What are your politicians saying about blood sports

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports campaigns enjoy cross-party support. Please contact your anti-blood sports TDs/Senators to praise their efforts to get hunting and coursing banned. If your TD/Senator is in favour of animal cruelty, please let them know that their stance will affect your future voting decisions.

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Views of TDs, Senators and Cllrs

Views of TDs (by constituency)
Views of Senators
Views of Councillors
Views of MEPs
Political Parties and blood sports
Views of former TDs, Senators and Councillors

Views of current TDs
Listed by Constituency

Carlow Kilkenny | Cavan Monaghan | Clare | Cork East | Cork North Central | Cork North West | Cork South Central | Cork South West | Donegal | Dublin Bay North | Dublin Bay South | Dublin Central | Dublin Fingal | Dublin Mid West | Dublin North West | Dublin Rathdown | Dublin South Central | Dublin South West | Dublin West | Dun Laoghaire | Galway East | Galway West | Kerry County | Kildare North | Kildare South | Laois | Limerick City | Limerick County | Longford Westmeath | Louth | Mayo | Meath East | Meath West | Offaly | Roscommon Galway | Sligo Leitrim | Tipperary | Waterford | Wexford | Wicklow

CARLOW KILKENNY

Bobby Aylward TD (Fianna Fail, Carlow Kilkenny)
In June 2016, Bobby Aylward was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

As a TD in June 2010, Bobby Aylward voted in favour of the ban on carted deer hunting, but only apparently because it didn't affect his local constituents - “The stag hunting doesn’t affect me and I’m not going to fight a cause in Kilkenny that’s an issue in Meath and North Dublin.” (Bobby Aylward quoted in the Sunday Business Post, 04 April 2010.)

"Carlow-Kilkenny TD Bobby Aylward said his support could not be relied on when it comes to votes in the Dáil on issues such as animal welfare, the Planning Bill or a ban on corporate donations. “If it means there is going to be a break-up of the Coalition so be it. At this stage I am not going to be coerced into voting for another party’s agenda,” said Mr Aylward. He said that, as a representative of a rural area, he would be looking carefully at issues such as the Dog Breeding Establishments Bill and the proposed ban on stag hunting to see how they affected his constituents." Irish Times, March 29th, 2010.

Patrick Deering TD (Fine Gael, Carlow Kilkenny):
In June 2016, Patrick Deering was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"Pat Deering has described as invalid, claims by animal rights activists that hare coursing represents cruelty to animals. The Carlow TD was speaking to KCLR following a bill proposed to the Dáil yesterday by independent TD Maureen O Sullivan that sought to ban the activity. Deputy Deering was one of 114 TDs who voted against the bill". KCLR Radio News, July 1st 2016.

Patrick Deering's director of elections in the 2011 General Election was Phil Meaney - "a member of the executive committee of the Irish Coursing Club and a member of the finance committee of the Irish Coursing Club" (Source Department of Agriculture website, 2011). Mr Meaney was subsequently appointed to the position of chairman of Bord na gCon. According to the Irish Independent of May 1st 2011, "The Government was in one hell of a hurry to appoint Mr Meaney to the top Bord na gCon job. [Agriculture Minister Simon] Coveney even admitted to having been politically lobbied, but insisted that was not a factor...Fine Gael Carlow TD, Pat Deering, conceded that he had lobbied on behalf of Mr Meaney."

Patrick Deering follows the Irish Coursing Club on Twitter.

Kathleen Funchion TD (Sinn Fein, Carlow Kilkenny)
In June 2016, Kathleen Funchion abstained in the vote on Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing. The bill was defeated by 114 votes to 20 (with the remaining 24 TDs abstaining/not voting).

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

“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.

John McGuinness TD (Fianna Fail, Carlow Kilkenny):
In June 2016, John McGuinness was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In October 2015, John McGuinness TD attended the AGM of the National Association of Regional Game Councils (NARGC) whose members are responsible for the shooting of tens of thousands of foxes, deer, birds and other creatures every year.

"The list of speakers [at a hunting function at Abbeyleix Manor Hotel on 3rd November 2012] was completed by John McGuinness TD, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee who expressed fulsome support for all field sports." From the Hunting Association website.

On 23 October 2012, John McGuinness, TD asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht "the restrictions if any, that are in place which might prevent the sale of nooski traps and rodent control products here; if a licence to sell the products is required; and if he will make a statement on the matter." ICABS subsequently sent Deputy McGuinness a link to a video showing the cruelty of illegal nooski traps.

In a May 2011 Dail question, John McGuinness asked the Minister for Agriculture "his view and policy on the export of greyhounds to China; if he has responded to the campaign against this practice; and if he will make a statement on the matter."

John Paul Phelan TD (Fine Gael, Carlow Kilkenny):
In June 2016, John Paul Phelan was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"At a recent meet of the Kilmoganny Hounds, members were canvassed for their support by successful Fine Gael candidates Tom Hayes (Tipperary South) and John Paul Phelan (Carlow-Kilkenny)". From the Hunting Association of Ireland website. An accompanying photo shows "Tom Hayes and John Paul Phelan at a recent meet of the Kilmoganny Hounds" next to horses and hounds. (2011)

"I will not be supporting any ban on stag hunting." (2010)

"This Bill is potentially devastating for greyhound breeders and others. On Second Stage, for example, I mentioned hunt kennels. The Bill is the thin edge of the wedge in respect of what are loosely termed as country pursuits. I urge the Minister of State, as a representative of the largest Government party and one that, unlike some of the other parties in government, has roots in rural Ireland, to reflect on what is being proposed...Many of my neighbours who are rural people, although not farmers, have a few greyhounds and one of their few pleasures in life is to walk them every morning and evening and perhaps go to Kilcohan Park in Waterford or the greyhound track in Kilkenny city. When we have seen investment by the Government and from elsewhere in upgrading greyhound stadiums, it is bizarre to consider placing extra charges and impositions on greyhound breeders. I hope the Minister of State who represents the rural-based party in government will look to the people he knows who are involved in the greyhound industry and ensure they are not subject to a ridiculous form of double inspection." Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009: Committee Stage, 9 March 2010.

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CAVAN MONAGHAN

Heather Humphreys TD (Fine Gael, Cavan Monaghan):
As Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys licenses cruel hare coursing. Her annual licence allows coursing clubs to net thousands of hares from the wild and use them as live lures for greyhounds to chase. She has disregarded appeals to her to refuse the licence, given the ongoing suffering, injury and death of hares used in the bloodsport. Heather Humphreys also licenses the cruel snaring and killing of thousands of badgers (a supposedly protected species) as part of the Department of Agriculture's failed TB Eradication scheme.

