Fine Gael urged to ban Ireland's cruel bloodsports
19 June 2015
ICABS is calling on Fine Gael to ban Ireland's cruel bloodsports. Party leader and Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, is on record as saying that he is opposed to hare coursing. He has also acknowledged that foxhunting is "absolutely disgraceful".
Please join us in urging Fine Gael to ban hare coursing, foxhunting and all bloodsports.
Urge Fine Gael to ban hare coursing, foxhunting and all bloodsports, in line with the majority view that these cruel activities are unacceptable.
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(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.)
Dear Enda Kenny
I am one of the majority of Irish citizens who want hare coursing and foxhunting outlawed. I urge your party to ban this deplorable animal cruelty.
Fine Gael politicians and bloodsports
James Bannon, TD (Fine Gael, Longford-Westmeath):
"The Fine Gael Party will strongly oppose any change to the existing licensing arrangements for stag and fox hunting. Any new regulations made by the Minister, or his Government, will be reversed." (Speaking during the Field Sport Regulation Adjournment Debate on 11 March 2010. To read the full text of the debate, Click Here).
"I emphasise that I am totally opposed to this legislation [to ban the Ward Union deerhunt], as a representative of Longford-Westmeath and as a countryman who supports the rural pursuits and unique heritage and tradition of field sports...hunting creates a sense of community in rural areas. My farm has facilitated hunting throughout my life and both my father and grandfather before him allowed the hunts to pass through our lands. I will continue to allow them do so. Hunting unites farmers and sports people for a common recreational purpose and tradition. I am deeply concerned at the appalling actions of the Minister and his wilting Green Party, which are aimed at destroying country wide field sports...I was shocked to see on the Minister's website the no-holes-barred assertion that the Green Party intended to attack coursing and fox hunting and secure a legislative ban on all blood sports...I cannot emphasise strongly enough the devastation to the sporting, economic, leisure and tourism activities of any ban on field sports, hare coursing or stag hunting. Any such move would be detrimental to the country as a whole and to the countryside in particular...Banning hunting, which is a strong tradition in rural Ireland going back centuries and over many generations, would be a threat to the rural way of life and would be strongly resisted by rural people and by people living in towns who participate in rural sports, many of whom I am delighted to welcome onto my farm every spring. " Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010: Second Stage, Thursday, 24 June 2010
"I can assure the Minister of State that any attempt to ban hunting, which is a strong tradition in rural Ireland going back centuries and many generations, would be a threat to the rural way of life and would be strongly resisted by rural people...Deer and fox hunting have a long history in this country since the 19th century and earlier." Stated by James Bannon during Field Sport Regulation, Adjournment Debate, 11 March 2010.
Tom Barry, TD (Fine Gael, Cork East):
"As a person who shoots game...Shooting at game are part of the countryside and will remain. I disagree fundamentally with people who say that we shouldn't be doing it at all." From a Dail debate on the Wildlife Act, featured on Oireachtas Report, 18 July 2012. Watch on Youtube
In a September 2014 letter from Mallow Coursing Club to the National Parks and Wildlife Service (obtained by ICABS under Freedom of Information) in relation to licence breaches, it was stated: "As regards the threatened sanctions, our two local TDs Sean Sherlock and Tom Barry have been made aware of this situation. These men attend our meeting and are well aware that this club at all times abide by the rules." In a climb-down, following discussions with Minister Heather Humphreys, the National Parks decided not to sanction Mallow coursing club, despite the licence breach conditions. For more information, see Minister Humphreys Rolls Over For Hare Coursers
Pat Breen, TD (Fine Gael, Clare):
"We all know people in every parish in every county who take great pride in their greyhounds and Clare is no different. Many of the dog breeders there go to the greyhound tracks in Limerick or Galway every Friday and Saturday night and they look forward to that social event. Greyhound racing and coursing are extremely important...Many people are involved in coursing clubs, such as the Tradaree Coursing Club. They want to have a dog who will raise a flag and win a race in Clonmel or wherever...I visited the kennels of the County Clare Hunt, which are located in my parish of Drumquin." Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009 [Seanad]: Second Stage, 2nd June 2010
Richard Bruton, TD (Fine Gael, Dublin North Central):
In March 2013, Richard Bruton voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circus performances.
Ray Butler, TD (Fine Gael, Meath West):
In March 2013, Ray Butler voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circus performances.
Jerry Buttimer, TD (Fine Gael, Cork South Central):
"As someone who has had a family involvement in greyhounds over the years, I think it is important that we understand the massive economic activity that the greyhound industry generates in Ireland...We must examine the issue of making greyhound racing and horse racing sustainable in this country. We must look at the betting industry here." Welfare of Greyhounds Bill 2011, 30th June 2011.
Catherine Byrne, TD (Fine Gael, Dublin South Central):
In March 2013, Catherine Byrne voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circus performances.
Ciaran Cannon, TD (Fine Gael, Galway East):
In March 2013, Ciaran Cannon voted against an amendment to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on fur farming in Ireland.
Joe Carey, TD (Fine Gael, Clare):
"I am a greyhound owner and breeder...I acknowledge and welcome the involvement of greyhound industry interests, including the IGB [and] Irish Coursing Club..." Welfare of Greyhounds Bill 2011: Second Stage, 30 June 2011.
"I wish to put on record my opposition to this Bill and its knock-on effect on the greyhound industry. The Irish greyhound industry is a world leader and it has been allowed to grow and develop under the Greyhound Industry Act 1958. The Dog Breeding Establishments Bill will tamper with and have a very negative effect on the greyhound industry." Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009: Discussion, 11 May 2010
"This column has gone to the dogs, so today, we are dedicating it to Taco Beauty, a dark brindle breeding bitch belonging to Clare TD Joe Carey. While speaking on the controversial dog breeding Bill in the Dail yesterday, Fine Gael's new assistant chief whip told his delighted colleagues that he just found out that his breeding bitch is in pup." from Miriam Lord's week column, Irish Times, 3rd July 2010
"Deputy Joe Carey: I welcome the Minister's new-found regard for the Irish Coursing Club." Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009, 8th July 2010.
