Political Parties and blood sports

Fine Gael: "Fine Gael will reverse the ban on stag hunting." (FG manifesto, 2011). In government, Fine Gael has dismissed calls for a ban on foxhunting and hare coursing.

Labour Party: Will not support a reversal of the staghunt ban. On national radio in February 2011, party leader, Eamon Gilmore stated: "We do not believe in reversing the legislation. The legislation was passed. We accept that. We won't reverse it." A party spokesperson assured ICABS that most Labour politicians are opposed to bloodsports. However, in government with Fine Gael, the Labour Party did not push for a ban on bloodsports.

Green Party: Achieved ban on staghunting as part of last Government. The party's animal welfare policy states that "the Green Party is opposed to all blood sports, and will bring in legislation to end hare coursing, fox hunting, hare hunting and mink hunting". The party will also "ensure that sufficient resources are made available to enforce existing laws against stag hunting, dog fighting, cock fighting and animal baiting."

The Green Party has also promised to

Socialist Party: "Joe Higgins TD and the Socialist Party oppose all cruelty against animals, including of course blood sports." from the office of Joe Higgins TD, March 2013. An article entitled "Ban all blood sports" appears on the Socialist Party website. In it, a Social Party Youth representative describes how foxes are "torn to pieces by the dogs" at the end of hunts, describes the activity as a barbaric practice and calls for a complete ban on blood sports in Ireland. Socialist Party TD, Joe Higgins is on record as saying: "I am opposed to the hunting of foxes by hounds as indeed I am opposed to live hare coursing."

Anti Austerity Alliance: The AAA believes that fur farming, fox hunting, hare coursing and animal-act circuses should be outlawed. We would support any legislation that would ban these practices. We would have liked to bring forward our own legislation on these matters in this Dáil, however the standing orders of the Dáil did not facilitate this. Should we win over 7 seats as part of the AAA-PBP block and therefore form a Dáil group we certainly will be taking more initiatives in the Dáil on this in the next term.

Renua: During a November 2015 Dail debate. Renua leader Lucinda Creighton suggested that hunting be developed as an Irish tourism product - "I think we need to develop a lot more of our tourism industry around the horse equestrian sector generally - be it sport horses, be it the hunting sector, be it racing and so on. A lot of that can be integrated because often it's the same people who are interested in all the different elements. I think there's real potential there". When ICABS expressed shock and disgust at the statement, Lucinda Creighton tweeted "it already is [developed as tourism product]. There's definitely room for further promotion. Would be a huge boost for neglected rural economy." Watch a video of the speech extract. The reality is that, due to the appalling animal cruelty involved, Ireland's tourism body Failte Ireland, has long since stopped promoting hunting. On its website, the tourism body makes it clear that "Blood sports including coursing or hunting are not promoted in any Failte Ireland publications."

Lucinda Creighton's husband, Senator Paul Bradford - also a member of Renua - has shamefully expressed support for fox hunting and hare coursing clubs. During a Dail debate in 2010, he said: "It is a given that rural organisations, including hunt and coursing clubs, cannot survive if they do not meet the highest standards of animal husbandry, hygiene and animal feeding propriety. They would not exist if they did not look after these matters with near perfection...If we see such traditions not just as historical but as important for the Ireland of today, we should help them to survive into the future. We should ensure hunting and coursing clubs and other rural organisations such as point-to-point associations remain part of the fabric of rural Ireland."

Social Democrats: The Social Democrats TDs are in favour of a ban on bloodsports. Roisin Shortall and Catherine Murphy have voted in favour of legislation amendments which sought to ban foxhunting and hare coursing.

Fianna Fail: There is no mention of animal welfare in the party's manifesto.

Sinn Fein: At Sinn Fein's 2010 Ard Fheis, a motion was passed which stated: "this Ard Fheis acknowledges the support in rural Ireland for traditional rural occupations including hunting, fishing, and hare coursing, acknowledges the...potential economic damage posed by an outright ban, believes that hunting and fishing should continue to be regulated in the interests of sustainable wildlife management...we oppose an outright ban [on coursing]."

Political Parties - Contact Details

Fine Gael
51 Upper Mount Street
Dublin 2
Tel: 01 619 8444
Fax: 01 662 5046 OR 01 662 7648
Email: finegael@finegael.ie
Website: www.finegael.ie
Tweet to @FineGael
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/FineGael/

Fianna Fáil
Áras de Valera
65-66 Lower Mount Street
Dublin 2
Tel: 01 676 1551
Email: info@fiannafail.ie
Website: www.fiannafail.ie
Tweet to @fiannafailparty
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/fiannafail/

Sinn Féin
44 Parnell Square
Dublin 1
Tel: 01 8726100/8726932
Fax: 01 873 3441
Email: admin@sinnfein.ie
Website: www.sinnfein.ie
Tweet to @sinnfeinireland
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sinnfein/

The Labour Party
17 Ely Place
Dublin 2
Tel: 01 661 2615
Fax: 01 661 2640
Email: info@labour.ie
Website: www.labour.ie
Tweet to @labour
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thelabourparty/

Green Party
5a Upper Fownes Street
Temple Bar
Dublin 2
Tel: 01 679 0012
Fax: 01 679 7168
Email: info@greenparty.ie
Website: www.greenparty.ie
Tweet to @greenparty_ie
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/GreenPartyIreland

Socialist Party
141 Thomas Street
Dublin 8
Tel: 01 677 2686
Email: info@socialistparty.net
Website: www.socialistparty.net
Tweet to @SocialistParty
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SocialistPartyIreland

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