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Vincent Browne: Hare coursing causes torture to animals
20 November 2015

"The only principle on which you left Fianna Fail was that you were in favour of causing torture to animals" - Vincent Browne to pro-coursing politician Mattie McGrath during an exchange on TV3's The People's Debate on 18th November.

Vincent Browne's condemnation of coursing as animal torture and his scorn for the Tipperary TD's support for the activity came after a member of the audience asked why the now Independent TD departed the Fianna Fail party in 2011.

"I left Fianna Fail...on account of coursing...we were voting on John Gormley's beck to ban coursing," mumbled McGrath, in an attempt perhaps to impress his coursing constituents.

But the vote Mattie McGrath referred to actually related not to hare coursing, but to carted stag hunting in County Meath. Despite the animal cruelty involved in stag hunting and the fact that a ban would not affect his Tipperary constituents, McGrath shamefully voted against the then government's legislation which banned the hunting of stags with packs of hounds. This led to him losing the party whip and later announcing that he was leaving Fianna Fail.

The TV3 debate took place in the Clonmel Park Hotel - an establishment that disgracefully embraces hare coursing. Vincent Browne's denunciation of coursing as animal torture should cause embarrasment for management who, on the "Sporting Events" page of its website, describe hare coursing as a sport and those involved as "sports people". The hotel has also advertised in hare coursing booklets, welcomed hare coursers to Clonmel and even hosted coursing video screenings in the evenings.


Appeal to the Clonmel Park Hotel to stop publicising the Clonmel hare coursing cruelty festival on its website.

Clonmel Park Hotel, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.
Tel: +353 52 6188700
Leave a comment on Facebook
Tweet to: @ClonmelPark

Urge Minister Heather Humphreys to show compassion for the persecuted Irish Hare and withdraw the coursing licence she issued.

Email "Stop the cruelty. Permanently withdraw the hare coursing licence" to,,,,,
Tel: (01) 631 3802 or (01) 631 3800
Leave a comment on Facebook -
Tweet to: @HHumphreysFG

(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 Minister,

I am one of the majority who want hare coursing outlawed. I am writing to urge you to permanently withdraw 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.

Yours sincerely,


Express your support for a ban on coursing. Sign and share petitions

Stop Licensing Cruel Hare Coursing

Save Irish hares from cruel coursing

Ban horrific hare coursing cruelty in Ireland

Stop sponsoring hare coursing in Ireland

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
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Tel: 01-607 2884 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.

Photos from Clonmel coursing show hares running for their lives

A Clonmel Park Hotel advert in a coursing booklet. The ad "welcomes all visitors to the National Coursing Meeting" and says that there will be a "coursing video shown nightly" at the hotel.

An extract from the Clonmel Park Hotel website.

Video: Coursing cruelty

Photos: Coursing cruelty

Coursing cruelty
A terrified hare is knocked off his feet by a muzzled greyhound during coursing in Clonmel. The fate of this hare is unknown but records show that hares hit by dogs can suffer broken bones and other internal injuries.

Coursing cruelty
A hare runs for dear life during a Boylesports-sponsored coursing event in Clonmel.

Hare Coursing Gallery - Image 4
Another victim in coursing. This hare is seen being violently mauled into the ground by a greyhound. Its internal injuries are likely to be severe.

Hare Coursing Gallery - Image 1
A hare is mauled into the ground by a muzzled greyhound during a coursing meeting. This is one of the thousands of hares cruelly captured in the Irish countryside every year for use in the blood sport.

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