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Hare massacre being investigated by Wildlife Service
02 December 2016

The National Parks & Wildlife Service are investigating a report that up to 78 hares were attacked and killed by three dogs at coursing compound in Rathdowney, Co. Laois. This incident is said to have happened on Saturday, November 19, and it is also reported that the three dogs were shot following the incident.

At the time, the Rathdowney coursers would have had in the region of 70 - 80 hares in captivity in the compound, to be used as live lures for greyhounds at a coursing meeting on December 10/11, which has now been deferred to January, according to the Irish Coursing Club's website.

Clare Daly TD questioned Minister Michael Ring, Department of Arts & Heritage, in the Dail on Tuesday about this reported incident, and called for an investigation by the Wildlife Service. Licences to net hares from the wild are issued to the coursers by the National Parks & Wildlife Service, acting for Minister Heather Humphreys. Clare Daly called for Rathdowney coursing club to be disqualified from holding a meeting in January, if this report of 78 hares massacred in their compound proved to be correct.

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is utterly outraged and horrified by the possibility that so many hares could have been massacred by dogs able to access the coursing compound at Rathdowney. This again points up the vulnerability of these timid wild animals kept in captivity, with no means of escape from predators, and it's yet another reason, if one were needed, to finally outlaw this despicable practice. Last June 114 TDs turned a blind eye to the indefensible cruelty of hare coursing and voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's Private Members Bill to ban this barbarity.

Since the hare coursing season commenced, the Irish Council Against Blood Sports, have filmed incidents of fleeing hares being mauled and battered by greyhounds. We have been sending this footage to the 114 TDs, who opposed the Bill, with a reminder that they voted to keep this cruelty going. See playlist of footage filmed at coursing events at Loughrea, Ballinagar, Offaly, Kilmallock and Balbriggan.

As for the callous shooting of the dogs after they killed the hares (if this happened), we see this as a cruel and utterly vindictive response. The responsibility for this clearly lies with the dogs' owners, the coursers for failing to protect the hares in their compound, and ultimately, Minister Heather Humphreys who continues to licence the capture of these timid, defenceless animals.


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Tel: +353 (0)1-631 3802 or (01) 631 3800 (Heather Humphreys)
Tel: +353 (0)1-6194020 (Enda Kenny)
Tel: +353 (0)1-607 2000 (Michael Creed)

Contact all your local TDs now. Demand that they urgently push for a ban on hare coursing and all bloodsports.

Visit the Oireachtas website for names of TDs and their email addresses

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

Please also arrange a meeting with your TDs at their local clinics.


Fine Gael: 46 TDs
Fianna Fail: 36 TDs
Sinn Fein: 16 TDs
Labour Party: 5 TDs
Independents: 11 TDs

