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GAA questioned over removal of hares from football field
26 June 2013

ICABS is calling on the GAA to investigate the circumstances surrounding the removal of hares from a football field in County Clare. Thirteen hares were taken from the grounds of a local GAA club and used as lures in coursing.

"If the club allowed these hares to be taken, we appeal to the GAA to intervene to ensure that this is prevented from occurring again," we stated. "If a GAA club facilitated hare coursing activities by providing defenceless hares to be used as lures for greyhounds, it would be a very poor reflection on that club."

"Coursing is opposed by a majority of Irish people and is considered so cruel that it has been outlawed in all our neighbouring jurisdictions," we added.

The GAA has been told that hares typically suffer fear and stress during the capture process, during their months in unnatural captivity and while running for their lives from the greyhounds. When hit, hare injuries include broken bones and dislocated hips. Every coursing season, hares are injured and killed on coursing fields around the country (See report below).


Urge the GAA and Clare County Committee to investigate the removal of the hares and to encourage the club to keep coursers out.

GAA Headquarters
Croke Park Stadium,
Dublin 3.
Tel: +353 1 8363222.
Fax: +353 1 8558436

(If you have time, please compose your own personal letter. Otherwise, feel free to send the short sample letter below. Be assertive, but polite, in all correspondence. Thank you.)

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

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:;

Urge Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney to remove exemptions for coursing from the Animal Health and Welfare Bill.

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

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.

Latest victims of hare coursing in Ireland


Co Carlow - November 9/10/11, 2012
7 hares hit by dogs, 2 killed, according to National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) ranger.


Liscannor, Co Clare - September 29/30, 2012
According to ranger 9 hares were hit, 1 killed, 1 mauled 2 injured. Ranger noted that "one hare was found in box in back of red Isuzu pick-up near penning area as hares being penned. Isuzu with hare was then driven out of field (following my inquiry about this). It would appear that 1-2 healthy hares are being held as substitutes for injured hares."

Ennis/Clarecastle, Co Clare - December 8/9, 2012
7 hares were hit, 1 killed, 2 injured and 1 put down because of injuries, and one died from injuries, with vet noting that 4 hares were "sick or otherwise unfit" after coursing.


Fermoy, Co Cork - October 17/18, 2012
10 hares hit over two days, 3 put down because of injuries. Ranger stated that "4 hares found dead early in the morning in escape". The ranger noted that coursing park was "very wet due to heavy rain".

Vet noted that 11 hares were unfit for coursing, 7 hares injured during coursing, and 7 "sick or otherwise unfit after coursing", with 3 hares euthanised.

Charleville, Co. Cork - October 26/27/28, 2012
7 hares hit, with veterinary return noting 1 hare was injured on Day 2 and 1 hare considered "unfit" on Day 3.

Mallow, Co Cork - October 24/25, 2012
8 hares hit by greyhounds, with ranger noting that "muzzle came off one dog as it pinned hare". 2 hares were killed and 1 injured "broken leg", 2 died of injuries, plus another dead hare at release point.

Mitchelstown, Co Cork - November 3/4, 2012
7 hares hit by dogs, 2 killed and 3 put down as a result of injuries.

Millstreet, Co Cork - January 4/5, 2013
10 hares hit, 5 pinned. Ranger noted that "1 hare died shortly after/upon release (vet had inspected this animal at end of coursing, Day 1, and said it appeared fit for release)". It was also noted that 1 hare died in escape overnight and another died in escape after being coursed. No post mortems were conducted on these hares.


East Donegal - November 3/4, 2012
1 hare hit, injured and put down. The form was not signed by any ranger, and there were no details about hare releases. Significantly, the ICC control steward noted on his form "Wildlife officer gave permission for hares to stay in park", presumably to be used for another coursing meeting the following month.

East Donegal - December 8/9, 2012
3 hares hit, 2 injured and 2 died of injuries.


Kilflynn, Co. Kerry - September 28/29/30, 2012
7 hares hit by greyhounds. 2 killed, 3 "escaped" from paddock. Did ranger witness this escape?

Ballyheigue, Co. Kerry - October 12/13/14, 2012
Ranger noted that 2 hares were hit and 1 "died of natural causes".

Abbeydorney, Co. Kerry - October 20/21, 2012
Ranger noted 3 hares pinned and tipped on Day 1 and 2 hit on Day 2. Of these, two were injured and had to be put down.

Castleisland, Co. Kerry - October 28/29, 2012
6 hares hit, according to ranger, while veterinary return noted that 4 hares were considered "unfit for coursing" at the end of Day 2.

Lixnaw, Co. Kerry - November 2/3, 2012
Ranger noted 1 hare hit, 1 injured and put down.

Listowel, Co. Kerry - November 9/10/11, 2012
9 hares hit by greyhounds, 1 injured, 3 killed. Ranger noted that "due to the very heavy rain prior to coursing, the field was very wet and the going was heavy and this made it difficult for some hares to get home to the escape." Ranger also noted "1 hare missing". Meanwhile, ICC steward's report noted 12 hares pinned by greyhounds, with 1 put down and 3 dying. Vet noted that 4 hares were injured 1 put down and 3 died.

