the message are representative of just one person.

Videos: Carted deer hunting cruelty

Slideshow - Ward Union
Duration: 04:06
Ban the Ward Union
Duration: 00:30
Carted deer hunting
Duration: 04:51


Photos: carted deer hunting cruelty

A deer, drenched in sweat, stands weakly in the Ward Union's livestock trailer at the end of a gruelling cross-country chase. Please ask your local TDs and Senators to save deer from this cruel blood sport

Ward Union "deer handlers" wrestle the deer head-first into the ground at the end of a hunt. Animals are at great risk during this merciless move and at least one has been choked to death.

At the end of a hunt, one of the Ward Union hunt's "deer handlers" prevents an exhausted and injured deer from escaping by grabbing hold of its mouth and ear. Another handler attempts to hide the head injury by holding his hand over it.

The Ward Union's "deer handlers" surround an exhausted and injured deer at the end of a hunt and grab hold of its body to prevent it from escaping.

Ward Union hunt members push and pull the injured deer back towards the deer cart at the end of a hunt.


Please contact Environment Minister, John Gormley, and appeal to him to stop carted deer hunt cruelty by firmly refusing a licence to the Ward Union.

Sample Letter
(If you have time, please compose your own personal letter. Otherwise, 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 share the views of the majority of County Meath residents who, according to a Meath Post poll, want you to refuse a licence to the Ward Union hunt.

There is no place in modern Ireland for a cruel activity like carted deer hunting and I appeal to you to please refuse a licence to this hunt. This move will be welcomed by a huge cross-section of people in Meath and around Ireland and the world.

Thank you and best wishes.

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).

Sample Letter
(If you have time, please compose your own personal letter. Otherwise, send the short sample letter below. Be assertive, but polite, in all correspondence. Thank you.)

Dear [Deputy] or [Senator],

I am writing to ask you to please spare a few minutes to view an Irish Council Against Blood Sports slideshow which exposes the cruel activities of the Ward Union carted deer hunt. This revealing presentation, which features extracts from a damning Department of Agriculture report, can be seen at:

I trust that you will agree that this appalling blood sport has no place in modern Ireland. Please save the deer from the suffering caused by carted deer hunting by joining the widespread calls on Minister John Gormley to ban this hunt.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,


More information about carted deer hunting

Carted deer hunting: Leaflet | Photos | Videos | Petition

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