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Garda investigation into doping of coursing greyhounds
17 July 2012

A Garda investigation has been opened into the doping of coursing greyhounds in Ireland. It emerged last month that greyhounds at the Irish Cup and Clonmel coursing finals meets were found to have been given prohibited substances.

On June 27, the Irish Examiner reported that "Irish Cup winner Jeru Cavendish, under the guardianship of John O’Donoghue, Co. Clare and trained by John Browne, Co. Clare, has been sensationally disqualified almost four months after the event was staged at Patrickswell, Co Limerick."

The report outlined that tests from the National Greyhound Laboratory revealed that the winner of the JP McManus-sponsored event had tested positive for the banned substances, Ephedrine and Phenylpropanolamine, adding that an Irish Coursing Club committee ordered the forfeiture of the Eur80,000 prize money and trophies.

The dog had been nominated by former Labour Party leader, Dick Spring who has previously been condemned for his association with the cruel blood sport.

"Owned by eight-year-old Jenna O’Donoghue, Ballinagun, Cree, and trained by West Clare native, John Browne, Jeru Cavendish (Sienna Steel-Jeru) was an exciting and popular winner of the Irish Cup (64) worth Eur80,000 to the winner of which Eur8,000 goes to the winning nominator, Dick Spring, Tralee, the former, Tanaiste and Labour Party leader." from Fairytale ending to coursing season, Clare Champion, 01 March 2012

The Examiner went on to reveal that two greyhounds who competed at the coursing finals in Clonmel on February 1 were also found to have prohibited substances in their systems:

"Derby semi-finalist India Rio, owned by the Strictly Private Syndicate c/o John Murphy and trained by John Murphy, Co. Cork, was found to have the banned substance Modafinil in his system and has been retrospectively disqualified...Champion Stakes quarter-finalist Dresden Call, owned by Josephine McCarthy, Dublin and trained by John Kelliher, Co. Kerry, was found to have Ephedrine in his system and was duly disqualified." has today reported that a Garda investigation has now been opened into the doping of coursing greyhounds.

Read the report and leave a comment at

"After two days of coursing at Patrickswell the Irish Cup really needed something special. It came today in the shape of wonder pup Jeru Cavendish. The fully homebred son of Siena Steel - Jeru, owned in Cree, Co Clare by young Miss Jenna O'Donoghue (daughter of South Clare CC stalwart John), trained in Ennis by John Browne and nominated by first time nominator and former Tanaiste, Dick Spring, is JP McManus Irish Cup champion for 2012." from the Irish Coursing club website, February 2012


Contact Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney and demand that a ban on coursing is included in the Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012.

Minister Simon Coveney
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-607 2884 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.

Urgently contact An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and An Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore. Ask them to show compassion for wildlife and introduce an immediate ban on coursing and foxhunting.

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
Telephone: 01-6194020

An Tanaiste, Eamon Gilmore
Office of the Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade,
Tel: 01 6183566 (Dail) or 01 408 2000 (Iveagh House)

Email Both:;

Contact all your local TDs now. Demand that they urgently push for bans on coursing and foxhunting.

Find out the names of your TDs and their email addresses.

If you prefer to post a letter to your TDs, address your correspondence to:
Dail Eireann
Leinster House
Kildare Street
Dublin 2.

Please also arrange a meeting with your TDs at their local clinics. Contact us for details.

Former Tanaiste Dick Spring Was Nominator Of Doped Dog
19 July 2012

Former Tanaiste, Dick Spring, was the nominator of ‘Jeru Cavendish’, the doped greyhound that won the JP McManus Irish Cup coursing event at Limerick Racecourse last February, netting for himself Eur8,000 as the winning nominator.

The owner of the dog, an eight-year-old girl, won Eur72,000.

We understand that an Irish Coursing Club committee has ordered the forfeiture of this Eur80,000 prize money.

The dog tested positive for Ephedrine and Phenylpropanolamine after the event, and the Irish Council Against Blood Sports has called for a Garda investigation into this doping incident and two more at Clonmel in early February.

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports monitored the three-day JP McManus Irish Cup coursing event at Limerick Racecourse last February, and filmed hares being severely mauled by muzzled greyhounds. Our film footage can be viewed below.

It is clear that live hare coursing is rotten to the core, involving cruelty to hares and greyhounds which are, it seems, routinely doped, hence the revelations of doping at the so-called ‘blue riband’ events, the Irish Cup and the National Finals. It’s time the government moved to ban this despicable abuse, as has been done in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Hares hit and mauled at JP McManus-sponsored Irish Cup 2012

Monitoring the Irish Cup coursing meeting in February, ICABS witnessed appalling scenes of hares being terrorised and hit and carried off the field. Fleeing hares could be seen desperately trying to evade capture but on several occasions, they were unsuccessful. The dogs battered them, pinned them to the ground and mauled their delicate bodies. The pitiful cries were clearly audible. One hare was seen jumping against an advertisement board at the side of the field in a futile attempt to escape.

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