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Traffic chaos as deer hunt strays on to public road
11 February 2009

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Ask Minister Gormley to withdraw hunt licence

Minister John Gormley has been urged to withdraw the licence he issued to the controversial Ward Union deer hunt. The call comes following photographic evidence from this season which shows what are believed to be breaches of the hunt's licence conditions.

The images, captured in Meath by ICABS observers, show trucks and cars being held up by hunters and hounds on roads. One image even shows a National Parks and Wildlife Service van on a clogged-up road being forced to reverse to allow oncoming traffic to pass. The NPWS official was present to monitor the hunt on behalf of Minister Gormley's office.

Bringing the images to the attention of the Minister, ICABS highlighted our belief that they are grounds for revoking the hunt's licence: "We believe that these incidents constitute a clear breach of condition 30 of the Ward Union's licence - 'The hunt shall conduct its activities so as not to interfere with or inconvenience the general public, this includes the parking of vehicles, horseboxes and riding on the roads.'"

ICABS is currently awaiting a response from Minister Gormley.


Urge Minister John Gormley to withdraw the hunt's current licence and to refuse future licences.

(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.

To: Environment Minister, John Gormley
Copy To: Green Party TDs, Senators
From: [*** Insert Your Name and Location Here ***]

Dear Minister Gormley:

I understand that condition 30 of the licence you granted to the Ward Union states that 'the hunt shall conduct its activities so as not to interfere with or inconvenience the general public, this includes the parking of vehicles, horseboxes and riding on the roads'. I believe that the scenes of road chaos captured by ICABS this season are very strong grounds for you to withdraw the licence and to refuse future licences.

I, of course, also urge you to stop licensing this hunt due to the animal suffering caused. Licensing this blood sport is contrary to the Green Party's animal welfare policies and its pre-election promise to 'introduce legislation to end blood sports'.

Please honour this promise for the animals and for the motorists in Meath and North County Dublin who are being inconvenienced and exposed to potential danger.

Thank you. I look forward to your reply.

Absolute mayhem: Cars and lorries are brought to a standstill as the pack of hunt hounds spill out on to the road.

With the hounds still on the road, traffic inches forward past the parked jeep of a hunt follower.

Roadblock: Hunters and hounds make this road totally impassable.

Horses, hounds and parked vehicles are seen here holding up traffic at this crossroads in Meath.

No way forward: A NPWS representative (present to monitor the hunt on behalf of Minister Gormley's office) is forced to reverse out of the way of oncoming traffic. The road has been reduced to a single lane due to the parked vehicles of hunt followers.

A hunter standing on the road looks down on traffic from his horse.

Ward Union followers block a road to traffic as mounted hunters cross in pursuit of the deer.

Vehicles delayed behind horseback hunters on a narrow country lane.

Hunters casually standing on the road and narrowing it to traffic.

A hunt follower signals to lorries that have been delayed due to horses and hounds on the road.

A mounted hunter crashes through a hedge on to a public road, narrowly missing a collision with an ICABS observer

Video: Urge the Green party to ban blood sports

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Video: Hunts on Irish Roads

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