Urge Limerick bishop to end clergy involvement in cruel hare coursing
16 October 2014
This week, in response to a complaint about a priest blessing a coursing field where hares were used as live bait before greyhounds, the Limerick Diocese of the Catholic Church has issued a statement in which they condone and endorse the barbaric bloodsport.
A spokesperson for the diocese told the Limerick Post: “Coursing is an integral part of life for many in Glin and surrounding area and the recent opening of the new venue was a significant day for the local community which funded and developed the facility (field), while the meet itself attracted over 1,500 people to the parish over the two days”. The diocesan spokesperson went on to say that the “Irish Coursing Club stressed to us (the diocese) that coursing operates under licence and that, in accordance with this, robust animal welfare practices applied”.
In our original complaint to the Bishop of Limerick, Brendan Leahy, ICABS made clear the cruelty of hare coursing. "At the Glin coursing field, hares ran for their lives in front of muzzled greyhounds an activity which is undoubtedly contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church," we stated. "The hares used at Glin coursing meeting were trapped from the wild in nets, kept captive in compounds and on the days of coursing, used as bait for greyhounds. Hares that are struck by the dogs can be mauled and severely injured, resulting in death. Every year, hares die at coursing meetings from such maulings, and every hare is subjected to stress and terror."
The subsequent statement by the Limerick Diocese is nothing short of a promotion for the Glin coursing club, and spouts the propaganda of the Irish Coursing Club. The diocese is, in effect, acting as a mouthpiece for Glin coursing club and the ICC. It beggars belief that a diocese of the Catholic Church would endorse and defend such cruelty to animals and would turn a blind eye to the terror and suffering of timid wild creatures. They should recognise that hare coursing is inherently cruel from beginning to end and that every single animal used in this barbaric game is terrorised.
Shame on the Limerick Diocese for condoning this cruel practice, which has been outlawed by England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, because of the cruelty involved.
Photos showing hares running for their lives at the recent Glin coursing meeting can be viewed at http://tinyurl.com/glincoursing
Watch video footage exposing the cruelty of hare coursing in Ireland
Priest blesses field of nightmares
10 October 2014
ICABS has complained to the Bishop of Limerick about the blessing of a hare coursing field last weekend. At Glin coursing club, a priest blessed the arena where the hounding of vulnerable hares took place.
The identity of the priest is currently unknown, but he is to be seen performing the grotesque blessing with holy water and wearing liturgical garb.
See the photo on the coursing club's Facebook page.
ICABS has made a complaint to the Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy, pointing out to him that this is a gross misuse of a blessing, and that this priest is in direct contravention of the official Catechism of the Catholic Church which clearly states that "it is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer and die needlessly." We also pointed to the part of the Catechism which says that “animals are God's creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory. Thus men owe them kindness.”
"The blessing of a hare coursing field by a Catholic priest is a gross misuse of a blessing and should not be permitted in your diocese," ICABS stated in a message to Bishop Leahy. "It is even more inappropriate, given the fact that this coursing meeting took place last weekend, which not only co-incided with World Animal Week but also with the feast day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.
We have also sent a tweet to Pope Francis, asking him to "act to stop clergy involvement in Ireland's cruel hare coursing".
The hares used at Glin coursing meeting were trapped from the wild in nets, kept captive in compounds and on the days of coursing, used as bait to run before two greyhounds. Hares that are struck by the dogs can be mauled and severely injured, resulting in death. Every year, hares die at coursing meetings from such maulings, and every hare is subjected to stress and terror.
This priest should be thoroughly ashamed of himself, giving his blessing and that of the Catholic church to this barbarity.
This is the latest in a long line of Irish clergy association with bloodsports.
Contact the Bishop of Limerick and ask him to act against to stop clergy involvement in hare coursing.
Bishop Brendan Leahy
Bishop of Limerick
Social Service Centre, Henry Street, Limerick
Tel: +353 (0)61 315 856
Send a tweet to Archbishop Eamon Martin and Pope Francis
Tweet "Please act to end clergy involvement in Ireland's cruel bloodsports" to @Pontifex @ArchbishopEamon @CatholicBishops
Express your support for a ban on coursing. Sign and share petitions
Urge Minister Heather Humphreys to show compassion for the persecuted Irish Hare and revoke the coursing licence she issued.
Email "Stop the cruelty. Revoke the hare coursing licence" to Heather.Humphreys@oireachtas.ie
Tel: (01) 631 3802 or (01) 631 3800
Leave a comment on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/heather.humphreysfg
(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.)
I am one of the majority who want hare coursing outlawed. I am writing to urge you to revoke the licence you issued to the Irish Coursing Club.
In coursing, hares suffer at all stages - during the capture, during the time they are kept in captivity and during the coursing meetings where they run for their lives in front of greyhounds. Among the injuries recorded are broken legs, damaged toes and dislocated hips. Every season, hare injuries and deaths are documented.
I ask you to please act on the wishes of the majority, show compassion and permanently revoke the licence.
Appeal to the Minister for Agriculture
Please appeal to the Minister for Agriculture to remove an exemption for hare coursing from the Animal Health and Welfare Act.
Simon Coveney, TD
Minister for Agriculture
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-607 2884 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.
Urgently contact An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and ask him to back a ban on hare coursing.
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
Upper Merrion Street,
Contact all your local TDs now. Demand that they urgently push for a ban on hare coursing and all bloodsports. Tell them you are one of the majority who want coursing banned. Remind them that coursing is already illegal in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. Urge them to respect the wishes of the majority of the electorate and back a ban.
Find out their contact details
Please also arrange a meeting with your TDs at their local clinics.
Ireland's hare coursing cruelty catalogue 2014
23 June 2014
The ongoing cycle of hare coursing cruelty continues. A new ICABS report highlights the victims of coursing during the 2013-14 season. Please read our report and join calls for a ban on this cruel bloodsport.
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