"I recommend to the House that this Bill be rejected." Heather Humphreys TD during Dail debate on bill to ban hare coursing, 23 June 2016. See the full speech: Video | Text

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In 2015, three weeks after issuing a hare coursing licence, Arts and Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys made her way to Birr Castle in County Offaly to attend a game fair which celebrates the killing of Irish wildlife. Minister Humphreys, who has refused to meet groups campaigning against bloodsports, was more than happy to perform the opening ceremony at an event which attracts those who blast wildlife to death, unleash lurchers and terriers to attack and kill foxes, use packs of hounds to terrorise and tear foxes apart and send ferrets underground to catch and injure rabbits. The Minister with responsibility for our Wildlife Act was photographed at last weekend's Birr Game Fair which promotes itself as being of interest to "the most discerning" hunters and shooters. Minister Humphreys was a "VIP Guest" of the National Association of Regional Game Councils (NARGC) whose members are responsible for the shooting of tens of thousands of foxes, deer, birds and other creatures. View the photo of Minister Humphreys posing next to hunting representatives http://tinyurl.com/zocuz87

Caoimhghin O Caolain TD (Sinn Fein, Cavan Monaghan):
In June 2016, Caoimhghin O Caolain TD abstained in the vote on Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing. The bill was defeated by 114 votes to 20 (with the remaining 24 TDs abstaining/not voting).

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Caoimhghin O Caolain TD is on record as stating: "I am totally opposed to live hare coursing."

Brendan Smith TD (Fianna Fail, Cavan Monaghan):
In June 2016, Brendan Smith TD was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

According to the Summer 2008 edition of the Hunting Association's newsletter, Minister Brendan Smith "officially opens Drumlin Hounds Equestrian Facility". The Drumlin Hounds is a Cavan hunt affiliated to the Irish Masters of Harriers Association. "The course, [was] built by Drumlin Equestrian with the aid of a grant from the Government Sports Capital Scheme...Minister Smith commended the group on their vision, perseverance and personal commitment in pursuing and completing this project." Minister Smith was photographed alongside members of the hunt.

Niamh Smyth TD (Fianna Fail, Cavan Monaghan):
In June 2016, Niamh Smyth TD abstained in the vote on Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing. The bill was defeated by 114 votes to 20 (with the remaining 24 TDs abstaining/not voting).

'Fianna Fáíl Deputy for Cavan Monaghan Niamh Smyth says is disturbed by the “wild west” type reports of the conduct carried out during the shooting of five cattle in Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan this week and she has asked the Minister for Agriculture for clarity the protocols in such situations. Deputy Smyth said, “I’m disturbed by reports of the conduct carried out during the gathering of animals on a farm in Carrickmacross this week. It is the first time I have heard of such an incident been taken to the extreme. It is my understanding the defence forces were involved, and if so it is quite worrying. I know there are so many farmers out there who find themselves in financial difficulty and I don’t want to be scare mongering, but you have to ask yourself, will this incident set a precedent going forward.' from a statement from Niamh Smyth TD, July 7, 2016.

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CLARE

Pat Breen, TD (Fine Gael, Clare):
In June 2016, Pat Breen was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"We all know people in every parish in every county who take great pride in their greyhounds and Clare is no different. Many of the dog breeders there go to the greyhound tracks in Limerick or Galway every Friday and Saturday night and they look forward to that social event. Greyhound racing and coursing are extremely important...Many people are involved in coursing clubs, such as the Tradaree Coursing Club. They want to have a dog who will raise a flag and win a race in Clonmel or wherever...I visited the kennels of the County Clare Hunt, which are located in my parish of Drumquin." Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009 [Seanad]: Second Stage, 2nd June 2010

Joe Carey, TD (Fine Gael, Clare):
In June 2016, Joe Carey was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"I welcome the opportunity to speak in opposition to the Bill. The rural activity of government-regulated hare coursing and the Irish Coursing Club have been persistently condemned by the proposer of this legislation and by anti-coursing groups...I have an interest in greyhound racing and coursing. My father continues to be involved in greyhounds having taken an interest in the sport from a young age and there is a strong tradition of greyhounds on my late mother's side of my family. One of my earliest memories as a young boy is of travelling to a trial in Miltown Malbay in the back of a car with two fawn greyhounds... Last year’s coursing season was very exciting for me. I attended a lot of meetings and had some success as part of the Déise-Banner syndicate. We won the Dungarvan bitch trial stake and qualified for the national meeting in Clonmel with our dark brindle bitch called Clodagh River. She was bred and reared by a great friend of mine, Shane O’Gorman from Portlaw in County Waterford who is also part of the syndicate as is Senator Paudie Coffey..." Joe Carey TD during Dail debate on bill to ban hare coursing, 23 June 2016. See the full speech: Video | Text

"The issuing of hunter certificates and management of entries and declarations for point-to-point racing and the financial receipts associated with those functions will remain with the local hunt clubs...Income streams that currently go to local hunt clubs will be unaffected. I commend the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine, under the chairmanship of Deputy Andrew Doyle, on its role in formulating this important legislation." Joe Carey TD during Horse Racing Ireland Bill 2015, 11 November 2015.

According to a July 2012 Irish Examiner report, Joe Carey was part of a 14-man syndicate of Fine Gael TDs who "stumped up €250 each for a share in [greyhound] Swift Starlet after the 17-month-old bitch showed impressive form at recent trials." The Irish Greyhound Board website shows that Swift Starlet was entered into 65 races between July 2012 and August 2014 and won 7. The total prize money is listed at €2,179. Her last race was at Mullingar greyhound track on 30th August 2014 when she came last. What happened to her after that remains unknown.

"I am a greyhound owner and breeder...I acknowledge and welcome the involvement of greyhound industry interests, including the IGB [and] Irish Coursing Club..." Welfare of Greyhounds Bill 2011: Second Stage, 30 June 2011.

"I wish to put on record my opposition to this Bill and its knock-on effect on the greyhound industry. The Irish greyhound industry is a world leader and it has been allowed to grow and develop under the Greyhound Industry Act 1958. The Dog Breeding Establishments Bill will tamper with and have a very negative effect on the greyhound industry." Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009: Discussion, 11 May 2010

"This column has gone to the dogs, so today, we are dedicating it to Taco Beauty, a dark brindle breeding bitch belonging to Clare TD Joe Carey. While speaking on the controversial dog breeding Bill in the Dail yesterday, Fine Gael's new assistant chief whip told his delighted colleagues that he just found out that his breeding bitch is in pup." from Miriam Lord's week column, Irish Times, 3rd July 2010

"Deputy Joe Carey: I welcome the Minister's new-found regard for the Irish Coursing Club." Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009, 8th July 2010.

Timmy Dooley, TD (Fianna Fail, Clare):
In June 2016, Timmy Dooley was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"There is nothing in this legislation that can in any way impact on greyhound racing, hare coursing, fox hunting, fishing or shooting. I would not and will not support any legislation that would seek to ban any of these pursuits, which are an integral part of the fabric of rural life." from "Fianna Fáil resignation over stag ban", Clare Champion, 2010.