Paudie Coffey, TD (Fine Gael, Waterford):
"Can the Minister reassure the House that in his tenure as the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, he will not bring forth any legislation that will affect the hunting of foxes, coursing or any other shooting or hunting pursuits that are traditional in Ireland? Can he give a categorical assurance today that this will be an end to it?...The Ward Union Hunt has been a responsible organisation in carrying out its pursuits and activities. It has always complied with regulations and the licensing conditions put on it. Much of its resources and those of the State were used to ensure it carried out its activities in a proper way." Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010: Committee Stage, 2nd July 2010
"Those involved in these rural pursuits [e.g. hunting] are not breaking any law; they are only doing what previous generations did. They are concerned that the Bill will affect the viability of these pursuits, in the process threatening their existence. I can appreciate their concerns, which is why we have tabled amendments to protect an indigenous industry that dates back many generations." Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009: Committee Stage, 9th March 2010
"I was in Clonmel [at the hare coursing finals] and I did not witness any animal cruelty that you refer to." (a tweet from Paudie Coffey to ICABS, February 13th, 2014.
Noel Coonan, TD (Fine Gael, Tipperary North):
"He might allow hare coursing be shown free to air." Directed at Eamon Ryan (Minister of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources) during a Dail debate on Broadcasting Legislation - 1 June 2010.
Sean Conlon, TD (Fine Gael, Cavan Monaghan):
In March 2013, Sean Conlon voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circus performances.
Paul J Connaughton, TD (Fine Gael, Galway East):
In March 2013, Paul J Connaughton voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circus performances.
Simon Coveney (Fine Gael, Cork South Central):
"For the sake of clarity, this section does not apply to activity occurring during the normal course of hunting, fishing or coursing...We have done a separate review on fur farming, the details of which I can give to the Deputy. We will not ban it..." Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage, Dail Eireann, September 19th, 2012. Watch on Youtube
"It is not appropriate to simply outlaw hare coursing and hunting when they are pursued according the to the codes of conduct drawn up by clubs. Considerable numbers of people are passionate about these pursuits and my job is to ensure that standards are met rather than simply outlawing practices." Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage, Dail Eireann, September 20th, 2012.
"We went to great lengths to ensure we were not doing anything that would prevent people from continuing to participate in field sports as they would have in the past, as long as that is in a way that is consistent with the codes of conduct enshrined in those sports, including coursing, hunting and fishing. The measure applies only if there is undue cruelty such as the digging out of animals when they have gone to ground, which is unacceptable. In the legislation I am not banning coursing and hunting through the back door. We are trying to get the balance right between facilitating field sports and ensuring the codes of practice agreed for those sports are respected. If people begin to operate outside these codes, that is a different issue." Simon Coveney (Minister, Department of Agriculture, the Marine and Food; Cork South Central, Fine Gael) Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012: Committee Stage, 22 May 2012 Watch on Youtube
"I am trying to get balanced legislation that takes account of farming and hunting practices in a reasonable way, but also provides appropriate protection for animals to ensure that we do not have either wanton or accidental cruelty because neither is acceptable." Dail Eireann Questions and Answers, 10th May 2012
Michael Creed, TD (Fine Gael, Cork North-West):
In a statement issued in October 2009, Michael Creed, TD stated: "Fine Gael supports country sports which are carried out humanely, properly supervised and monitored and that do not involve any undue risk to animal welfare. If these criteria can be satisfied Fine Gael does not oppose properly licensed country sports activities. Fine Gael will oppose any move by Government to deny groups who have conducted their activities as per their licences, the right to continue to pursue these activities in the future. We believe that imposing a ban on these licensed activities would be a retrograde step both in terms of animal welfare and economically. "
Fine Gael's Spokesperson for Agriculture, Fisheries & Food, Michael Creed, has been asked by ICABS to stop defending the cruel blood sport of beagling. In a Sunday Independent report, the County Cork TD sided with the beaglers and criticised Minister John Gormley for restricting the beagling season. The June 1st 2008 article quoted Deputy Creed as saying that "any assault on the ordinary working man's pursuit of beagling by some Green metropolitan latte-drinking elite would not be taken lying down". For more information, see ICABS responds to Deputy Michael Creed's beagling remarks
Jimmy Deenihan, TD (Fine Gael, Kerry North Limerick West):
"I go to the occasional coursing meeting...I totally agree with Deputy [Mattie] McGrath that local gun and coursing clubs are really very important for the preservation of wildlife in this country." Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second and Subsequent Stages, 18 July 2012. Watch on Youtube
"Whatever I can do for coursing while I am in this job, I will certainly do it." Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht at the 2012 annual hare coursing awards. Sporting Press website, 30 March 2012
"It was I who proposed muzzling greyhounds for coursing and it is working very well." (Note: muzzling is actually not "working well"; hares continue to suffer and die during coursing meetings as muzzled dogs hit the creatures and maul them into the ground)
According to a report in Kerry's Eye, Jimmy Deenihan was present at an Abbeydorney Hunt on January 27 1997
"On a personal basis, I have very little interest in coursing. On a personal basis, it would not bother me whether coursing was banned or not...the coursing fraternity in this country are very concerned about the future of the sport...many Catholic clergy are involved in hare coursing." from a letter written by Jimmy Deenihan to an animal welfare group in Hawaii in the early 1990s.
Patrick Deering, TD (Fine Gael, Carlow-Kilkenny):
Patrick Deering's director of elections in the 2011 General Election was Phil Meaney - "a member of the executive committee of the Irish Coursing Club and a member of the finance committee of the Irish Coursing Club" (Source Department of Agriculture website, 2011). Mr Meaney was subsequently appointed to the position of chairman of Bord na gCon. According to the Irish Independent of May 1st 2011, "The Government was in one hell of a hurry to appoint Mr Meaney to the top Bord na gCon job. [Agriculture Minister Simon] Coveney even admitted to having been politically lobbied, but insisted that was not a factor...Fine Gael Carlow TD, Pat Deering, conceded that he had lobbied on behalf of Mr Meaney."
Paschal Donohoe, TD (Fine Gael, Dublin Central):
In March 2013, Paschal Donohoe voted against 3 amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circus performances.
