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Anti-coursing Sinn Fein leader votes against coursing ban
07 July 2016

After voting against the bill which aimed to outlaw hare coursing, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams told the Irish Council Against Bloodsports: “I am against hare coursing”.

The Louth TD explained this inconsistency by saying that although he opposed the cruel bloodsport, he voted against a ban in accordance with the party’s current pro-coursing policy. This deplorable policy did not stop seven of his party colleagues from doing the right thing and refusing to vote in support of animal cruelty.

Despite claiming to be anti-coursing, Gerry Adams not only voted against the bill, he is now reprimanding party colleagues who did not follow instructions to reject the proposed ban.

The Irish Times of 7th July reports: “Two Sinn Féin TDs face a short-term suspension for defying the party’s instructions on a Bill banning hare coursing. The party had issued an instruction to oppose a Private Members’ motion by Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan. Seven TDs did not vote on the Bill last Thursday with a number explaining their absence to the party whip. Two TDs did not contact whip Aengus Ó Snodaigh and have been reprimanded by the party. It is understood the two deputies are Cork North Central TD Jonathan O’Brien and Dublin North West TD Dessie Ellis.”

The report adds that “Mr Adams agreed the TDs should be reprimanded” after Mr Ó Snodaigh informed him of the “TDs’ defiance of the party’s instructions”.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh’s stance is at complete odds with a 2009 appeal he made to the then Minister for Agriculture to “introduce legislation banning all blood sports including hare coursing and fox hunting”.

With its leader, whip and TDs clearly opposed to hare coursing, it is now time for Sinn Fein to act to reinstate its previous anti-coursing policy. Please contact Sinn Fein today and urge the party to modernise its animal welfare policies to include support for a ban on hare coursing.

Read the full Irish Times article at


Sign our petition: “Sinn Fein: Support a ban on cruel hare coursing”

Urge Sinn Fein to back a ban on hare coursing and foxhunting, in line with the majority view that these cruel activities must be outlawed.

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Gerry Adams TD
Tel: +353 (0)1 618 4442
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(If you have time, please compose your own personal letter)

Dear Sinn Fein,

I am one of the majority who want hare coursing and foxhunting outlawed. I urge your party to modernise its outdated animal welfare policies to include support for a ban on this deplorable animal cruelty.

Yours sincerely,


Sinn Fein TDs who voted against the bill to ban coursing

Gerry Adams (Sinn Fein, Louth)
Pat Buckley (Sinn Fein, Cork East)
David Cullinane (Sinn Fein, Waterford)
Pearse Doherty (Sinn Fein, Donegal)
Martin Ferris (Sinn Fein, Kerry County)
Martin Kenny (Sinn Fein, Sligo Leitrim)
Mary Lou McDonald (Sinn Fein, Dublin Central)
Denise Mitchell (Sinn Fein, Dublin Bay North)
Imelda Munster (Sinn Fein, Louth)
Carol Nolan (Sinn Fein, Offaly)
Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire (Sinn Fein, Cork South Central)
Aengus Ó Snodaigh (Sinn Fein, Dublin South Central)
Louise O’Reilly (Sinn Fein, Dublin Fingal)
Maurice Quinlivan (Sinn Fein, Limerick City)
Brian Stanley (Sinn Fein, Laois)
Peadar Tóibín (Sinn Fein, Meath West)

Sinn Fein TDs who chose to abstain or were not present to vote

John Brady (Sinn Fein, Wicklow)
Sean Crowe (Sinn Fein, Dublin South West)
Dessie Ellis (Sinn Fein, Dublin North West)
Kathleen Funchion (Sinn Fein, Carlow Kilkenny)
Eoin Ó Broin (Sinn Fein, Dublin Mid West)
Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin (Sinn Fein, Cavan Monaghan)
Jonathan O’Brien (Sinn Fein, Cork North Central)

Sinn Fein TDs opposed to bloodsports

Gerry Adams TD (Sinn Fein, Louth)
“I am against hare coursing” stated in conversation with ICABS director, Aideen Yourell. Dail Eireann, 30th June 2016.

John Brady TD (Sinn Fein, Wicklow)
“As an animal lover and someone that works continuously on animal welfare issues, I totally oppose all forms of ‘blood sports’ I think the practice of killing or maiming animals for someone’s enjoyment is wrong and should not be even considered as a sport.” from an email from Cllr John Brady to ICABS, June 2015.

Sean Crowe, TD (Sinn Fein, Dublin South West)
“I find [blood ‘sports’] to be a loathsome practice and the argument that they are in some manner a necessary part of traditional, rural life insulting to the intelligence. I would be delighted to support any and all legislation, which restricts, or bans these ‘sports’.”

Kathleen Funchion TD (Sinn Fein, Carlow Kilkenny)
“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 from Cllr Kathleen Funchion to ICABS, May 2014.

Caoimhghin O Caolain, TD (Sinn Fein, Cavan Monaghan)
“I am totally opposed to live hare coursing.”

Aengus O Snodaigh, TD (Sinn Fein, Dublin South Central)
On 24th March 2009, Aengus O Snodaigh, TD asked the Minister for Agriculture “if in the context of his responsibility for animal welfare and the legal protection of animals from cruelty, he will introduce legislation banning all blood sports including hare coursing and fox hunting”. On 10th March, 2009, he asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government “if he will introduce legislation banning all blood sports including hare coursing and fox hunting”.

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