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Clonmel Chamber of Commerce asked to Stop Promoting Coursing Cruelty
14 July 2010

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has called on Clonmel Chamber of Commerce to stop promoting the blood sport of hare coursing. On its website and in a Discover Clonmel brochure, the chamber describes the local cruelty festival as "a colourful and unique sporting occasion".

In an email to Clonmel Chamber of Commerce CEO, Brian Cleary, and President, Tina Mulhearne, ICABS stated:

"We wish to express our disbelief and disappointment that Clonmel Chamber of Commerce deems it appropriate to present the cruel blood sport of hare coursing as a visitor attraction. On your website and in your Discover Clonmel brochure, coursing is described as a "sport" and the local coursing festival as a "colourful and unique sporting occasion". Photographs show greyhounds running but there is no sign of the frightened hares running for their lives. There is no mention of the horrific injuries suffered by hares or of the massive disturbance to the species caused by coursers when they forcefully remove thousands of hares from their habitats every year."

The Discover Clonmel brochure which features two pages about hare coursing and a listing for a planned coursing meeting in 2011.

Earlier this year, Ms Mulhearne welcomed coursers to the town. In a statement headed "Chamber Welcomes Visitors to Coursing Festival", it was noted that she "sent the best wishes of the organisation to the National Coursing Festival that celebrates its 85th year in Clonmel next week".

“From a business perspective the festival is a much welcomed boost to the town," she said, adding that "the influx of visitors to the town adds to the overall atmosphere."

ICABS criticised the Chambers attitude to this blood sport, saying "coursing is an activity Clonmel Chamber should be shunning, not embracing." We pointed to the majority opposition to coursing in Ireland and highlighted that coursing is illegal in the UK and that a ban has recently been announced in Northern Ireland.

"It is very saddening indeed that Clonmel Chamber of Commerce puts cash before compassion and is happy to see money being generated for the town from animal cruelty," we said.

Some of the victims of coursing brought to the attention of Clonmel Chamber are:

  • A hare "squealing in distress" after being caught by a muzzled dog
  • A hare suffering with "a badly broken hind leg"
  • A hare "carrying a hind leg"
  • A hare with "a damaged hind toe"
  • A coursed hare with a "badly broken hind leg [which] seemed to be in great distress"
  • A hare in agony in a coursing enclosure with its leg "almost completely broken off".

We have invited Clonmel Chamber of Commerce to view our campaign video at
and our photo gallery at


Urge Clonmel Chamber of Commerce to side with the Irish majority who recognise the cruelty of hare coursing and support a ban. Ask them to stop publicising this blood sport on its website and in its marketing material.

Brian Cleary, Chief Executive Officer
Tina Mulhearne, President

Clonmel Chamber of Commerce
8 Sarsfield Street, Clonmel, Tipperary
Tel: 052 61 26500. Fax: 052 61 26378.

Send an email to Brian Cleary and Tina Mulhearne,


Ask Minister John Gormley to refuse any further licence to the Irish Coursing Club and to amend the Wildlife Act so that the threatened hare species is urgently given full, permanent protection under law.

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

Email: [CC - An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen]
Tel: 01 888 2403. Fax: 01 878 8640.

Send a copy of your letter to all your local TDs. Find out the names of your TDs and their email addresses

A press statement issued by Clonmel Chamber of Commerce in 2010.

Campaign Videos: Ban Coursing in Ireland

More ICABS Videos

Slideshow: the cruelty of hare coursing in Ireland

Further Reading
The Facts About Hare Coursing
Stress and Capture Myopathy in Hares
Irish Hare: "conservation status is poor"
Hares and rabbits factsheet

More information about hare coursing

Coursing: Leaflet | Photos | Videos | Petition

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