Andrew Doyle, TD (Fine Gael, Wicklow):
Fine Gael Wicklow Deputy, Andrew Doyle, said today that laws governing puppy farming are long overdue and called on the Environment Minister to introduce regulations originally promised in 2006. Deputy Doyle added that a recent raid on a ‘puppy farm’ in Co. Wicklow, where 82 dogs were found mistreated and almost a quarter had to be put down highlighted just how badly regulations are needed and just how negligent the Fianna Fáil/Green Government is in not introducing them. “How many more raids on farms that treat dogs in such a repugnant manner will it take before Fianna Fáil and the Greens act on this practice? from a media statement issued by Andrew Doyle, Sunday 22nd July 2007.
Bernard Durkan, TD (Fine Gael, Kildare North):
"My views on live hare coursing are fairly well known. In fact, during debates on the subject in the late Eighties and early Nineties, I spoke publicly to the effect that I was opposed to live hare coursing."
"What concerns me most about this Bill [Wildlife Amendment Bill 2010 which bans the Ward Union deerhunt] is the attack on rural life. In recent years we have seen the gradual erosion of the rights and entitlements of people living in rural areas...One cannot keep dogs. One cannot hunt... I do not hunt but there are many people who do." Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010: Second Stage, 29 June 2010. Watch on Youtube Deputy Durkan voted against the ban on staghunting
Damien English, TD (Fine Gael, Meath West):
"I shall take a few seconds to register my opposition to this Bill and my support for the Ward Union Hunt and hunts in general. I have spent all my life living beside the Meath Hunt and have watched it in operation. I watched how its members treat their dogs and run their business. I do not get a chance to follow or watch the Ward Union Hunt and its business but I know many of the people involved. They treat animals and operate in exactly the same way as the Meath Hunt. They have respect for animals and know what they are doing." Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010: Second Stage, 29 June 2010. Watch on Youtube Deputy English voted against the ban on staghunting
"Shane McEntee and Damien English promised unqualified support for the Ward Union and hunting in general from any incoming government led by Fine Gael." from the Hunting Association website, 2009.
Peter Fitzpatrick, TD (Fine Gael, Louth):
"The legislation is necessary to allow people to continue lawful activities. Throughout my constituency of Louth, there are strong and law-abiding gun clubs...Gun clubs in rural areas...have a strong bond with and are respectful of nature...[Shooting animals] is a traditional skilled activity that has been handed down for generations. It is important for my rural constituents to have their traditions respected and honoured." Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second and Subsequent Stages, 18 July 2012. Watch on Youtube
Terence Flanagan, TD (Fine Gael, Dublin North-East):
"I support the Irish Council Against Blood Sports' call for the Ward Union hunt to be refused a licence," Deputy Flanagan stated in a letter to Minister John Gormley, October 2007. For more, see Terence Flanagan, TD joins calls for end to deer hunt
In October 2012, Terence Flanagan asked Minister Simon Coveney "if he will respond to the following query regarding the Animal Welfare Bill (details supplied) in Dublin 13; and if he will make a statement on the matter." Read the reply
Simon Harris, TD (Fine Gael, Wicklow):
Wicklow Fine Gael TD, Simon Harris, has stated that he is looking forward to the introduction of the new animal welfare bill. Deputy Harris stated ‘I have spoken directly to Minister Coveney regarding several issues around animal welfare in County Wicklow. Minister Coveney has stressed that the new bill will provide for a clearer level of expectation of care for animals as well as trying to deal with some of the issues around how companies interacting with animals must act. ‘I am confident that the changes that will emerge when this bill is introduced will provide greater clarity around animal health and welfare. ‘The Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 is currently at Committee stage and the updating of this Bill is a significant positive improvement on the existing bill and should bring necessary changes for the improvement of the health and welfare of animals,’ concluded Deputy Harris. SimonHarris.ie, November 26 2012
"To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to ban the docking of the tails of dogs-puppies and the removal of the dew nail, considering that both of these practices are banned by the Irish veterinarians body; if he will consider introducing such a ban in animal welfare legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter." (from a Dail Question, 3rd December 2013)
Tom Hayes, TD (Fine Gael, Tipperary South):
In November 2013, Tom Hayes was photographed at a hare coursing meeting in Tipperary. "It reflects very poorly on the Republic of Ireland that a Minister of State deems it appropriate to be involved with a cruel bloodsport that is now illegal in all our neighbouring jurisdictions," ICABS stated in a Facebook message to him.
At the Knockgraffon coursing meet in November 2012, the owner of a winning greyhound was listed as The Coalition Syndicate. According to the Clonmel and Kilsheelan coursing club website, one of the members of this syndicate is Tipperary South Fine Gael TD, Tom Hayes.
"Local Fine Gael T.D. Tom Hayes has confirmed that 1 million Euro has been secured for the redevelopment of Clonmel Greyhound Stadium following discussions with Bord na gCon. Speaking on today’s announcement the South Tipperary Deputy said, 'This news is the culmination of months of work and I am delighted to see such a commitment being made by the IGB to Clonmel Greyhound Stadium...Given that the construction plans are already prepared I expect to see the entire project completed in time for the 2013 coursing season.'" from the Tom Hayes website, February 14th, 2012.
"At a recent meet of the Kilmoganny Hounds, members were canvassed for their support by successful Fine Gael candidates Tom Hayes (Tipperary South) and John Paul Phelan (Carlow-Kilkenny)". From the Hunting Association of Ireland website. An accompanying photo shows "Tom Hayes and John Paul Phelan at a recent meet of the Kilmoganny Hounds" next to horses and hounds. (2011)
"I attended six coursing meetings in the past few months and I did not see one hare killed. I love what is good in rural Ireland, whether it is coursing, hunting hares, beagling or whatever, and I believe there is a strong agenda to stop those sports...I represent a constituency that is proud of its heritage in the coursing and animal welfare world." (March 2005)
"A growing number of people have an agenda to try to get sports such as coursing banned...I come from an area of the country that has a very strong tradition of coursing. Given the way those coursing meetings are guarded and protected, I would challenge any of those people opposed to those sports to come and see at first hand exactly how they are run. Too much is being written and said about those sports which are major tourism attractions, particularly hunting and fishing...Some people have an agenda to suggest to the public that those sports are cruel. The people involved in those sports are committed to animal welfare and protecting all the animals involved...I challenge them, and particularly those Members of this House, to come with me to the coursing in Clonmel and Cashel, and to the fishing in Golden. They could come to any place in my constituency and see how the people in that area look after those animals and look after their sports." Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage, 20 September 2012.