Ballyduff, Co. Kerry - November 16/17/18
2 hares were hit

Tralee, Co Kerry - December 26/27/28, 2012
10 hares hit by dogs, 2 hares dead before coursing on Day 2, 2 hares killed, 1 "died of natural causes". Ranger noted that "due to the very heavy rain over the past week, the ground at the front of the escape cut up and this made it difficult for some hares to escape." The ranger also noted: "I would like to bring to your attention that 20 hares went missing from the coursing field before coursing, without any proper explanation. I spoke with D/Garda Gary Carroll at Tralee Garda Station and he is going to investigate the matter."


Freshford, Co Kilkenny - November 1/2, 2012
2 hares hit by dogs. Vet noted 2 hares injured. In a memo dated November 8, 2012, from one NPWS official to another, it was stated that "2 hares died in captivity prior to coursing" and "one hare was born in the hare park".

Johnstown, Co. Kilkenny - December 1/2, 2012
6 hares hit, 1 killed, and 1 put down because of injuries. Ranger noted that 5 hares had escaped. Did ranger witness these escapes?

Parksgrove, Co. Kilkenny - December 22/23, 2012
7 hares hit by dogs, 5 killed, 1 injured and put down.

Mooncoin, Co Kilkenny - December 26/27, 2012
3 hares pinned (ref. ICC report). Vet stated that 3 hares were injured, 1 sick or otherwise unfit after coursing, and 1 put down.

Seven Houses, Co Kilkenny - January 12/13, 2013
2 hares hit by dogs, 1 injured and 1 died of injuries.


Newcastlewest, Co Limerick - December 7/8/9, 2012
4 hares hit by dogs.

Abbeyfeale, Co Limerick - December 29/30, 2012
According to ranger's report, 5 hares were hit. The vet's report stated that 4 hares were injured during coursing and 4 "sick or otherwise unfit" afterwards.

The ranger further noted that 7 hares died during the night and were examined by the vet who "performed field post-mortem examinations on two hares".

The vet stated: "Both animals had grossly visible signs of pneumonia with pleurisy and peritonitis, consistent with a septicaemia and overwhelming bacterial infection. Such signs are reported in hares, amongst other species, during times of stress or adverse conditions such as the severe, stormy weather experienced at that time."

He also noted that "hares were brought down at half time on day 1. I asked secretary of the club, Mr. S Curtin, if they were running the hares a second time, got no reply, but another member of the club said they would have to." This is a breach of licence conditions.


Tubbercurry, Co Sligo - January 11/12/13, 2013
16 hares hit by dogs, 1 killed, 9 injured, 2 died from injuries. Vet noted that 10 hares were injured, and 10 hares "sick or otherwise unfit after coursing".

Ranger suspected that hares were being re-coursed on Day 3, stating: "On day 3, 13/01/13, there were 72 hares available for coursing, 67 courses were run and 8 hares were run and the slipper did not release the dogs as he thought they were not suitable to be coursed. This means that 75 hares were used on day three of the coursing. In my opinion I think that a few hares were coursed twice on day 3." This is a breach of licence conditions.


Westmeath United, Raharney - October 13/14, 2012
2 hares hit by dogs. The ranger described one hit - "one hare hit was sent into a high velocity roll by the impact but managed to run back into the escape". Another hare was "hit, causing the hare to roll and flip on the ground".


New Ross, Co Wexford - October 6/7, 2012
18 hares hit, 18 injured, according to ranger. Ranger noted in a memo to his manager: "Please note the high numbers of hares hit and 'pinned' this year. Despite 10 hares being pinned and having to be lifted and boxed by stewards, 79 from 80 were released." There was no reference to these 'boxed' hares being examined by vet?

Enniscorthy, Co Wexford - November 23/24/25, 2012
On Day 1, 2 hares were hit, 2 injured and injected with anti-inflammatory by vet. On Day 2, 1 hares was pinned and 1 tossed, with 1 "poss" injury. On Day 3, 3 hares pinned, 1 "poss" injury. Vet stated that 2 hares were injured and 2 "sick or otherwise unfit" after coursing event.

Gorey, Co. Wexford - Nov 27/28, 2012
12 hares were hit by dogs, with 2 dying as a result of injuries, according to ranger, who was of the opinion that "weather was very cold and wet on the Sunday and this may have affected the hares". Vet noted that no hares were injured during coursing, despite the ranger's report of 2 hares dying of their injuries.

Murrintown, Co. Wexford - December 26/27, 2012
18 hares hit by dogs, 13 injured, 1 "declared killed". Ranger noted in a memo that at a release site, 2 hares were "in poor condition".

He further noted that at another release site, 3 hares had "injuries so serious they couldn't move and a fourth limped off", adding: "So while only one hare was declared killed, I am recording at least another 6 were in conditions ranging from very poor to almost dead, therefore a minimum of 7 were in very poor condition."

Meanwhile, the veterinary report stated that 9 hares were considered unfit for coursing. 7 hares were injured, 1 died and 17 "sick or otherwise unfit after coursing."

Videos: Ireland's hare coursing cruelty

A hare is hit into the ground at the JP McManus-sponsored coursing meeting at Limerick Racecourse. February 2013

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