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Foxes run for their lives as hunt welcomed to Ashford Castle
22 January 2015

Ashford Castle in County Mayo recently welcomed a hunt on to its grounds to hunt foxes, it has been reported. According to a 16th January article in the Irish Field, Ashford Castle general manager Niall Rochford "entertained the visitors to mulled wine to get them started".

The visitors to the castle and 5 star hotel were the North Galway Foxhounds and their plan was to "hunt the woods around the estate".

They first sought out foxes behind the castle's farmyard (one of the locations of the film The Quiet Man) and the hounds soon picked up the scent of a fox near the castle's school of falconry.

Later, in Kinlough Woods on the 350-acre Ashford estate, "hounds had a fox quickly away who gave the followers a fast spin through the woods".

The fox, in a desperate bid to escape from the pack of hounds, ran in a circle before then "running all the way to the furthest point of the lake shore". The unfortunate animal ended up cowering in a stick pile; his fate after that is not revealed.

The hunters then proceeded looking for foxes in a wood alongside the hotel's golf course.

The report outlines that many of the hunters availed of a "special overnight rate, with the option of having hunting livery valeted ready for the next day."

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is appealing to the owners of Ashford Castle - UK-based Red Carnation Hotels - to show compassion for Irish wildlife and make the castle grounds off-limits to foxhunters.

In a letter to Red Carnation Hotels Managing Director, Jonathan Raggett, we stated: "Accommodating and facilitating a bloodsport on this property is surely incompatible with your company's core values and modern image. It also risks repelling those in the majority who abhor cruelty to animals."

We added that for many visitors, seeing a fox traversing the castle's vista would undoubtedly be a thrilling and memorable sight and that the Ashford foxes should be protected, not persecuted.

Witness the cruelty of foxhunting and join calls for a ban


Please join us in appealing to Red Carnation Hotels to make Ashford Castle off-limits to foxhunters.

Jonathan Raggett
Managing Director
Red Carnation Hotels
or email from:
Tweet to: @red_carnation

Leave a comment on Facebook:

Niall Rochford
General Manager
Ashford Castle
Cong, County Mayo, Ireland
Tel: +353 94 954 6003
Tweet to: @ashfordcastle

Leave a comment on Facebook:

Sign our petition: "Irish Government: Save foxes and dogs from horrific cruelty"

Sign our “Ban Blood Sports in Ireland” petition

Please join us in appealing to the Minister for Agriculture to give wild animals the same protection that is given to domestic animals. Tell the Minister that since all animals are capable of suffering, all animals should be protected from cruelty. Demand the removal of an exemption for foxhunting from Ireland's Animal Health and Welfare Act.

Simon Coveney, TD
Minister for Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Tel: 01-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.

Contact the Taoiseach and Tanaiste. Ask them to show compassion for foxes and hares and ban hunting and coursing.

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion Street,
Dublin 2
Telephone: 01-6194020
Fax: 01-6764048

An Tanaiste, Joan Burton
Office of the Tanaiste
Iveagh House,
80 St. Stephen’s Green,
Dublin 2.
Tel: 01 6183566 (Dail)
Tel: 01 408 2000 (Iveagh House)
Fax: 01 408 2400
Email Enda Kenny and Joan Burton:,

Appeal to all Irish politicians

Please join us in telling the Irish Government that it is now time to replace foxhunting with the humane alternative - drag hunting.

Drag hunting sees the hounds chasing an artificial lure instead of a live animal. This form of "hunting" is already practised successfully by a few groups in Ireland. In a modern and civilised country like Ireland, there should be no place for foxhunting, particularly when a transition to drag hunting would be simple.

Please contact all your local politicians and ask them to express their opposition to this blood sport. Encourage your friends, family and workmates to contact them too.

Write to your TD at:
Dail Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 337 889.

Write to your Senator at:
Seanad Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 732 623.

Video: Ireland's cruel digging-out and terrierwork

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