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Fingal Councillors call for a ban on cruel hare coursing
17 January 2023

Fingal County Councillors have passed a motion calling on the government to ban cruel hare coursing. The motion presented by Solidarity-People Before Profit Councillor John Burtchaell and seconded by Councillor Karen Power of the Green Party won support from 12 councillors representing six political groups.

The motion at the 14 November 2022 meeting stated: “This Council supports a ban on the cruel practice of hare coursing and will write to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine regarding this and call for support for the Animal Health and Welfare (Ban on Hare Coursing) Bill 2020 which is expected before the Dail in the coming months”.

Joining Solidarity-People Before Profit and Green Party in backing the motion were Councillors from the Social Democrats, Independents 4 Change, Fine Gael and Labour Party.

Thank you to the councillors who voted in favour of the motion:

John Burtchaell (Solidarity - People Before Profit)
Karen Power (Green Party)
David Healy (Green Party)
Pamela Conroy (Green Party)
Daniel Whooley (Green Party)
Ian Carey (Green Party)
Aoibhinn Tormey (Fine Gael)
Siobhan Shovlin (Fine Gael)
Punam Rane (Fine Gael)
Dean Mulligan (Independents 4 Change)
Joan Hopkins (Social Democrats)
Mary McCamley (Labour Party)

No councillors voted against the motion. However, five individuals from Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail did not support the motion, instead abstaining in the vote. They were: Howard Mahony/Mayor (Fianna Fail), Adrian Henchy (Fianna Fail), Angela Donnelly (Sinn Fein), Breda Hanaphy (Sinn Fein) and Ann Graves (Sinn Fein).

In presenting the motion, Cllr Burtchaell highlighted the cruelty of hare coursing and the suffering inflicted on hares.

“People are generally familiar with the practice and it’s a barbaric practice with serious injuries to the animals,” he stated. “Thousands of hares are snatched from the wild in nets and forced to run for their lives in front of pairs of muzzled greyhounds. All hares suffer the fear and stress of running for their lives . Every coursing season, hare injuries and deaths occur. Among the injuries recorded are broken backs, spinal injuries, broken legs, damaged toes, dislocated hips. The animals suffer at all stages - during the capture (over 5,000 hares are captured in the country each year), during the time they are held captive in coursing compounds and during coursing meetings where they can be seen desperately running for their lives. I’m asking that the members support this motion.” Watch Cllr Burtchaell’s speech at

The motion referred to the Animal Health & Welfare (Ban on Hare Coursing) Bill which was introduced by Paul Murphy TD in 2020 and is co-signed by TDs Gino Kenny, Mick Barry, Richard Boyd Barrett, Brid Smith, Joan Collins and Catherine Connolly. It is expected back before the Dail later this year.

After the vote, Cllr Burtchaell commented on Sinn Fein’s abstention, tweeting: “No councillors opposed [the motion] but surprised to see Sinn Fein reps abstain. What is the @sinnfeinireland position on this savage practice?”

There are growing calls on Sinn Fein to scrap its current pro-coursing position and revert to a previous policy of favouring a ban on the bloodsport.

The 12 Fingal Councillors who supported the motion are very much in the majority. A RED C poll found that 77% want the government to outlaw coursing, with just 9% disagreeing with a ban. A majority in both rural and urban areas are in favour of a ban.


Sligo County Council passes motion calling for ban on cruel hare coursing

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Cruel Coursing: Deluded Cork Councillors not representing views of majority


HELP THE HARES: Tell Heritage Minister Darragh O’Brien and Minister of State Malcolm Noonan to give full protection to the Irish Hare and stop licensing cruel coursing.

Minister Darragh O’Brien (Fianna Fail, Dublin Fingal)
Tel: (01) 618 3802 OR (086) 251 9893

Malcolm Noonan TD (Green Party, Carlow Kilkenny)
Minister of State for Heritage
Tel: (01) 888 2425 OR (01) 618 3156

With a RED C opinion poll confirming that a 77 per cent majority of citizens want hare coursing banned (with just 9% disagreeing with a ban), it is now time for politicians to consign this nasty bloodsport to history. Join us in contacting all TDs and urging them to act to ensure that a ban is urgently introduced. Visit the Oireachtas website for contact details for TDs

Contact the leaders of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, the Green Party, Sinn Fein and the Labour Party to tell them that you want hare coursing and all bloodsports banned.

Micheál Martin
Phone: +353 (0)1–618 4350 or +353 (0)21-432 0088

Leo Varadkar
Telephone: +353 (0)1-640 3133
Tweet to:

Eamon Ryan TD
Leader, Green Party
Tel: 01 618 3894

Mary Lou McDonald TD
Leader, Sinn Fein
Tel: (01) 727 7102

Ivana Bacik TD
Leader, The Labour Party
Tel: (01) 6183136

Contact Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Green Party, Sinn Fein and Labour Party TDs and urge them to pledge support for the upcoming Animal Health & Welfare (Ban on Hare Coursing) Bill 2020.

Click Here to Email Fianna Fail TDs;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Click Here to Email Fine Gael TDs;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; Patrick.O';;;;;;;;;

Click Here to Email Green Party TDs;;;;;;;;;;;

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Click Here to Email Labour Party TDs;;;;;;

Please sign and share the petitions

Ban Blood Sports in Ireland

Sinn Fein: Support a ban on cruel hare coursing

Ireland – Ban cruel hare coursing

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