Gerry Adams (Sinn Fein, Louth)
Bobby Aylward (Fianna Fail, Carlow Kilkenny)
Maria Bailey (Fine Gael, Dún Laoghaire)
Sean Barrett (Fine Gael, Dún Laoghaire)
John Brassill (Fianna Fail, Kerry County)
Declan Breathnach (Fianna Fail, Louth)
Pat Breen (Fine Gael, Clare)
Colm Brophy (Fine Gael, Dublin South West)
James Browne (Fianna Fail, Wexford)
Richard Bruton (Fine Gael, Dublin Bay North)
Pat Buckley (Sinn Fein, Cork East)
Peter Burke (Fine Gael, Longford Westmeath)
Joan Burton (Labour Party, Dublin West)
Mary Butler (Fianna Fail, Waterford)
Catherine Byrne (Fine Gael, Dublin South Central)
Thomas Byrne (Fianna Fail, Meath East)
Jackie Cahill (Fianna Fail, Tipperary)
Dara Calleary (Fianna Fail, Mayo)
Sean Canney (Independent, Galway East)
Ciaran Cannon (Fine Gael, Galway East)
Joe Carey (Fine Gael, Clare)
Pat Casey (Fianna Fail, Wicklow)
Shane Cassells (Fianna Fail, Meath West)
Lisa Chambers (Fianna Fail, Mayo)
Jack Chambers (Fianna Fail, Dublin West)
Niall Collins (Fianna Fail, Limerick County)
Michael Collins (Independent, Cork South West)
Marcella Corcoran Kennedy (Fine Gael, Offaly)
Simon Coveney (Fine Gael, Cork South Central)
Barry Cowen (Fianna Fail, Offaly)
David Cullinane (Sinn Fein, Waterford)
John Curran (Fianna Fail, Dublin Mid West)
Michael D’Arcy (Fine Gael, Wexford)
Jim Daly (Fine Gael, Cork South West)
John Deasy (Fine Gael, Waterford)
Patrick Deering (Fine Gael, Carlow Kilkenny)
Regina Doherty (Fine Gael, Meath East)
Pearse Doherty (Sinn Fein, Donegal)
Paschal Donohoe (Fine Gael, Dublin Central)
Timmy Dooley (Fianna Fail, Clare)
Andrew Doyle (Fine Gael, Wicklow)
Bernard Durkan (Fine Gael, Kildare North)
Damien English (Fine Gael, Meath West)
Martin Ferris (Sinn Fein, Kerry County)
Frances Fitzgerald (Fine Gael, Dublin Mid West)
Michael Fitzmaurice (Independent, Roscommon Galway)
Peter Fitzpatrick (Fine Gael, Louth)
Charles Flanagan (Fine Gael, Laois)
Sean Fleming (Fianna Fail, Laois)
Brendan Griffin (Fine Gael, Kerry County)
Simon Harris (Fine Gael, Wicklow)
Michael Harty (Independent, Clare)
Sean Haughey (Fianna Fail, Dublin Bay North)
Seamus Healy (Unemployed Action Group, Tipperary)
Michael Healy-Rae (Independent, Kerry County)
Danny Healy-Rae (Independent, Kerry County)
Martin Heydon (Fine Gael, Kildare South)
Brendan Howlin (Labour Party, Wexford)
Paul Kehoe (Fine Gael, Wexford)
Enda Kenny (Fine Gael, Mayo)
Martin Kenny (Sinn Fein, Sligo Leitrim)
Seán Kyne (Fine Gael, Galway West)
John Lahart (Fianna Fail, Dublin South West)
Michael Lowry (Independent, Tipperary)
Marc MacSharry (Fianna Fail, Sligo Leitrim)
Josepha Madigan (Fine Gael, Dublin Rathdown)
Micheál Martin (Fianna Fail, Cork South Central)
Mary Lou McDonald (Sinn Fein, Dublin Central)
Helen McEntee (Fine Gael, Meath East)
Michael McGrath (Fianna Fail, Cork South Central)
Mattie McGrath (Independent, Tipperary)
John McGuinness (Fianna Fail, Carlow Kilkenny)
Tony McLoughlin (Fine Gael, Sligo Leitrim)
Denise Mitchell (Sinn Fein, Dublin Bay North)
Mary Mitchell O'Connor (Fine Gael, Dún Laoghaire)
Kevin “Boxer” Moran (Independent, Longford Westmeath)
Michael Moynihan (Fianna Fail, Cork North West)
Imelda Munster (Sinn Fein, Louth)
Dara Murphy (Fine Gael, Cork North Central)
Eoghan Murphy (Fine Gael, Dublin Bay South)
Eugene Murphy (Fianna Fail, Roscommon Galway)
Margaret Murphy-O’Mahony (Fianna Fail, Cork South West)
Denis Naughten (Independent, Roscommon Galway)
Hildegarde Naughten (Fine Gael, Galway West)
Tom Neville (Fine Gael, Limerick County)
Carol Nolan (Sinn Fein, Offaly)
Michael Noonan (Fine Gael, Limerick City)
Éamon Ó Cuív (Fianna Fail, Galway West)
Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire (Sinn Fein, Cork South Central)
Aengus Ó Snodaigh (Sinn Fein, Dublin South Central)
Jim O’Callaghan (Fianna Fail, Dublin Bay South)
Kate O’Connell (Fine Gael, Dublin Bay South)
Kevin O’Keeffe (Fianna Fail, Cork East)
Fiona O’Loughlin (Fianna Fail, Kildare South)
Louise O’Reilly (Sinn Fein, Dublin Fingal)
Frank O’Rourke (Fianna Fail, Kildare North)
Willie O'Dea (Fianna Fail, Limerick City)
Patrick O'Donovan (Fine Gael, Limerick County)
Fergus O'Dowd (Fine Gael, Louth)
Willie Penrose (Labour Party, Longford Westmeath)
John Paul Phelan (Fine Gael, Carlow Kilkenny)
Maurice Quinlivan (Sinn Fein, Limerick City)
Anne Rabbitte (Fianna Fail, Galway East)
Michael Ring (Fine Gael, Mayo)
Noel Rock (Fine Gael, Dublin North West)
Brendan Ryan (Labour Party, Dublin Fingal)
Eamon Scanlon (Fianna Fail, Sligo Leitrim)
Sean Sherlock (Labour Party, Cork East)
Brendan Smith (Fianna Fail, Cavan Monaghan)
Brian Stanley (Sinn Fein, Laois)
David Stanton (Fine Gael, Cork East)
Peadar Tóibín (Sinn Fein, Meath West)
Robert Troy (Fianna Fail, Longford Westmeath)
Dr. Leo Varadkar (Fine Gael, Dublin West)

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