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Remembering anti-bloodsports politician Brendan McGahon
12 February 2017

Remembering anti-bloodsports politician, Brendan McGahon (former Fine Gael TD for Louth) who died on 8th February at the age of 80. Brendan was in favour of a ban on both hare coursing and foxhunting. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis.

Brendan McGahon, TD: "I'm totally opposed to hare coursing. I voted against my party in the Dáil on the Gregory Bill. It's a barbaric game and foxhunting is even worse. In my youth, I used to course and was sickened by it. It's a dreadfully cruel game in which timid little creatures are butchered by dogs often psyched up and blooded beforehand by unscrupulous people. The hares are torn apart, watched and cheered by a group of blood-thirsty people, very often including local clergy."

"I'm a bit cynical about the impact of muzzling. When these dogs are travelling at very high speed and slide in for the kill, they can fatally injure these fragile creatures." (Sunday Independent, January 11th, 1998)

Letter to the Editor - Sunday Independent

TD with strong views and morals
Sunday Independent, 12th February 2017

Sir — Sad to hear of the death of former Louth Fine Gael TD Brendan McGahon.

He had strong views on many subjects, and was never afraid to express those views, regardless of the personal or political consequences for himself.

As a campaigner against blood sports, I admired the principled stance he adopted in June 1993 when TD Tony Gregory moved a bill to ban hare coursing.

Fine Gael imposed a whip on its TDs, obliging them to oppose the bill, but Mr McGahon stood firm on his abhorrence of hare coursing, which he had spoken out against on many occasions.

He defied the party whip and backed Tony Gregory’s attempt to protect the gentle Irish hare from organised animal cruelty.

I didn’t agree with all of Mr McGahon’s views on other issues, but it took real courage to take a stand and act in accordance with his conscience when his party cracked the fearsome whip to defeat a piece of humane and progressive legislation.

His ethical approach was in stark contrast to the sheep-like behaviour of TDs who, last year, trooped through the lobbies in Dail Eireann to oppose another anti-coursing bill.

We need more men and women of principle like the late Brendan McGahon.

John Fitzgerald,
Callan, Co Kilkenny

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