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Festival of coursing cruelty kicks off at Clonmel this weekend
31 January 2014

Saturday 1st February sees the start of yet another state-approved "festival" of coursing cruelty with the national finals of hare coursing taking place at Powerstown Park, Clonmel, where hares face three days of stress, terror and risk of injury and death.

Already in the region of 80 of these barbaric events (now banned in England, Wales, Scotland Northern Ireland) have taken place around the country, using up to 7,500 timid hares, snatched from the wild in nets, courtesy of the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan and his officials at the National Parks & Wildlife Service.

The coursers claim that muzzling the greyhounds has saved hares, but the most recent figures to hand, obtained by ICABS from the National Parks under FOI, relating to the 2012/13 season, belie this claim. For example at Murrintown, Co. Wexford, 18 hares were injured, with 1 "declared killed" and the National Parks Ranger who monitored the event noted that on release of hares into the wild, three had "injuries so serious they couldn't move and a fourth limped off," adding that "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."

At Tubbercurry, 16 hares were hit by dogs, 9 injured, and 2 died, with the vet who was present at the event stating that 10 hares were injured and "sick or otherwise unfit" after coursing. At Parksgrove, Kilkenny, 7 hares were struck by greyhounds, 5 killed, 1 injured and put down; at Fermoy, 10 hares were hit over two days, and 3 put down because of injuries, with the NPWS Ranger adding that 4 hares were "found dead early in the morning".

This is just a sample of coursing's cruelty catalogue. It should be noted also that not all events are monitored due to NPWS manpower shortages, so we can only speculate on the real extent of hare injuries and deaths resulting from live hare coursing.

And the cruelty follows the same pattern every season, according to the documents we receive annually under FOI, and it will carry on until our legislators stop turning a blind eye to the suffering and finally move to ban coursing.

Coursing is already banned in England, Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland. The North's two coursing clubs, Dungannon and Ballymena, now travel south to be hosted by Cavan and Tubbercurry coursing clubs.

There is absolutely no excuse for this barbarism, particularly as the coursing of greyhounds could continue perfectly well using an artificial lure, evidenced by video footage filmed by the Irish Council Against Blood Sports at a drag coursing meeting in Listry, Killarney in March 2013. See video footage at

Ministers Jimmy Deenihan and Simon Coveney can no longer dismiss this perfectly viable and humane alternative. It's now time for both ministers to act to protect one of Ireland's most loved wildlife species, the gentle Irish hare.

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports, along with other animal groups, will be protesting against this cruelty outside Powerstown Park on Monday next, February 3rd, from 12 to 2pm. See below for more details.

Demonstration against cruel hare coursing - 3rd February 2014
22 January 2014

Please join the Irish Council Against Blood Sports at a protest against hare coursing on Monday 3rd February at 12 midday. The peaceful demonstration will take place opposite Powerstown Park, Clonmel, Co Tipperary. Be there for the hares. All are welcome.

Protest Details:

Monday, 3rd February 2014
12 midday sharp
Outside Powerstown Park
Powerstown Road / N24
Clonmel, Co Tipperary
Find location on Google Street
Get Driving Directions from anywhere in Ireland
Co-ordinates: 52.36279443752316,-7.683886589718633 or 52 21' 46.06'',-8 18' 58.01''

Travelling on public transport? Visit the Bus Eireann and Irish Rail websites for options.


Sign anti-coursing petitions
Minister Coveney: Save hares from cruel coursing
Petition to Ban horrific Hare Coursing Cruelty in Ireland
Stop sponsoring hare coursing in Ireland
Find more petitions on our Petitions Page

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:;

Ask Minister Deenihan and the National Parks and Wildlife Service to respect the wishes of the majority who want hare coursing banned and withdraw the coursing licence.

Jimmy Deenihan, TD
Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs
Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
23 Kildare Street
Dublin 2

Tel: (01) 631 3804
Fax: (01) 661 1201

Constituency Details
18A The Square, Listowel, Co Kerry
Telephone: 068-57446
Fax: 068-57805

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 their contact details
Please also arrange a meeting with your TDs at their local clinics.

Campaign Videos: Ban Coursing in Ireland

More ICABS Videos

See more videos exposing the cruelty of coursing on our Youtube Channel -

Slideshow: the cruelty of hare coursing in Ireland

The victims of coursing

All hares used in coursing are victims and they all suffer the fear and stress of being violently snatched from their habitats, thrown into crates, transported to coursing compounds and kept in captivity for months. Among the hare injuries and deaths recorded are:

More information about hare coursing

Coursing: Leaflet | Photos | Videos | Petition

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