Michael Harty (Independent, Clare):
In June 2016, Michael Harty was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

"Hare coursing is a huge part of the tradition and social fabric of rural Ireland. The breeding of greyhounds for greyhound racing and coursing is a significant sporting interest and a significant source of income for dog breeders and small farmers in rural Ireland. It is particularly prevalent in Munster and in my county of County Clare. In west Clare, every second farmer is involved in greyhound breeding and coursing. It is part of the fabric of rural society and many of my constituents are involved in this sport." Michael Harty TD during Dail debate on bill to ban hare coursing, 23 June 2016. See the full speech: Video | Text

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CORK EAST

Pat Buckley TD (Sinn Fein, Cork East):
In June 2016, Pat Buckley was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Kevin O’Keeffe TD (Fianna Fail, Cork East):
In June 2016, Kevin O’Keeffe was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"The horse and greyhound sectors are important industries to the economy. The money being proposed is welcome. Many families supplement their incomes from their involvement in the horse and greyhound sector. It has to be welcomed. It shows we are backing the industry...I welcome and wholeheartedly support the motion." Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016, 14 December 2016.

"I will not be supporting the Bill proposed, which would in effect ban hare coursing...Those who partake in coursing respect and love nature. They would not do anything that would harm it in any way. In many ways, they are more respectful of nature and endangered species than those who claim to be against blood sports, of which coursing is not one." Kevin O'Keeffe TD speaking during Dail debate on bill to ban hare coursing, 23 June 2016. See the full speech - Video | Text. During the debate, Kevin O'Keeffe admitted to attending coursing meetings.

In 2010, Cork County Councillor Kevin O'Keeffe shamefully tabled a joint motion proposing that "that this council gives its support to the [pro-bloodsports] RISE campaign to ensure that rural sports can continue to be maintained". Kevin O'Keeffe is the son of pro-bloodsports former TD Ned O'Keeffe who is on record as saying that any attempt to abolish "rural pursuits" such as hare coursing would be "vigorously resisted''. As a pig farmer in 1995, Ned O'Keeffe farcically called for a ban the children's film, Babe, over fears that it would lead to a drop in the sale of pig meat.

Sean Sherlock, TD (Labour, Cork East):
In June 2016, Sean Sherlock was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"I am in favour of field sports and coursing and I have been at greyhound meetings. The people I represent are those who rear pups." Stated by Sean Sherlock during the Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009: Second Stage, 8 July 2010.

"Cork East TD Sean Sherlock said he would reserve comment on stag hunting until the matter had been discussed internally. 'I believe there must be some sort of regulation but we must not regulate field sports out of existence.'" (Irish Times, April 29, 2010)

"Deputy Sean Sherlock: If [the Minister] were to support the amendment, that would give great solace to the Irish Greyhound Board, the Irish Coursing Club and to every single dog owner throughout the country who courses hares or races greyhounds in such places as Curraheen Park and Youghal." Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009: Second Stage 8 July 2010.

In a September 2014 letter from Mallow Coursing Club to the National Parks and Wildlife Service (obtained by ICABS under Freedom of Information) in relation to licence breaches, it was stated: "As regards the threatened sanctions, our two local TDs Sean Sherlock and Tom Barry have been made aware of this situation. These men attend our meeting and are well aware that this club at all times abide by the rules." In a climb-down, following discussions with Minister Heather Humphreys, the National Parks decided not to sanction Mallow coursing club, despite the licence breach conditions. For more information, see Minister Humphreys Rolls Over For Hare Coursers

David Stanton, TD (Fine Gael, Cork East):
In June 2016, David Stanton was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In March 2013, David Stanton voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circuses.

David Stanton voted against the Wildlife Amendment Bill 2010 which banned staghunting.

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CORK NORTH CENTRAL

Mick Barry TD (Socialist Party/Anti Austerity Alliance, Cork North Central)
In June 2016, Mick Barry was one of the 20 compassionate TDs who voted in favour of Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban hare coursing.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"I am opposed to blood 'sports' and 'sports' that involve cruelty to animals. I am also opposed to wild animal circuses and favour a Council ban on them. I am equally opposed to foxhunting and hare coursing." from an email from Cllr Mick Barry to ICABS, May 2014.

Billy Kelleher, TD (Fianna Fail, Cork North Central):
In June 2016, Billy Kelleher abstained/was not present in the vote on Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing. The bill was defeated by 114 votes to 20 (with the remaining 24 TDs abstaining/not voting).

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In March 2013, Billy Kelleher voted against an amendment to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on fur farming in Ireland. Billy Kelleher also voted against the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Bill 2004.

Dara Murphy, TD (Fine Gael, Cork North Central):
In June 2016, Dara Murphy was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In March 2013, Dara Murphy voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circuses.

In a March 2014 Dail question, Dara Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality "his plans to alter legislation in relation to gun ownership for hunting and target practice; if he has received any requests to alter such legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter."

Jonathan O'Brien, TD (Sinn Fein, Cork North Central):
In June 2016, Jonathan O'Brien abstained/was not present in the vote on Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing. The bill was defeated by 114 votes to 20 (with the remaining 24 TDs abstaining/not voting).

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In March 2013, Jonathan O'Brien voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circuses.

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CORK NORTH WEST

Michael Creed, TD (Fine Gael, Cork North West):
In June 2016, Michael Creed was not present in the vote on Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing. The bill was defeated by 114 votes to 20 (with the remaining 24 TDs abstaining/not voting).

According to a July 2012 Irish Examiner report, Michael Noonan and Michael Creed were part of a 14-man syndicate of Fine Gael TDs who "stumped up €250 each for a share in Swift Starlet after the 17-month-old bitch showed impressive form at recent trials." In the year that Ministers Noonan and Creed joined "The Oir" greyhound syndicate", €11.3 million was paid out by the government to the Irish Greyhound Board - part of the nearly quarter of a billion paid out since 2001.

In a statement issued in October 2009, Michael Creed, TD stated: "Fine Gael supports country sports which are carried out humanely, properly supervised and monitored and that do not involve any undue risk to animal welfare. If these criteria can be satisfied Fine Gael does not oppose properly licensed country sports activities. Fine Gael will oppose any move by Government to deny groups who have conducted their activities as per their licences, the right to continue to pursue these activities in the future. We believe that imposing a ban on these licensed activities would be a retrograde step both in terms of animal welfare and economically."

Fine Gael's Spokesperson for Agriculture, Fisheries & Food, Michael Creed, has been asked by ICABS to stop defending the cruel blood sport of beagling. In a Sunday Independent report, the County Cork TD sided with the beaglers and criticised Minister John Gormley for restricting the beagling season. The June 1st 2008 article quoted Deputy Creed as saying that "any assault on the ordinary working man's pursuit of beagling by some Green metropolitan latte-drinking elite would not be taken lying down". For more information, see ICABS responds to Deputy Michael Creed's beagling remarks

Michael Moynihan TD (Fianna Fail, Cork North West):
In June 2016, Michael Moynihan was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

"Those involved in the industry and coursing clubs are genuine, decent and honourable people, providing employment and entertainment and maintaining animal welfare standards second to none...We must acknowledge the voluntary contributions people made in Bord na gCon and the Irish Coursing Club. Many of them have been attacked from certain quarters. It is up to those who acknowledge these people’s contribution to stand up for them and point out that their sports are completely legitimate." From a Dail debate on the Welfare of Greyhounds Bill 2011, 30 June 2011

Aindrias Moynihan TD (Fianna Fail, Cork North West):
In June 2016, Aindrias Moynihan abstained/was not present in the vote on Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing. The bill was defeated by 114 votes to 20 (with the remaining 24 TDs abstaining/not voting).

