The politician, the priest and the millionaire's wife
14 December 2012
Among those linked to the tawdry coursing scene in recent weeks are a politician, a priest and the wife of multi-millionaire, JP McManus.
At the Knockgraffon coursing meet in November, the owner of a winning greyhound is listed as The Coalition Syndicate. ICABS can reveal that one of the members of this syndicate is Tipperary South Fine Gael TD, Tom Hayes. Hayes who was last year photographed at a foxhunt meet is on record as saying "I love what is good in rural Ireland, whether it is coursing, hunting hares, beagling or whatever."
In February 2012, he announced that "1 million Euro has been secured for the redevelopment of Clonmel Greyhound Stadium following discussions with Bord na gCon", adding that he expected to see the entire project "completed in time for the 2013 coursing season".
The owner of a runner-up greyhound ("Bridie's Dashing") at the same coursing meet is listed as Catholic priest, Fr Maurice Brick. Despite complaints to church authorities, Brick has remained involved in the activity. He first came to the attention of ICABS in 1999 when his greyhound won the coursing finals in Clonmel.
Responding to criticism at the time, he refused to acknowledge the cruelty. Speaking on the Pat Kenny Radio Show, he outlined how a former parish priest acquired a dog for him in 1994 and that he has since been involved in what he described as the "whole phenomena" of coursing.
He went on to claim that those in his parish who are opposed to live hare coursing would "respect my involvement in it [because] of the fact that it is well intentioned". One caller into the show, however, reflected what might perhaps be a more likely response from such parishioners. Caller John's remark was: I am amazed that a priest condones blood sports - If I was in that parish, I would refuse to attend Mass officiated by Fr Brick.
Brick is said to have named a coursing dog after his housekeeper. One courser is quoted as saying "Fr Maurice Brick was a curate, and he used call all his dogs "Curate this", or "Curate that", but he was promoted to parish priest there lately. Now he has a dog called "Parish Chart", and the bitch, "Bridie's Best". Bridie was his housekeeper, and she'd look after his dogs when he couldn't do it himself."
Brick is currently based in the Lixnaw Parish in County Kerry. The Lixnaw coursing club lotto results are regularly featured in the parish newsletter.
Meanwhile, "Mister Music" - the winning greyhound at last month's Thurles coursing meet - is listed as being owned by Mrs Noreen McManus. A photo showing a hare desperately trying to escape from her greyhound can be viewed at http://tinyurl.com/ckzrjp4 (Note: this is a link to a pro-coursing website)
Noreen McManus is the wife of millionaire businessman and coursing sponsor JP McManus. Earlier this year, at a coursing meeting sponsored by JP McManus, ICABS monitors filmed hares being terrorised and hit - See footage below.
Fleeing hares could be seen 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. Their pitiful cries were clearly audible. ICABS has called on McManus to end his sponsorship.
Contact these individuals and ask them to show compassion for Irish wildlife and end their involvement in cruel hare coursing.
Tom Hayes, TD
Upper Gladstone Street, Clonmel
Tel: +353 (0)1-6183168
Tel: +353 (0)62 62892 / +353 (0)52 61 80731
Very Rev. Maurice Brick
Lixnaw, Co. Kerry
Tel: +353 (0)66-7132111. Fax: +353 (0)66-7132171
JP and Noreen McManus
c/o Martinstown Stud
Martinstown, Kilmallock, Co Limerick
Tel: +353 (0)63 88088
Fax: +353 (0)63 88084
Campaign Videos: Ban Coursing in Ireland
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Slideshow: the cruelty of hare coursing in Ireland
More information about hare coursing
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