"The Fine Gael opposes the "anti puppy farming" Bill because John Gormley has broken his promises and turned it into an ‘anti hunt kennel’ Bill. It threatens the demise of the sport and industry of greyhound coursing and racing...They propose to ban the Ward Union Staghounds in counties Meath and Dublin. Fine Gael has opposed this ban because it is the thin end of the wedge of banning other rural sports like fox hunting, harriers, coursing, gun clubs and even angling." from Rural Ireland struggles as Fianna Fail bows to the Greens, Tom Hayes TD website, 16th April, 2010.
High-profile supporters of [coursing] in Ireland include footballer-turned-movie star Vinnie Jones, forner Irish soccer international Niall Quinn and a number of politicians, including Fine Gael TD Tom Hayes, who had a dog racing at Clonmel which he shares with former TD Liam Burke. from Hare today, gone tomorrow? Irish Independent, 7th February 2004
"A coalition of [hunting, shooting and coursing groups] have praised Mattie McGrath as well as Tom Hayes, Michael Lowry and Noel Coonan for their opposition to John Gormley's bill [which banned stag hunting in Ireland]." The Nationalist, 5th July 2010
"The greyhound and coursing industries have been getting bad press due to a lack of knowledge." Greyhound Industry (Doping Regulation) Bill 2006: Second Stage, 8 June 2006
Martin Heydon, TD (Fine Gael, Kildare South):
"With regard to animal fighting, including dogfighting and cockfighting, the change in the law to association from participation is crucial. I totally oppose these activities and I am happy to hear how strongly we will act. To return to the issue of balance, we must be very careful. People can take a very strong approach to animal safety measures and try to cover all aspects such as trying to stop people who want to go fishing from taking worms out of the ground. One can go too far and unintended consequences can arise. If the means of farmers or others to protect wild animals are curtailed too much they may be left with no alternative but to use poison, which is far more indiscriminate." Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage, 19 September 2012.
In March 2013, Martin Heydon voted against 3 amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circus performances.
Phil Hogan, TD (Fine Gael, Carlow Kilkenny):
Fine Gael environment spokesman Phil Hogan wrote to hunting associations in recent days, setting out the party's commitment to "oppose any change to existing licensing arrangements for stag hunting". The letter said that the party would "reverse any changes made by the present government in that regard" if it assumed government after the next general election. (From the Sunday Business Post, February 21, 2010)
"The Fine Gael Party is opposing every section of this legislation, including section 1 which sets out the definitions of the two Acts referred to in the Bill. We do not even agree that it should be entitled the Wildlife (Amendment) Bill." Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010: Committee and Remaining Stages, 29 June 2010 - http://www.kildarestreet.com/debates/?id=2010-06-29.475.0 Deputy Hogan voted against the Bill which banned staghunting.
"Fine Gael believes the hunt plays an important cultural and economic role in rural Ireland..."
Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010: Second Stage, 24 June 2010
http://www.kildarestreet.com/debates/?id=2010-06-24.217.0#g265.0 Watch on Youtube
In January 2012, ICABS expressed disgust to Environment Minister Phil Hogan after he was photographed presenting a trophy at a hare coursing meeting. The Minister posed with the cup for a winning greyhound which had earlier bashed into a hare and sent it tumbling head over heels. More...
"Sevenhouses secretary Pat Loughlin said the coursing club had a long-standing relationship with Mr [Phil] Hogan. 'We'd net hares on the Hogan family farm. He caught hares with us when he was young,' he said." Irish Independent, April 06 2012
"I am aware that the Minister has since then had several meetings with members of the Irish Coursing Club and Irish greyhound industry. I am sure he is now more familiar with the activities of people involved in breeding and offering pups for sale. Animal welfare issues are important to these people." Deputy Phil Hogan, Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009, 8 July 2010.
Paul Kehoe, TD (Fine Gael, Wexford)
Paul Kehoe voted AGAINST the staghunt ban in June 2010.
"The Government Chief Whip, Minister Paul Kehoe T.D., today announced the Legislative Programme for the Spring Parliamentary session of 2012...Progress will also continue to be made in a number of other areas with the introduction of...new animal welfare laws" Paul Kehoe statement, January 11, 2012
"Taoiseach Brian Cowen reminded every TD of their responsibility. Mr McGrath and Mr O'Sullivan still abstained. A peace process began with the rebels. Their abstention provoked Fine Gael's whip Paul Kehoe to up the ante. He withdrew an agreement to keep two of his TDs back to cancel out two sick men - Sean Ardagh and Noel Treacy..." Irish Examiner Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Enda Kenny, TD (Fine Gael, Mayo):
During a November 2014 speech in Dail Eireann, Taoiseach Enda Kenny acknowledged that foxhunting is "absolutely disgraceful". Read More
"I am opposed to the practice of live hare coursing." (from an email to ICABS, July 2003)
Enda Kenny is leader of Fine Gael. In the party's 2011 election manifesto, it is stated that "Fine Gael will reverse the ban on stag hunting." Read More
Fine Gael dismissed a suggestion by Meath TD, Shane McEntee, that the Ward Union stag hunt would be back. A spokesperson for Enda Kenny made it clear that "there is no such commitment in the Programme for Government" and that the Taoiseach "would not resile from what's in the Programme for Government." ICABS website, 15 November 2011
A statement issued last week by shooting organisation, NARGC, claims that "Enda Kenny gave a solemn commitment to all the hunting associations, when he met them on April 20th 2005 in the offices of the Irish Coursing Club in Clonmel, that Fine Gael would not in government agree to the introduction of restrictions or bans on hunting." In a letter to the Fine Gael leader, ICABS queried the claim and stated that if it was accurate, it was extremely disappointing to those campaigning against animal cruelty all across Ireland. We also conveyed our sadness at the claim that a meeting took place at the offices of the Irish Coursing Club. We reminded Mr Kenny that he confirmed to us in July 2003 that he is "opposed to the practice of live hare coursing". from ICABS website, March 2007.