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

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CORK SOUTH CENTRAL

Simon Coveney TD (Fine Gael, Cork South Central):
In June 2016, Simon Coveney was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In February 2015, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney admitted that he has participated in the shameful bloodsport of foxhunting. During a Dail in which he defended the cruel activity, Simon Coveney revealed: “I have hunted”. Despite acknowledging that he is “sure” that foxes get pulled apart by packs of hounds during foxhunts, he refused to ban the activity. “When I have hunted, I have never seen a fox being pulled apart,” he said. “I am sure, however, that it happens and I am not saying it does not.” Dismissing an impassioned appeal from Irish Council Against Blood Sports president, Maureen O’Sullivan TD, to embrace drag hunting and outlaw the hunting of live animals with packs of dogs, Coveney outlined that he and his colleagues are aiming to accommodate those who get their kicks from cruelty. “Our policy decisions try to strike a balance for those who derive great enjoyment from hunting,” he said. This included inserting an exemption into the Animal Health and Welfare Act which gives fox hunters immunity from prosecution for what would otherwise be an offence of animal cruelty.

"For the sake of clarity, this section does not apply to activity occurring during the normal course of hunting, fishing or coursing...We have done a separate review on fur farming, the details of which I can give to the Deputy. We will not ban it..." Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage, Dail Eireann, September 19th, 2012. Watch on Youtube

"It is not appropriate to simply outlaw hare coursing and hunting when they are pursued according to the codes of conduct drawn up by clubs. Considerable numbers of people are passionate about these pursuits and my job is to ensure that standards are met rather than simply outlawing practices." Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage, Dail Eireann, September 20th, 2012.

"We went to great lengths to ensure we were not doing anything that would prevent people from continuing to participate in field sports as they would have in the past, as long as that is in a way that is consistent with the codes of conduct enshrined in those sports, including coursing, hunting and fishing. The measure applies only if there is undue cruelty such as the digging out of animals when they have gone to ground, which is unacceptable. In the legislation I am not banning coursing and hunting through the back door. We are trying to get the balance right between facilitating field sports and ensuring the codes of practice agreed for those sports are respected. If people begin to operate outside these codes, that is a different issue." Simon Coveney (Minister, Department of Agriculture, the Marine and Food; Cork South Central, Fine Gael) Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012: Committee Stage, 22 May 2012 Watch on Youtube

"I have probably answered Deputy Colreavy's arguments on whether fur-farming and coursing are absolutely necessary. They are not. When something is not necessary for people to live and eat, it is a judgment call whether that means one should ban activities such as coursing and fur-farming, whether or not one likes them. It is my judgment that we should regulate rather than ban them." Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012: Committee Stage (Resumed) (Continued), 22 November 2012

"I am trying to get balanced legislation that takes account of farming and hunting practices in a reasonable way, but also provides appropriate protection for animals to ensure that we do not have either wanton or accidental cruelty because neither is acceptable." Dail Eireann Questions and Answers, 10th May 2012

Micheal Martin, TD (Fianna Fail, Cork South Central):
In June 2016, Micheal Martin was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Speaking on RTE's Questions and Answers on 20th September 2004, Micheal Martin, TD stated that he does not think foxhunting should be banned in Ireland. Responding to a question from presenter, John Bowman, Deputy Martin said: "Foxhunting has been a part of Irish rural life for quite a long time, since well before the foundation of the state. I'm not sure banning a sport like that is the way to deal with issues like this." His comments came just five days after members of Parliament in the UK voted overwhelmingly to make foxhunting illegal there.

Michael McGrath TD (Fianna Fail, Cork South Central):
In June 2016, Michael McGrath was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In March 2013, Michael McGrath voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circuses.

In a September 2008 Dail question, Michael McGrath asked the Minister for the Environment "when he will introduce regulations to implement the recommendations of the working group to review the management of dog breeding establishments; and his plans to exempt the kennels of non-commercial clubs registered with the Hunting Association of Ireland from such regulations."

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD (Sinn Fein, Cork South Central):
In June 2016, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

"I'm sorry you are disappointed. Our policy isnt to ban coursing. I'm unlikely to change mind on this issue" - Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD in a 6th July 2016 tweet in response to a message from a constituent stating "So disappointing to see your name as one of those who voted for animal abuse today. You've lost my vote."

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

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CORK SOUTH WEST

Michael Collins, TD (Independent, Cork South West):
In June 2016, Michael Collins was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Jim Daly, TD (Fine Gael, Cork South West):
In June 2016, Jim Daly was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In March 2013, Jim Daly voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circuses.

Margaret Murphy O’Mahony TD (Fianna Fail, Cork South West)
In June 2016, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Fianna Fail councillor Margaret Murphy O’Mahony leant her support to the [anti-circus] motion, pointing out it was not natural for animals to be forced to dance or sit on chairs. “It’s the threat of physical punishment which makes them do it,” she said. (Source: Irish Examiner, June 10, 2014)

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DONEGAL

Pearse Doherty, TD (Sinn Fein, Donegal):
In June 2016, Pearse Doherty was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"This government is allocating 76 euro million to the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund while giving less than that, 64 million euro, to the Drugs Initiatives and Young People's Facilities Fund. This is unacceptable. If the government were to re-allocate tax payers money out of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund then resources for the Drugs Initiatives and Young People's Facilities Fund under Budget 2008 could be more than doubled." (Donegal Sinn Fein Senator Pearse Doherty in a Donegal News report highlighting how the county's drugs squad has been left with just one part-time officer - February 1st, 2008)

Pat the Cope Gallagher TD (Fianna Fail)
In June 2016, Pat the Cope Gallagher abstained/was not present in the vote on Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing. The bill was defeated by 114 votes to 20 (with the remaining 24 TDs abstaining/not voting).

In March 2004, Pat the Cope Gallagher - as Minister of State at the Department of the Environment - defended the licensing of the cruel Ward Union deer hunt, saying: "Section 26 of the Wildlife Act 1976, as amended, which governs the licensing of the hunting of deer by stag hounds, refers generically to deer, and the question of whether deer are domestic or wild is not an issue in that section...[This is] sufficient to empower the Minister to licence the Ward Union hunt." He was responding to a call from the late Tony Gregory TD that "this matter demands action and a resolute stand against the vested interests involved in torturing helpless animals."

In 2005, foxes and mink were doomed to lives of misery on fur farms following the rejection by Dail Eireann of the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Bill 2004. The bill was defeated by 67 votes to 50. Pat the Cope Gallagher was among the 62 Fianna Fail TDs who voted AGAINST the bill.

