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Carlow–Kilkenny By-election 2015: Where do the candidates stand on animal cruelty?
2nd April 2015

A by-election will be held in the Dail Eireann Carlow-Kilkenny constituency on Friday 22 May 2015, following the resignation of Phil Hogan TD on his appointment as European Commissioner. Before voting, check out our guide to the candidates and where they stand on animal cruelty issues.

Cllr Malcolm Noonan (Green Party, Kilkenny County Council)
In February 2013, Cllr Noonan joined calls for a ban on foxhunting, describing it as “barbaric”. His statement came in the wake of an horrific attack on a dog by hunt hounds in a Coillte forest in Carlow which left the family pet fighting for its life with severe injuries.

Adrienne Wallace (People Before Profit)
“I’m a vegetarian and of course I’m in favour of banning foxhunting and hare coursing” from a tweet to ICABS, April 2015.

Cllr Breda Gardner (Independent, Kilkenny County Council)
“[I am] an avid animal lover”. from an email to ICABS, October 2014.

Cllr Kathleen Funchion (Sinn Fein, Kilkenny County Council)
“I think like most people, I deplore the abuse of animals and cruelty to animals. It is something that is quite a passionate issue for many of our members locally and I think of it as an issue which deserves more airtime in our national and local discourse. Sinn Fein has opposed all bloodsports in Ireland and some of our members even went as far as stopping a hunt in Westmeath several years ago. Their position filled me with great pride and I have always tried my best to remain consistent in that view. A big issue in Kilkenny in the mistreatment of horses on the roads by some members of the community. That situation is abhorrent and can not continue. Should I be elected to Kilkenny County Council, it would be a great disappointment to me if the issue of animal welfare locally was still as prominent an issue at the end of the council term. I have always considered it an idea to create a register of animal abusers to make it more difficult for offenders to continue to own animals. I know that would only be the start of tackling the wider problem.” from an email to ICABS, May 2014.

Noel G Walsh (Independent)
“I will be your full time local representative pursuing issues on your behalf [including] animal welfare” from a profile page on

Bobby Aylward (Fianna Fail)
As a TD in June 2010, Bobby Aylward voted in favour of the ban on carted deer hunting, but only apparently because it didn't affect his local constituents.

“The stag hunting doesn’t affect me and I’m not going to fight a cause in Kilkenny that’s an issue in Meath and North Dublin.” Bobby Aylward quoted in the Sunday Business Post, 04 April 2010.

"Carlow-Kilkenny TD Bobby Aylward said his support could not be relied on when it comes to votes in the Dáil on issues such as animal welfare, the Planning Bill or a ban on corporate donations. “If it means there is going to be a break-up of the Coalition so be it. At this stage I am not going to be coerced into voting for another party’s agenda,” said Mr Aylward. He said that, as a representative of a rural area, he would be looking carefully at issues such as the Dog Breeding Establishments Bill and the proposed ban on stag hunting to see how they affected his constituents." Irish Times, March 29th, 2010.

David Fitzgerald (Fine Gael)
Kilkenny Borough Councillor David Fitzgerald (Fine Gael) voiced his opinion on the matter. “I will disagree with my party colleagues,” he said. “In my reading of this, it is the use of ‘wild’ animals – not dogs and ponies – and I believe that it is unsatisfactory and not helpful in this day and age. This is not an attack on circuses; it is specifically about the use of wild animals and I would not like to see the return of wild tigers, lions or elephants.” from “Circus debate was intense, but motion was defeated”, Kilkenny People 27 September 2012

Other candidates whose views are currently unknown:

Conor MacLiam (Anti-Austerity Alliance)
Willie Quinn (Labour Party)
Patrick McKee (Renua Ireland)
Daithi Holohan (Independent)

Videos: Ireland's bloodsports cruelty

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