Sean Kyne, TD (Fine Gael, Galway West):
"To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will consider encouraging the take-up of drag coursing as an alternative to live hare coursing; and if he will make a statement on the matter." (Dail Question, 24th September 2013)
In March 2012, Deputy Kyne asked the Agriculture Minister "if the upcoming Animal Welfare Bill will contain a provision to abolish live hare coursing in view of the demonstrable evidence of the harm, injury and distress that such a sport causes to the wildlife concerned and also in recognition that such a measure would bring Ireland into line with other developed nations including the UK, several other European nations and Australia."
"I asked the Parliamentary Question on foot of concerns expressed to me by constituents on the cruelty associated with hare coursing. These are concerns which I share and I find it most puzzling when persons harbouring such concerns are labelled as anti-rural. There is nothing 'anti-rural' in seeking the highest standards for animal welfare." from an email to ICABS, March 2012.
"To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if the bounty scheme for mink is in operation or if the details are yet to be finalised as we approach the critical Spring period for wildlife and the lambing season which are affected by mink." Dail question, 14 February 2012.
In October 2011, Deputy Kyne asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan "his views on whether the granting of licences to trap hares for the purposes of coursing runs contrary to the spirit if not the letter of the Wildlife Acts 1976 to 2000, particularly as hares under section 23 are a protected species" and "the number of licences granted for coursing of hares in County Galway in 2011".
Anthony Lawlor, TD (Fine Gael, Kildare North):
"Horse meat is a valuable export, in particular to continental Europe. The French market for Irish slaughtered horses is considerable...The horses to which I refer are not bred for slaughter but for the racetrack. One should consider the statistics involved: of the 7,000 thoroughbred foals born this year, only seven will win a group 1 race. Only 3,500 will make it to a racetrack, which means 3,500 thoroughbred foals will end up being slaughtered before they reach their potential. The sad part for the sector is that breeders have potential to earn much more if the stamp “Not fit for human consumption” were to be removed from the passport. Horse meat could be a valuable export for this country...I would like to see an opportunity for us to export horsemeat for human consumption on the Continent." Veterinary Practice (Amendment) Bill 2011, 29 September 2011.
Helen McEntee, TD (Fine Gael, Meath East):
Helen McEntee is the daughter of the late Shane McEntee TD. She worked with Shane McEntee in Dail Eireann and at the Department of Agriculture. Shane McEntee was a pro-bloodsports TD and lobbied to try and get the ban on stag hunting reversed. He also spoke in favour of hare coursing, claiming there was no danger to the hare. Helen McEntee's personal views on blood sports are unknown at this time.
"Fine Gael Meath East TD, Helen McEntee attended the launch of the Irish Greyhound Derby’s 55th anniversary celebrations in Shelbourne Park...Speaking after the event, Deputy McEntee said: ‘It was a great honour to address the Irish Greyhound Derby as it celebrates its 55th anniversary. It’s an event that otherwise would have been attended by my dad, Shane, and I am humbled to haven taken his place’...'When my father worked as Junior Minister in the Department of Agriculture, he recognised the potential in the greyhound industry, despite not having a huge amount of knowledge about it previously. He became very passionate about how he, and his Department, could make the industry even stronger . The Irish Greyhound Industry has an extremely proud history, and it is vital that we safeguard the passion and pride associated with the sector going forward. I hope to work with the Derby in the years ahead to ensure the industry gets the recognition and support it needs.'" From a Fine Gael statement, May 2013.
Joe McHugh TD (Fine Gael, Donegal North East):
"I was recently approached by a Border town game hunting club in my own constituency. The Department of Justice will not grant it a licence because it has members from both sides of the Border. Artificial barriers imposed by the current Government undermine everyday cross-border cooperation at community level. These are the challenges that must be addressed." Speech by Joe McHugh TD to Fine Gael National Conference, March, 2010
Tony McLoughlin TD (Fine Gael, Sligo Leitrim North):
"I couldn't look at the video [of an Irish hunter using live pigeons to train hunting dogs] as I find those videos distressing. I commend you for highlighting this issue and whatever I can do to advance your cause let me know." from an email to ICABS, June 2013.
Mary Mitchell O'Connor TD (Fine Gael, Dun Laoghaire):
"I agree with you wholeheartedly on the issue of puppy farming...The Programme for Government 2011 contains a commitment to amend and strengthen legislation on animal cruelty and animal welfare. The main vehicle to fulfil this commitment will be the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which is a comprehensive piece of legislation providing a broad basis for regulating the related areas of animal health and welfare. Drafting of the Bill is ongoing with the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel and it is Minister Coveney’s intention to publish the Bill at an early date." from correspondence to the Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports. October 2011.
In March 2013, Mary Mitchell O'Connor TD asked the Minister for Agriculture if his attention has been drawn to "the problem of a skulk of foxes in the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown area; the service provider or assistance that is available to persons to solve this health and safety issue" Read More
Olivia Mitchell TD (Fine Gael, Dublin South):
"Many thanks for your email in relation to Irish field sports and hunting. Please find below a statement from Fine Gael's spokesperson on Agriculture, Michael Creed TD, which reflects my own views on the matter." from an email to an ICABS supporter, October 16, 2009. The statement Deputy Mitchell referred to outlined that "Fine Gael supports country sports which are carried out humanely", "Fine Gael will oppose any move by Government to deny groups who have conducted their activities as per their licences, the right to continue to pursue these activities in the future" and "Fine Gael acknowledge the contribution hunting and other rural pursuits make to the rural economy."
Dan Neville, TD (Fine Gael, Limerick):
"The Bill before the House goes far beyond the issue of puppy farms to impose additional costs and duplicate inspection structures on rural industries such as greyhound and hunting dog breeding. These are important activities in my constituency. Greyhound breeding has been popular in County Limerick for hundreds of years...Fox hunting is also popular in County Limerick. Several packs are based in the county, the most famous of which is the Black and Tans pack in Emly...The County Limerick Foxhounds pack is based two miles from where I live. As a child I was entertained when the horses and hounds walked up the road on which I grew up. We also helped to rear the pack's pups, which were farmed out to various families...We also have foxhunting, scarteens and many other packs. The Fine Gael Party proposed a number of amendments in the Seanad to exclude these vital industries and instead focus primarily on puppy farms." Dog Breeding Establishments Bill, 2nd July 2010
In September 2009, Deputy Dan Neville "asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his views on the points made by the campaign for the abolition of cruel sports with reference to an application by a club (details supplied) to his Department for a licence to net hares for another hare coursing season; his further views on whether the Irish hare is designated as an endangered species here; and if he will make a statement on the matter." Dail Eireann, Written Questions and Answers, 17th September 2009.