In November 2009, Pat the Cope Gallagher was strongly criticised by animal welfare campaigners after he appealed to the government to reconsider its plans to phase out cruel fur farming. The Donegal Democrat reported that Fianna Fail MEP Gallagher "said he will be asking the government to re-consider the position on fur farming which would see two mink farms close in south west Donegal." In a letter to Mr Gallagher, ICABS highlighted the suffering endured by mink and foxes on Irish fur farms. "Regardless of the small amount of jobs supported by this cruelty in Donegal or the euros it generates, nothing will ever change the fact that it is a disgraceful, disgusting and depraved industry," we stated. Witness the cruelty of Ireland's fur farming

Charlie McConalogue, TD (Fianna Fáil, Donegal):
In June 2016, Charlie McConalogue abstained/was not present in the vote on Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing. The bill was defeated by 114 votes to 20 (with the remaining 24 TDs abstaining/not voting).

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In March 2013, Charlie McConalogue voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circuses.

Joe McHugh TD (Fine Gael, Donegal):
In June 2016, Joe McHugh abstained/was not present in the vote on Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing. The bill was defeated by 114 votes to 20 (with the remaining 24 TDs abstaining/not voting).

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"I was recently approached by a Border town game hunting club in my own constituency. The Department of Justice will not grant it a licence because it has members from both sides of the Border. Artificial barriers imposed by the current Government undermine everyday cross-border cooperation at community level. These are the challenges that must be addressed." Speech by Joe McHugh TD to Fine Gael National Conference, March, 2010

Thomas Pringle, TD (Independent, Donegal):
In June 2016, Thomas Pringle abstained/was not present in the vote on Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing. The bill was defeated by 114 votes to 20 (with the remaining 24 TDs abstaining/not voting).

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"I think it is clear that I am not supporting these [anti-hunting and anti-coursing] amendments and it is only because of the situation in the Dail that the amendments have to be submitted in my name as the only independent on the select committee that will consider the legislation. I have no problem with field sports provided there is no unnecessary cruelty to animals during the sports and I know that most people involved are trying to preserve a rural way of life." Thomas Pringle, 14th November, 2012. http://www.thomaspringle.ie/?p=1596

Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan: First, I acknowledge the work of Deputy Thomas Pringle in allowing the amendments to be tabled because he had difficulties with some of them. I am conscious that the amendments tabled by Deputy Clare Daly and I presented difficulties for him. Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012: Committee Stage, 22 November 2012

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DUBLIN BAY NORTH

Tommy Broughan, TD (Independent, Dublin Bay North):
In June 2016, Tommy Broughan was one of the 20 compassionate TDs who voted in favour of Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban hare coursing.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"Animal welfare is something that I feel very strongly about and is an issue that I have raised on many occasions in Dáil Éireann. I am against animal cruelty in any way, shape or form and believe that animals should not be used in hunting, coursing or in any situation where they are mistreated for human entertainment. Animals are sentient beings and should be protected and safe. I have raised many questions and issues over the years regarding the race horse industry and dog breeding in particular and of course, will remain a strong advocate for animal welfare and rights should I be re-elected to the 32nd Dáil." from a reply to the National Animal Rights Association, 2016.

ICABS has sent a message of thanks to Dublin North East TD, Tommy Broughan, after he abstained from voting in the Wildlife Amendment Bill vote in 2010. "We wish to thank you very much for remaining true to your principles and refusing to vote against the Wildlife Amendment Bill on Tuesday. Your action helped achieve success for this historic bill and bring the cruel ward union hunt to an end. You have our greatest respect and admiration," we stated. Read More

"I remain opposed to all so called blood 'sports'." (February 2010)
"[I] support your call to introduce drag coursing in place of coursing of hares." (September 2003)

On 27th March 2013, Tommy Broughan supported amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to outlaw hare coursing, foxhunting, terrierwork, digging-out, ferreting and fur farming.

Richard Bruton, TD (Fine Gael, Dublin Bay North):
In June 2016, Richard Bruton was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In March 2013, Richard Bruton voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circuses.

Sean Haughey TD (Fianna Fail, Dublin Bay North)
In June 2016, Sean Haughey was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In 2010, Sean Haughey TD voted in favour of the ban on carted stag hunting.

In 2005, foxes and mink were doomed to lives of misery on fur farms following the rejection by Dail Eireann of the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Bill 2004. The bill was defeated by 67 votes to 50. Sean Haughey was among the TDs who voted AGAINST the bill.

In June 2005, Sean Haughey, TD asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food "her views on the horrific slaughter of 4,300 pigs on a farm in Waterford in 2002 which was presided over by officials from her Department".

Finian McGrath, TD (Independent, Dublin Bay North):
In June 2016, Finian McGrath was one of the 20 compassionate TDs who voted in favour of Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"Finian McGrath saved the day for the stags of north Dublin and Meath this week by voting with the Government on the hunting ban." Irish Independent, July 3rd 2010.

"Finian McGrath and Maureen O'Sullivan have told the Herald that they are determined to see stag hunting ended. Both say that blood sports are entirely wrong and should be stamped out as soon as possible..."I would be totally against blood sports," [Finian] said. "I have major concern around the chasing of stags. There have been a couple of serious incidents. In one incident a stag was chased into a schoolyard. It was appalling, disgraceful." Evening Herald, June 29 2010.

"I support the plan to end doping and rigging of greyhound races. I demand standards in the industry to root out doping and sleaze. Although it is an important social and family event, the downside of it is coursing, on which we need a debate." During a Dail debate on the Greyhound Industry (Doping Regulation) Bill 2006, 8th June 2006.

"You have my total support in relation to blood sports. I am definitely opposed to them". November, 2003

On 27th March 2013, Finian McGrath supported amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to outlaw hare coursing, foxhunting, terrierwork, digging-out, ferreting and fur farming.

Denise Mitchell, TD (Sinn Fein, Dublin Bay North):
In June 2016, Denise Mitchell was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

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DUBLIN BAY SOUTH

Eoghan Murphy TD (Fine Gael, Dublin Bay South):
In June 2016, Eoghan Murphy was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Eoghan Murphy has not responded to enquiries from ICABS about where he stands on foxhunting and hare coursing.

In May 2011, Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture "if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the Irish Greyhound Board is considering sending Irish greyhounds to China; and his views on same." In February 2013, he asked the Minister for Agriculture "the amount the State subsidy to the Irish Greyhound Board is worth; the person who oversees its spend; what it is designated for; if it is performance linked and his views on whether the allocation is value for money."

Jim O'Callaghan (Fianna Fáil, Dublin Bay South):
In June 2016, Jim O'Callaghan was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Kate O’Connell TD (Fine Gael, Dublin Bay South):
In June 2016, Kate O’Connell was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Eamon Ryan TD (Green Party, Dublin Bay South)
In June 2016, Eamon Ryan was one of the 20 compassionate TDs who voted in favour of Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban hare coursing.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"I am firmly opposed to the current practice of fox hunting and hare coursing in the country which I feel cannot be defended on the grounds of preserving rural traditions or indeed any other conservation or rural development arguments.

In January 2012, Eamon Ryan attended an anti-coursing protest outside the Department of Agriculture in Dublin.

Signed a Eurogroup for Animals animal welfare pledge, including "I will strive to ensure that animals are recognised as sentient beings in all legislation that comes before the Parliament and strive to ensure all existing animal welfare related legislation is properly enforced..."

