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ICABS thanks Deputy Tommy Broughan for vote abstention
01 July 2010

Tommy Broughan, TD

ICABS has sent a message of thanks to Dublin North East TD, Tommy Broughan, after he abstained from voting in the Wildlife Amendment Bill vote on Tuesday. Deputy Broughan has been "kicked out" of the Labour Party for not following his party colleagues in their shameful opposition to the bill which banned staghunting.

The Irish Times confirmed that "Tommy Broughan, a longtime opponent of blood sports, had the party whip removed after absenting himself from the final vote."

In an email to Deputy Broughan, ICABS stated: "We wish to thank you very much for remaining true to your principles and refusing to vote against the Wildlife Amendment Bill on Tuesday. Your action helped achieve success for this historic bill and bring the cruel ward union hunt to an end. You have our greatest respect and admiration."

According to a report in the Irish Examiner "Tommy Broughan was kicked out of his parliamentary party for failing to turn up. Labour whip Emmet Stagg wrote to Mr Broughan and said after his abstention on the Criminal Justice Bill, the second AWOL was unacceptable. Mr Broughan did not comment."

Ahead of the vote on Tuesday, ICABS wrote to all of Labour's TDs who had previously expressed opposition to blood sports and reminded them of their earlier statements. With the exception of Deputy Broughan and former ICABS vice-chairperson, Michael D Higgins, TD (who was absent from the Dail on medical grounds), all the other Labour TDs voted AGAINST the stag hunt ban.

ICABS had remained hopeful that Tommy Broughan would not vote against the bill. "I remain opposed to all so-called blood 'sports'," he had previously assured us. During the Dail debate on the Wildlife Amendment Bill, Minister John Gormley praised Deputy Broughan for not voting on the second stage of the bill. "It was encouraging to see that Deputy Broughan did not turn up for the vote on Second Stage," Minister Gormley commented. "I know of his personal conviction. We shall see whether he turns up later but I doubt it. I applaud that."

ICABS has also thanked Labour Party Senator, Ivana Bacik, for refusing to vote against the ban. The Irish Times has reported that the Labour Party senator abstained in a Seanad vote on the Wildlife Amendment Bill.

In the article by Jimmy Walsh, it is outlined that Senator Bacik "told the House that she could not vote against the Wildlife (Amendment) Bill" because she had "a long record on the stag hunting issue [and] had worked with groups opposed to it for some years".

On her Twitter page, she stated "I have abstained on stag hunting bill. Couldn't oppose ban on principle."

Senator Bacik was very critical of the pro-Ward Union lobby group, RISE, describing their tactics as "unacceptable". She said they engaged in scaremongering and had whipped up a certain reaction to the Bill which she thought was unwarranted.

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports thanks Senator Ivana Bacik for standing by her principles. Unlike most of her Labour Party colleagues in Dail Eireann, Senator Bacik remained true to a previously stated opposition to blood sports.

In 2007, ICABS thanked her for supporting our campaign for a ban on carted deer hunting. "I am asking you to refuse a licence to the Ward Union deer hunt," she stated in a letter to Environment Minister, John Gormley at the time. "The Irish Council Against Blood Sports are mounting a campaign against this, which I support."

The Times report of 1st July also highlighted that Seanad deputy leader Dan Boyle (Green Party) said he would like to see more legislation dealing with blood sports but that he thought it was becoming more unlikely that this would happen.

“Getting this type of agreement in a programme for government has been difficult enough," he said. "Listening to the performance of both main opposition parties, it would seem to me that further progress in this area is nigh on impossible.”

The second stage of the Bill was passed by 30 votes to 18 with Ms Bacik abstaining and Dominic Hannigan not voting. He was paired.

labour party website page
We're sorry: Tommy Broughan TD's profile page has been removed from the Labour Party website. Deputy Broughan had the party whip removed for his admirable stance in remaining true to his principles and not joining party colleagues in their shameful opposition to the staghunt ban. You can visit Deputy Broughan's main website at


Please send a message of thanks to Tommy Broughan, TD -

Please send a message of thanks to Senator Ivana Bacik -


Please join us in sending a message of congratulations to Minister John Gormley and the Green Party. Email "Congratulations on Success of Wildlife Amendment Bill 2010" or your own personal message to Green Party TDs and Senators

Labour TDs reminded of their anti-blood sports views ahead of vote to ban cruel Ward Union deerhunt
29 June 2010

ICABS has reminded Labour Party TDs of their previously stated anti-blood sports views. We are urging the TDs to stand by their principles and vote in favour of the Wildlife Amendment Bill. The party has stated that they will be opposing the bill.

Update: With the exception of Tommy Broughan and Michael D Higgins, all of Labour Party's TDs voted AGAINST the staghunt ban. They are: Joan Burton, Sean Sherlock, Eamon Gilmore, Pat Rabbitte, Joe Costello, Brendan Howlin, Ciarán Lynch, Kathleen Lynch, Liz McManus, Brian O'Shea, Jan O'Sullivan, Willie Penrose, Ruairí Quinn, Róisín Shortall, Emmet Stagg, Joanna Tuffy, Mary Upton and Jack Wall.

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