John O'Mahony, TD (Fine Gael, Mayo):
"Mayo Fine Gael TD, John O’Mahony, has welcomed the decision by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan TD, to provide funding for a bounty for the killing of wild mink to the National Association of Regional Game Councils. Deputy O’Mahony said he raised the issue of wild mink in Mayo with Minister Deenihan and he was delighted that the details of the bounty had been announced...Minister Deenihan has met with the National Regional Game Councils, who have been actively promoting mink control and the result of it is the bounty that has just been announced. The Minister has committed €20,000 towards the bounty scheme and it will be paid to hunters based on the number of mink killed." from a statement on John O'Mahony's website, January 17, 2012.
Joe O’Reilly, TD (Fine Gael, Cavan Monaghan):
"Also central to my childhood was sport, by which I mean people going out to shoot in November, people going coursing or various forms of outdoor sport with beagles. Regardless of whether one likes it, the Ward Union Hunt is an integral part of rural society and rural life. The deer is not at risk in the physical sense... I am in favour of the Ward Union Hunt and have no quibbles about that." Speaking as a Senator, Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010: Second Stage, 30 June 2010
"I live beside a hunt known as the Drumlin Hounds in Cootehill. I am familiar with members of the hunt and know the dogs are well fed, cared for in an exemplary fashion and kept in the best possible conditions. Those involved in the hunt have an affection for their animals, are outdoors people and love sport...Next Friday week, I will attend a hunt ball in the Abbey Hotel in Roscommon in the Minister of State's constituency. I do so every year as the ball is an opportunity to meet a wonderful group of people from the Roscommon hunt who have a passion for what they do and love and care for their animals." Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009: Committee Stage, 10 February 2010.
John Perry, TD (Fine Gael, Sligo Leitrim North):
In a statement delivered at a pro-hunt meeting in January 2008, John Perry, TD stated: "Outdoor leisure and recreational activities such as hunting, shooting and fishing are factors that are a fundamental and integral part of the rural lifestyle...I will maintain my pressure on this Government to have our rich rural heritage recognised, and indeed protected by legislation, rather than being threatened by it." Responding to a complaint from ICABS, Deputy Perry said that he continues to "feel strongly about animal welfare and conservation of our wildlife". "I note your comments and will keep them in mind for the future," he added.
This pro-hunting TD voted against the staghunt ban in June 2010.
John Paul Phelan, TD (Fine Gael, Carlow Kilkenny):
"At a recent meet of the Kilmoganny Hounds, members were canvassed for their support by successful Fine Gael candidates Tom Hayes (Tipperary South) and John Paul Phelan (Carlow-Kilkenny)". From the Hunting Association of Ireland website. An accompanying photo shows "Tom Hayes and John Paul Phelan at a recent meet of the Kilmoganny Hounds" next to horses and hounds. (2011)
"I will not be supporting any ban on stag hunting." (2010)
Dr James Reilly, TD (Fine Gael, Dublin North):
"Figures obtained by the Irish Independent show researchers in Trinity College spent more than 368,000 Euro on live animals in only 12 months to use in tests aimed at treating disease in humans. The figure is more than double what was spent the previous year. Dogs, pigs, rabbits, mice and rats have been used in the university's medical experiments, but there is pressure from the EU to find other ways of conducting tests. The Trinity figures show the huge cost of "maintenance and welfare" during the same period, bringing the bill to 665,102 Euro. Between October 2011 and last September the university bought 15 pigs, 20,094 mice and 6,579 rats for use in its labs. The animals are tested as part of the exploration of treatments for diseases such as Alzheimer's, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia and genetic disorders. The university said any research carried out on animals requires the prior licensing of the person and the project by the Minister for Health Dr James Reilly...the Irish Anti-Vivisection Society, which is campaigning for an end to the use of live animals, argues that animal experimentation 'allows the infliction of pain and suffering'."
James Reilly TD voted against the staghunt ban.
Michael Ring, TD (Fine Gael, Mayo):
"I am personally against hare coursing. I am totally opposed to cruelty to animals but particularly this kind of cruelty in relation to blood sports."
Alan Shatter, TD (Fine Gael, Dublin South):
"I am totally opposed to hunting wild animals with dogs." Deputy Shatter voted AGAINST the Wildlife Amendment Bill 2010 which banned staghunting.
Alan Shatter is a former President of the Irish Council against Blood Sports. See www.alanshatter.ie
In 2010, on RTE's 'The Week in Politics', Alan Shatter criticised the Green Party for bringing forward legislation to ban staghunting, stating that there are more important priorities.
"Would the Minister agree that many people regard hare coursing as an offensive, obscene and particularly primitive sporting activity? ... Could I urge him to consider introducing legislation to ban live hare coursing? I suggest that the Minister would agree that hare coursing is as primitive a sport as bull-fighting and cock-fighting, both of which are prohibited under our legislation." Dail Questions and Answers (Hare Coursing) - 8 June 1983.
Billy Timmins, TD (Fine Gael, Wicklow)
"As a Party, we are not opposed to countryside sports" (From an email to an ICABS supporter, February 2011). Billy Timmins voted AGAINST the staghunt ban in June 2010.
Deputy Billy Timmins is calling for a temporary suspension of the Open Hunting Season if temperatures remain exceptionally low. The freezing weather means many animals, such as deer herds, move to low ground where food is more commonly available. However, this also leaves them an easy target for hunters. Deputy Timmins has requested that Environment Minister, John Gormley, should introduce a temporary hunting suspension until the freezing weather conditions pass. 'It would be nice if gun club members, who are responsible country sports enthusiasts, would take the initiative and act in a professional and ethical way and introduce a voluntary suspension of shooting of any wildlife, whether that be deer, wild birds, waterfowl or game birds during this period of adverse weather. It could be in advance of a statutory ban.' from Call for temporary ban on all hunting, Wicklow People, 08 December 2010.