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DUBLIN CENTRAL

Paschal Donohoe, TD (Fine Gael, Dublin Central):
In June 2016, Paschal Donohoe was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In March 2013, Paschal Donohoe voted against 3 amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circuses.

Mary Lou McDonald TD (Sinn Fein, Dublin Central):
In June 2016, Mary Lou McDonald was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In March 2013, Mary Lou McDonald voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - fox hunting, terrierwork, digging out, ferreting, badger culling and the use of animals in circuses.

In 2007, Mary Lou McDonald signed Written Declaration 0002/2007 - "Written declaration on the EU-wide ban on bullfighting"- which aimed to get bullfighting banned in the EU.

Maureen O'Sullivan, TD (Independent, Dublin Central):
The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is honoured to have Maureen O'Sullivan as our President. Maureen is an invaluable ally to ICABS in Dail Eireann, tabling Dail questions and making representations on an ongoing basis.

In June 2016, Maureen O'Sullivan, TD presented to Dail Eireann a bill which sought to ban hare coursing. The bill was defeated after 114 TDs - mostly from Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, Sinn Fein and Labour - shamefully voted against it.

"Banning live hare coursing is not an attack on rural life - It is an attack on wanton cruelty to animals. And there is a viable alternative." Maureen O'Sullivan, TD in a 29th June 2016 tweet.

"We live in a country of great natural beauty and yet we treat animals like hares appallingly. The contradiction and irony, which I have mentioned already, is that we have the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht issuing licences to capture and net hares. How is it part of the artistic and cultural agenda of the country to net hares, keep them in captivity for several weeks before releasing them into a field to be chased and hunted by the greyhound? There is also the contradiction of calling this a sport because sport is about fairness, skill, talent and matching people or teams of pretty similar ability or standard of play. When I look at coursing, I look at a small, slight animal versus a much bigger and stronger animal - the average weight of the hare is about 6 lbs while the average weight of a greyhound is more than 60 lbs. I have used the analogy of it being like asking Katie Taylor to get into the ring with a Mike Tyson figure or a sumo wrestler. There is also the contradiction that the hare is a protected species under the Wildlife Act and yet we allow wanton cruelty to it. There is a contradiction that we have an Animal Health and Welfare Act, the ethos of which is to prevent cruelty and unnecessary suffering to animals and yet it exempts hares...I cannot believe the Minister can talk about concerns for the welfare of the hare while statistics, evidence and figures showing the exact opposite, where there is wanton cruelty, is available. I refer to the line from Gandhi to the effect that first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you and then you win. Animal welfare people have been ignored, we have been laughed at, we have been fought with but we will win. We may not win next Thursday but we will win at some future date." Maureen O'Sullivan, TD during Dail debate on bill to ban hare coursing, 23 June 2016. See the full speech: Video | Text

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"The greyhound industry is getting some €16 million in funding from the government, yet within the industry we see appalling examples of animal abuse and lack of concern for animal welfare...To return to the other aspect of cruelty, namely, live hare coursing, there are so many examples of the hare, the gentlest of animals, being tossed, mauled, injured, killed and terrorised in the name of so-called entertainment." Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016, 14 December 2016.

Speaking during the first sitting of the thirty second Dail on March 10th, Maureen O'Sullivan TD told a packed Dail Eireann that Ireland is "a long way from being progressive in animal welfare". Watch on Youtube

"Nobody will tell me that coursing is the sort of activity where there is no cruelty... I do not think it is doing our international reputation any good to be one of three countries that continue with live coursing...This was a golden opportunity to get rid of hare coursing which I think is very obvious the majority of people in this country totally oppose." Animal Health and Welfare Bill debate in Dail Eireann, March 27th, 2013. Watch on Youtube

"Let me refer to coursing. I could read out a catalogue of instances of coursing cruelty but I will refer to just a few pertaining to various coursing meetings. Over two days of coursing at one event, 16 hares were hit by dogs. Nine were pinned and seven died of their injuries. At another meeting, six hares were hit by muzzled dogs, six were injured and two were killed. Over another two days, ten hares were hit, two were killed, two were injured and two died overnight. At another meeting, 12 hares were hit by muzzled dogs, one was killed, four were injured and one was put down because of injuries...We know what occurs before coursing meetings. The club members go out collecting hares. Sometimes they do so outside the bounds of their licence. Netting involves supporters yelling and shouting to herd hares into a net and then into an enclosure. This, again, is cruel to hares because they are solitary creatures. The wild hare is released into the field where we know what happens. Blooding with hares, rabbits and kittens is practised by people who own greyhounds. While debating legislation before the recess, I discovered that hares can also be shot. I do not know what the poor hare ever did to Irish society to be subjected to such cruel treatment...Let me refer to fur farming. I have seen evidence of the manner in which animals are kept, breaching all animal welfare laws, even those we had before now. The practice is similar to the medieval torture chamber represented by the badger traps. A review group submitted a report some months ago but this is not being addressed in the Bill. I hope separate legislation is being planned as a consequence...

"I accept that we are not fully free of bovine TB and that control measures are necessary but such measures could be carried out in a humane way, not through the most barbaric, gruesome and inhumane practice of catching badgers in a snare. I have seen the snares; they belong to a medieval torture chamber and are not part of a modern, civilised society. The trapping is cruel and when the badger is caught, it is a sitting target for the hunter to shoot it. A consequence is that the young badgers are left to starve. There are no badgers in the Isle of Man, yet there is bovine TB there. Farmers who are against badger snaring say other measures could be used to combat TB, including strict movement controls, thorough cleansing of livestock buildings, good ventilation and double fencing on all boundaries. There were some measures of note taken in England. Movement controls, improved cattle testing and biosecurity saw a 15% reduction in bovine TB. There are similar improvements in other countries where there is no badger killing...If one culls intensively for four years, there is a net TB reduction of 12% to 16%. Therefore, 85% of the problem remains. I hope that the legislation could lead to a vaccination strategy instead of using the very cruel and barbaric practice of badger snaring. The Irish Wildlife Trust stated in a letter to The Irish Times this week that since culling began in Ireland many years ago, 90,000 badgers have been killed. However, 80,000 of the badgers were healthy. In Northern Ireland, badgers are tested in the field so that only those infected with TB are killed..." from Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage (Resumed), Dail Eireann, 20 September 2012. Watch on Youtube

"I do not know what the hare has ever done to Irish society to justify the treatment meted out to it, first, as a result of many years of coursing and now by virtue of the fact that people will be able to shoot it. The Minister referred to open season which, for hares, will be five months long. However, open season for hares lasts all 12 months of the year...Let us consider what the supposedly humane practice of muzzling has done for the hare. About one month before each meeting club members go out into the countryside to collect hares in a process known as "netting". This involves a gang of supporters shouting and yelling to herd hares into nets which have been strategically placed. The hares are then put into boxes for transport to the coursing venue. These are another two instances of cruelty, but the Bill does not go into much detail on this aspect...During the training weeks hares are kept herded together in a enclosure. This adds considerably to the stress suffered by the hares which are solitary creatures and keep to themselves in the wild. They do not live together in groups. In captivity, therefore, they are very prone to disease which can spread more easily when they are kept together in an enclosure." Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second and Subsequent Stages, 18 July 2012. Watch on Youtube

"I wish to focus on the hunt aspect and the proposal to prohibit stag hunting with hounds in Ireland, which will apply to the Ward Union Hunt. I believe this is a humane and an enlightened initiative that is long overdue.

