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Fox hunt image in Westmeath Hospice calendar
07 January 2014

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is horrified that the North Westmeath Hospice has chosen to include a picture of the Westmeath Foxhounds in their fundraising calendar for 2014. The photo of a mounted hunter surrounded by a pack of foxhounds is featured on the February page.

"An image of a hunt which inflicts horrendous suffering on foxes, chasing them to exhaustion, then digging them out of their refuges, using spades and terriers, doesn’t sit well with the ethos of a hospice," said Aideen Yourell of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports. "Its inclusion in the calendar is totally out of place for an organisation whose aims and objectives are bringing comfort to those facing the end of their life. The violence of bloodsports, no matter how innocuously portrayed, should have no place in such a publication."

"We are saddened at its inclusion in the calendar. Clearly, the hospice group has no understanding of what happens at a foxhunt and the horrific cruelty meted out to foxes."

"I love hunt pictures": Westmeath Councillor
16 January 2014

Responding to complaints about a foxhunting photo in the North Westmeath Hospice's 2014 calendar, hospice fundraising committee chairperson and local County Councillor Detty Cornally has said: "Personally I love hunt pictures but just because I love the pictures does not mean that I like to kill foxes. It's not there to promote the sport, the pictures look nice."

ICABS has urged Councillor Cornally (Labour Party, Mullingar West), to look at "our online picture gallery showing the gruesome reality of foxhunting, i.e. foxes that have been ripped apart by hounds and foxes that have been attacked by hunt terriers and dug out of their earths to be killed." The gallery containing graphic images of foxhunt cruelty can be seen at


Please join us in urging Councillor Cornally to condemn foxhunting and join calls for it to be banned in Ireland.

Email "Please support calls for a ban on foxhunting" to

Cllr Detty Cornally: "Loves hunt pictures".

Westmeath Foxhunt cruelty:

A 2011 Farmers' Journal hunting report told of how sixteen mounted followers of the Westmeath hunt, along with 29 hounds, found a fox that was caught and "chopped." Later on, another fox was "overhauled before he managed to put any distance between himself and them." Both "chopped" and "overhauled," in hunting terminology, mean that the fox was caught by the hounds and brutally killed.

In 2007, there was a probe into allegations that a rope was tied to the leg of a fox and that it was pulled out of a burrow and fed alive to the dogs - See Irish Independent report -

A 2008 Irish Field report revealed that the Westmeath Hunt's hounds chased a fox into the freezing water of the Royal canal and along its banks - the fox and the pack swam across the canal and continued along the banks to the Mullingar/Ballynacargy Road...the fox, with four and a half couple (9 hounds) in pursuit, then swam the canal again before retracing their steps back to Newman's Bog." Following complaints, Waterways Ireland moved to contact the hunt and tell them to keep away from the Royal Canal.

The Irish Field of December 1991 documented the obscene ritual of cutting off the tails and tongues of foxes - "Terriers were some time in coming as car followers were the wrong side of the wind for hearing. A quick dig followed and two foxes were dispatched. Eamon had a brush for Clarissa and a fox's tongue which he intends pickling in vinegar to cure warts and draw thorns." (Westmeath Foxhounds, Hunt Report)

Videos: Ireland's hunting cruelty

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