Senator Paul Bradford (Fine Gael):
"The Minister [Michael Finneran, Fianna Fail] does not propose to change his mind and does not respect or accept the bona fides of the Irish Coursing Club or greyhound industry." Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009: Committee Stage, 9 March 2010
"It is a given that rural organisations, including hunt and coursing clubs, cannot survive if they do not meet the highest standards of animal husbandry, hygiene and animal feeding propriety. They would not exist if they did not look after these matters with near perfection...If we see such traditions not just as historical but as important for the Ireland of today, we should help them to survive into the future. We should ensure hunting and coursing clubs and other rural organisations such as point-to-point associations remain part of the fabric of rural Ireland." Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009: Committee Stage, 10 February 2010
Senator Paddy Burke (Fine Gael):
"I have no doubt that the ban on coursing in England will be lifted" (Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009: Committee Stage, 9 March 2010)
Senator Paddy Burke: "It is obvious that the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government did not engage in discussions with the Irish Greyhound Owners and Breeders Federation, the coursing clubs and the other organisations represented here. A commonsense approach must now be taken and the Minister must meet those groups so that agreement can be reached." Joint Committee on the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, 11th May 2010.
Senator Paul Coghlan (Fine Gael):
"The Minister of State is a reasonable man and he will accept how well regulated is the coursing industry." Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009: Committee Stage, 9 March 2010
Senator Paul Coghlan raised the hackles of one of the Green's new twin babies in the Seanad on Thursday when he declared that Fine Gael is "completely opposed" to John Gormley's proposed ban on stag hunting. "It is a legitimate and worthwhile country pursuit and a sport that is highly beneficial for tourism. I cannot discern where cruelty is involved," he said, much to the disgust of Senator Niall O Brolchain. (The Irish Times - February 27, 2010)
Senator Maurice Cummins (Fine Gael):
"Section 12 prohibits people from allowing animals to suffer unnecessarily, whether through direct physical abuse, recklessness or negligence. This section does not apply to activity occurring during the normal course of hunting, fishing or coursing. No decent person who is involved in coursing would have a problem with the provisions specifying that the cruelty provisions may apply if an animal is hunted after being released in an exhausted, mutilated or injured condition or if a hare is coursed without reasonable chance of escape. Some people may enjoy such practices but 99% of coursing clubs would welcome this provision." Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012: Second Stage, Seanad Eireann, 3rd May 2012.
Senator Pat O'Neill (Fine Gael):
"Will the Minister clarify whether wild animals are included in the definition of what constitutes an animal under this section? I refer, for example, to wild birds and fish. The Bill may be in conflict with certain aspects of the Wildlife Act on which hunters rely to validate their sports activities." Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012: Committee Stage, 22 May 2012.
Cllr Finola Armstrong McGuire (Fine Gael, Leitrim County Council)
"I favour ban [on] all cruelty, man and beast." from a text message to ICABS, November 2014.
Cllr John F Bailey (Fine Gael, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council)
"I'd like to see action [being taken against urban foxes]". In November 2014, he "fully supported" a council motion which described urban foxes as a "problem" and which called for action to be taken to deal with them.
Cllr Winston Bennett (Fine Gael, Cavan County Council)
“No I am not [in favour of a ban on foxhunting and hare coursing]” from a text message to ICABS, October 2014
Cllr Paraic Brady (Fine Gael, Longford County Council)
"I am in favour of foxhunting as it keeps the numbers down." from a text message to ICABS, November 2014. ICABS has highlighted the cruelty of foxhunting to Cllr Brady and asked him to reconsider his stance.
Cllr Dr Phyll Bugler (Fine Gael, Tipperary County Council)
"I am opposed to all forms of animal cruelty" from a text message to ICABS, July 2015.
Cllr Peter Burke (Fine Gael, Westmeath County Council)
When questioned about his position on bloodsports, Peter Burke wasn't prepared to reveal his stance. He claimed to know nothing about bloodsports, despite previously being furnished with information about the cruelty involved.
Cllr Daniel Butler (Fine Gael, Limerick City and County Council)
In October 2014, Cllr Butler tabled a motion "to ban circuses with animals from performing on publicly-owned lands in Limerick".
Cllr Kevin Callan (Fine Gael, Louth County Council - Drogheda)
At a meeting of Drogheda Borough Council in 2012, Cllr Callan proposed a motion to ban wild animal-act circuses from using public borough land.
Cllr Gerard Darcy (Fine Gael, Tipperary County Council)
Opposition to the Government's hunting proposals was also expressed at last month's meeting of North Tipperary Co Council, where local councillors spoke of the importance of hunting in the county...Cllr Ger Darcy (Fine Gael) said the council should be promoting hunting as part of its bid to draw more visitors to North Tipperary. He also described hunting as an alternative sport for young people that don't pick up the mainstream sports of hurling, rugby and soccer. From an article in the Nenagh Guardian, 10th July 2010
Cllr Anne-Marie Dermody (Fine Gael, South Dublin County)
"I don't get the hunting think and how it could be someone's pleasure!" from a text message to ICABS, May 2014.
Cllr Maria Doyle (Fine Gael, Louth County Council)
"I am most certainly against blood sports." from an email to ICABS, June 2015.
Cllr Andrew Duncan (Fine Gael, Westmeath County Council)
"I do not support a ban [on fox hunting and hare coursing]" from a text message to ICABS, July 2015. Challenged on his stance, Cllr Duncan tweeted: "Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I support your right to yours but I do not favour ban and that's my opinion."
Cllr Mary Fayne (Fine Gael, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council)
"As an animal lover I am of course against blood sports" from a tweet to ICABS, 5th August 2014. In November 2014, she voted against a council motion which described urban foxes as a "problem" and which called for action to be taken to deal with them.
Cllr Enda Flynn (Fine Gael, Meath County Council)
"I do not like to see any animals hurt or in discomfort. I support the thrust of what you are saying." from an email to ICABS, September 2014.
Cllr Dennis Foley (Fine Gael, Carlow County Council)
“Not in favour of a ban [on fox hunting and hare coursing]” from a text message to ICABS, October 2014.