Do we have some romantic view of the hunt in terms of the red jackets, the men and women on horseback and, I understand these days, on quads and jeeps, with the horns blowing, the dogs baying and the so-called thrill of the chase? The words I use are animal cruelty. There are incidents of deer becoming entangled in barbed wire, drowned and chocked to death. Do we really want to see images of hunted deer covered in blood, wounded, bitten and bruised, with steaming tongues hanging out as they drop to the ground exhausted? The hunt is causing unnecessary suffering to these animals. It is a gruelling experience that can last up to and even longer than three hours.

I cite, as the late Deputy Tony Gregory did in the Dail debate of October 2007, the veterinary documents which show the injuries and fatalities. They include fractured ribs, ruptured aortic aneurysms, a deer collapsing and dying after desperately trying to escape over an 8 ft high wall. There is considerable photographic and video evidence of the cruelty, and reports in newspapers of numerous incidents of cruelty. Is it sport to terrify an animal so unnecessarily and for what?

The Ward Union Hunt states that it has implemented a wide range of health and safety measures in recent years. That is equivalent to telling a prisoner that after being tortured a doctor will be on hand to bandage the wounds. What health and safety measures can be brought in that will alleviate deliberate suffering and torture of an animal? That is a total contradiction." Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010: Second Stage, 24 June 2010. Deputy O'Sullivan voted in favour of the bill.

"Maureen O'Sullivan, TD said one of the major regrets of the late Tony Gregory was that more hadn't been done for animal rights in his lifetime. She had always shared his views on animal rights, she said, and hoped to continue his work against coursing. 'It is absolutely vicious, I couldn't look at the video footage of coursing, how people call that a sport, I do not know,' Ms O'Sullivan said." (From a report in the Irish Times, August 14, 2009)

"Finian McGrath and Maureen O'Sullivan have told the Herald that they are determined to see stag hunting ended. Both say that blood sports are entirely wrong and should be stamped out as soon as possible..."To me it's animal cruelty. To see deer caught in barbed wire, bruised, bleeding, hurt," she told the Herald. "I don't consider it sport to terrify animals, the hounds baying. In some cases they are going after domesticated deer. They are often killed through exhaustion. It's ludicrous." Evening Herald, June 29 2010.

On 27th March 2013, Maureen O'Sullivan presented/supported amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to outlaw hare coursing, foxhunting, terrierwork, digging-out, ferreting and fur farming.

"This was a golden opportunity to get rid of hare coursing. It is very obvious that the majority of people in this country totally oppose it. I know that Deputies are annoyed by the volume of emails they receive on this matter, but this shows the extent of the support for putting a ban on coursing...Damage is being done to greyhounds, who are gentle animals. They are being deliberately blooded and trained to do something that is against their nature. We know also of the damage to hares in the way they are netted, housed and used. There is also an increasing use of rabbits [for blooding greyhounds]." Animal Health and Welfare Bill debate in Dail Eireann, March 27th, 2013. Watch on Youtube

In an April 2015 Dail question, Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Agriculture "if he will provide the number and names of active fur farms at present; if any fur farms have closed in the past three years; if any applications have been made to establish new fur farms; if so, the species the potential fur farms are seeking to breed; and if he will make a statement on the matter."

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DUBLIN FINGAL

Clare Daly, TD (Independent Socialist, Dublin Fingal):
In June 2016, Clare Daly was one of the 20 compassionate TDs who voted in favour of Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban hare coursing.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"The idea of giving taxpayers' money to Bord na gCon, an organisation which oversees the barbarism of hare coursing, is absolutely abhorrent. We know from the scandal that engulfed Horse Racing Ireland earlier in the year that the organisation is incapable of handling public money. We must ask ourselves why we are doing this. Why is a salary of €247,000 for the CEO of Horse Racing Ireland, way above the pay cap, being sanctioned?...The issue before us is the fact that in the period 2001-16, €1.3 billion has been given to the horse and greyhound racing industries. This is some amount of public money to be given to two commercial enterprises which base themselves on the exploitation of animals for profit - not only animals, but also people... The idea that most of the public money going to HRI is spent on prize money is absolutely disgraceful against the backdrop of a severe exploitation of both animals and staff." Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016, 14 December 2016.

"Hare coursing is a brutal and violent outdated pursuit and it should be banned outright." Clare Daly, TD in a June 24 2016 tweet.

"Hare coursing is a brutal, barbarous, wanton cruelty and has no part in a modern society. I call this a "fact" and I can back this up. In the last Dáil we brought in legislation on animal health and welfare. Guidelines were put in place which did not go far enough but, in fairness to the then Minister, Deputy Simon Coveney, they went dramatically further than anything we had before. We specifically put in an exclusion for hare coursing, acknowledging that the activity was cruel but removing the hare from the protection of that Act, showing that the House accepted its cruelty but was prepared to let it go on. That is not good enough." Clare Daly TD during Dail debate on bill to ban hare coursing, 23 June 2016. See the full speech: Video | Text

"That the practice of hare coursing is being excluded from the protections of this Bill is such an absolute gaping anomaly. It's a contradiction. In essence, what we're doing is recognising that the practice itself is inherently cruel but then we are allowing it to continue. It is something that I, and a majority of Irish citizens, consistently in opinion polls believe is an outdated practice which has no part in modern Ireland...Information circulated to all Deputies which shows that a very successful drag coursing event took place negates the traditional argument that people who love greyhounds will not have a chance to exercise their dogs and allow them to compete. That argument is an absolute nonsense. We do not need hare coursing to continue for dogs to be exercised or compete in this manner. Successful drag coursing events held in Ireland prove this and negate that argument. The Minister must take this on board. Not allowing this barbarity to continue and replacing it with drag coursing would do far better for our tourism industry...We've heard an awful lot over the years to justify hare coursing - ridiculous arguments in my mind, all of which can be defeated. Nonsense like 'the hares are being looked after and they're being protected'. Let's be clear here: these animals are picked up, snatched from their environment, kept to be chased by dogs and sustain massive injuries..." Animal Health and Welfare Bill, 27 March 2013. Watch on Youtube

"The Bill acknowledges that these practices [coursing and foxhunting] are cruel and inflict pain and unnecessary suffering, yet it exempts them from the protection it rightly provides in other circumstances. This is not adequate in a civilised society and is not good enough in a Bill on animal welfare. It is certainly not good enough for hares and foxes." Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage, Dail Eireann, September 19th, 2012. Watch on Youtube

"My Technical Group colleague, Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan, has asked me to apologise on her behalf as she is unfortunately unable to contribute to the debate. Like me, she welcomes all initiatives that promote animal welfare and looks forward to the day when coursing, fur farming, fox hunting and all such activities are banned. All these so-called sports have, at their core, deliberate and wilful cruelty to animals, including death." Welfare of Greyhounds Bill 2011: Second Stage, 30 June 2011.