Cllr Mary Hanna Hourigan (Fine Gael, Tipperary County Council)
"I couldn't bear to look at that [hare coursing] footage, it would make me too angry and upset. I fully support your point of view." from an email to ICABS in March 2012.
Cllr Micheal Hourigan (Fine Gael, Limerick City and County Council)
"I am opposed to all forms of animal cruelty." from an email to ICABS, April 2014.
Cllr Marian Hurley (Fine Gael, Limerick City and County Council)
"Yes I am [in favour of a ban on fox hunting and hare coursing]." from a text message to ICABS, November 2014.
Cllr Paddy Kavanagh (Fine Gael, Wexford County Council)
"Enniscorthy councillor Paddy Kavanagh has sprung to the defence of his fellow greyhound owners in the war of words about dogs soiling the streets of the town. The Fine Gael man is a well-known race dog enthusiast but does not resort to roads to exercise them as he has plenty of fields at his disposal. He counselled against any witch hunt singling out town dwelling dog walkers with greyhounds in any campaign to take the dirt off the streets at the expense of an activity that has an economic benefit for the area. He said he would not like to see life made impossible for such people, who manage up to four greyhounds at a time while out and about...The councillor pointed out that an urban dog owner from Enniscorthy recently captured one of coursing's most prestigious prizes." from "Don't blame greyhound owners, says councillor" - Enniscorthy Guardian, 1st April 2013. On TV3's Midweek programme in March 2012, Paddy Kavanagh revealed that his father used to be involved in hare coursing.
Cllr John McCartin (Fine Gael, Leitrim County Council)
"I am very concerned about animal welfare" - from an email to ICABS in 2010.
Cllr Frank McDermott (Fine Gael, Westmeath County Council)
"I have no problem with Irish tradition." from a text message to ICABS, May 2014.
"[Cllr Frank McDermott] said that hunt meetings 'with dozens of foxhounds and horses' can cause more damage in a few minutes than an entire parish would cause in a year and he suggested they be controlled under new bye-laws." Westmeath Topic, 4th June 2015.
Cllr Sean McDermott (Fine Gael, Leitrim County Council)
At a June 2010 meeting of Leitrim County Council, Cllr Sean McDermott voted in favour of motion in support of the pro-bloodsports RISE campaign. The motion stated that Leitrim County Council "...shares the concerns [RISE] is highlighting, over legislation currently being proposed by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, John Gormley T.D. This Council calls on the Government to listen to the concerns being expressed by those who engage in hunting and other outdoor activities..."
Cllr Ruairi McGinley (Fine Gael, Dublin City Council)
"I am against hare coursing but do not have a problem with foxhunting" from a tweet to ICABS, October 2014. ICABS has urged Cllr McGinley to reconsider his stance on foxhunting and sent him information about the terrible cruelty involved.
Cllr Grainne McLoughlin (Fine Gael, Wicklow County Council)
"I am opposed to blood sports. As someone who lives in the country and enjoys watching the annual drag hunting spectacle, there is no excuse for live fox hunting or hare coursing - it is simply disgusting and inhumane." from an email to ICABS, July 2015.
Cllr Peter McVitty (Fine Gael, Cavan County Council)
"Fine Gael Cllr Peter McVitty and Sinn Fein Cllr Damien Brady from Cavan voiced their support for the [pro-blood sports Rise] campaign." (Leitrim Observer, May 24, 2010).
Cllr Joe Neville (Fine Gael, Kildare County Council)
"Absolutely." In response to an ICABS tweet - "We hope you favour a ban on foxhunting and hare coursing which are forms of cruelty to animals" (9th September 2014)
Cllr Gerry O'Connor (Fine Gael, Meath County Council)
"I am opposed to all forms of animal cruelty. I support Minister Coveney in regards the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013. I understand that people are passionate about legitimate field sports but want clear standards to protect animal welfare and ensure that these sports are carried out in a proper manner." from a text message to ICABS, May 2014.
Cllr Liam Quinn (Fine Gael, Offaly County Council)
In May 2010, the Offaly Express reported on a pro-bloodsports motion put forward by Liam Quinn. The motion called for support for the RISE hunting and hare coursing campaign.
Cllr Keith Redmond (Fine Gael, Fingal County Council)
"Yes [I am in favour of a ban on foxhunting and hare coursing]." from a tweet to ICABS, May 2014.
Cllr Neale Richmond (Fine Gael, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council)
"No I'm not [in favour of a ban on hare coursing and foxhunting] but it needs to regulated and monitored." from a tweet to ICABS, May 2014. In response, ICABS stated "Regulated and monitored animal cruelty is still animal cruelty. There is no place for animal cruelty in modern Ireland."
Cllr John Ryan (Fine Gael, Wicklow County Council)
"I would like to clarify that I am against animal cruelty." from an email to ICABS, April 2014.
Cllr Darren Scully (Fine Gael, Kildare County Council)
"I am against all cruelty to animals, however what one person sees as cruel another sees as an acceptable part of life, many humans in this world are meat eaters and some would argue that it is cruel to kill cattle, deer, or rabbit to consume. I do not think it wrong or cruel to kill animals for consumption as long as it is done in a controlled manner monitored by the relevant state agency. I do think it is wrong to kill animals for sport, in this day and age we can still engage in sport without the need to take life intentionally. I am sure quite a few were not too pleased when the Romans did away with the gladiators." from an email to ICABS, May 2014.
Cllr Carrie Smyth (Labour, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council)
"I do not like to see cruelty to animals." from an email to ICABS, April 2014.
Cllr Alan Tobin (Fine Gael, Meath County Council)
"No - I would not support [a council motion expressing support for a ban on bloodsports]" In response to correspondence from ICABS, September 2014.
"The hunt is a spectacle not to be missed...I remember as a child being brought down to Frederick St. on Stephen's afternoon by my parents, and relatives would come to visit on that day too, they loved to see the hunt and experience the country way of life." from a Forum newspaper article (December 2013) in which Ashbourne Chamber of Commerce President Alan Tobin reportedly said that Ashbourne would welcome the Ward Union hunt with open arms.
Cllr Barry Ward (Fine Gael, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council)
In 2014, Cllr Ward proposed a motion calling on the National Parks and Wildlife Service to address the urban fox “problem”.
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