"The Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 talks about the prohibition of terrifying or baiting an animal. It goes on to exempt hare coursing. One Bill acknowledges that hare coursing is cruel by putting in an exemption for hares. Hares are exempt from protection in one Bill and are included in this Bill to allow them to be shot, presumably over the course of the next few months, in case some of them got away or something like that...It is appropriate to say that this barbarity must stop. What did the hare ever do? We are talking about making provision for licences to allow people to shoot this unique animal - an endemic sub-species that is not found anywhere else in the world - in the open season. I am suggesting that other forms of treatment of this species, such as hare coursing activity, are relevant in this context. We have allowed this activity to continue for more than 100 years while other jurisdictions have been criminalising it...It is scandalous that this activity continues...The Irish Coursing Club has said that hares come to no harm in coursing because they are protected by the existing rules governing the sport, as the club calls it. That is completely and utterly false. It does not stand up to any scrutiny of the evidence...The Irish Wildlife Trust has suggested in one of its reports that the unsustainable taking of hares for sporting purposes could be one of the reasons the species is threatened and in decline. It is obvious that this extension of hunting licences, to allow some more hares to be shot, will pose a further threat to the species as a whole." Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second and Subsequent Stages, 18 July 2012. Watch on Youtube

"We in the Socialist Party oppose stag hunting and the inherent cruelty of hunting animals purely for human enjoyment. We will oppose any attempt to overturn the ban from within the Dail. We also support the banning of hare coursing and we would be in favour of legislation which aimed to do so." March 22nd, 2011.

In 2007, Councillor Clare Daly proposed a successful motion to ban the Use of Wild Animals in Circuses on land Owned by Fingal County Council. The final wording of the agreed motion was: "That Fingal County Council support the introduction of by-laws or other measures which would ensure that circuses which use wild animals are prohibited from performing in any part of the local authority area, in light of the well-documented evidence of suffering endured by the animals involved and the serious animal welfare issues raised."

On 27th March 2013, Clare Daly presented/supported amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to outlaw hare coursing, foxhunting, terrierwork, digging-out, ferreting and fur farming.

Alan Farrell TD (Fine Gael, Dublin Fingal):
In June 2016, Alan Farrell abstained/was not present in the vote on Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing. The bill was defeated by 114 votes to 20 (with the remaining 24 TDs abstaining/not voting).

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In March 2013, Alan Farrell voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circuses.

Darragh O'Brien, TD (Fianna Fail, Dublin Fingal):
In June 2016, Darragh O'Brien abstained/was not present in the vote on Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing. The bill was defeated by 114 votes to 20 (with the remaining 24 TDs abstaining/not voting).

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

According to a report in the Sunday Times (November 18th, 2007), one of the few TDs who defended the Ward Union deerhunt was Darragh O'Brien, TD.

Louise O’Reilly, TD (Sinn Fein, Dublin Fingal):
In June 2016, Louise O’Reilly was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Brendan Ryan TD (Labour Party, Dublin Fingal):
In June 2016, Brendan Ryan was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In March 2013, Brendan Ryan voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circuses.

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DUBLIN MID WEST

John Curran TD (Fianna Fail, Dublin Mid West)
In June 2016, John Curran was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"I am delighted that such a significant amount of funding has been allocated to Fossett's Circus in Lucan." Fianna Fail TD John Curran after learning from Minister John O'Donoghue that the circus is to receive a massive Eur200,000 (two hundred thousand euro) under the Arts and Cultural Enhancement Support Scheme II (ACCESS II) - 27 April 2007.

As a TD in 2005, John Curran voted against the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Bill 2004.

Frances Fitzgerald TD (Fine Gael, Dublin Mid West)
In June 2016, Frances Fitzgerald was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In December 2014, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald defended the presence of two Gardai at a hare coursing meeting in Glin. Replying to a Dail Question from Clare Daly, TD, Minister Fitzgerald stated: "The event attracted a significant number of patrons on Saturday 4 October and a larger number of patrons on Sunday 5 October. As with other events that attract a considerable crowd of people, local Garda management deemed it necessary to have Gardaí present. The duties performed by Gardaí were normal traffic duties, as performed at all local public events that attract large numbers of people and the Coursing Club will not be covering the cost of the Garda presence."

In March 2013, Frances Fitzgerald voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circuses.

Gino Kenny TD (People Before Profit Alliance, Dublin Mid West)
In June 2016, Gino Kenny was one of the 20 compassionate TDs who voted in favour of Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban hare coursing.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"I'm against any type of blood Sport which wantonly hurts any animal. I hope one day soon that blood sports in Britain and Ireland are a relic of the past." - www.ginokenny.com.

Eoin Ó Broin TD (Sinn Fein, Dublin Mid West)
In June 2016, Eoin Ó Broin abstained/was not present in the vote on Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing. The bill was defeated by 114 votes to 20 (with the remaining 24 TDs abstaining/not voting).

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

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DUBLIN NORTH WEST

Dessie Ellis TD (Sinn Fein, Dublin North West)
In June 2016, Dessie Ellis abstained/was not present in the vote on Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing. The bill was defeated by 114 votes to 20 (with the remaining 24 TDs abstaining/not voting).

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In March 2013, Dessie Ellis TD voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circuses.

Noel Rock TD (Fine Gael, Dublin North West)
In June 2016, Noel Rock was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Roisin Shortall, TD (Social Democrats, Dublin North West):
In June 2016, Roisin Shortall was one of the 20 compassionate TDs who voted in favour of Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban hare coursing.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"To ask the Minister for Agriculture and Food if his attention has been drawn to the large scale destruction of farm and other property, often running to thousands of euro, by the unauthorised use of such lands for the purposes of live hunting." (From a Dail Question tabled in 2004)

On 27th March 2013, Roisin Shortall supported amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to outlaw hare coursing, foxhunting, terrierwork, digging-out, ferreting and fur farming.

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DUBLIN RATHDOWN

Josepha Madigan TD (Fine Gael, Dublin Rathdown)
In June 2016, Josepha Madigan was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In an email to a constituent ahead of June 2016's Dail Eireann vote on the bill to ban coursing, Josepha Madigan claimed that hare coursing is "an integral part of the sporting year" and that a ban on the cruel bloodsport would have a "detrimental impact on rural Ireland". Despite having received an ICABS report which details the hare injuries and deaths caused by coursing, the Dublin Rathdown politician also made the outrageous claim that the monitoring of coursing meetings by National Parks and Wildlife Service staff "has proved effective in ensuring that the welfare of the hare is protected". Our report detailed hares hit, mauled, injured and killed by greyhounds on coursing fields around the country. It also includes information on hares injured so severely, they had to be treated or put to sleep by vets. Read Josepha Madigan's full statement.

Catherine Martin TD (Green Party, Dublin Rathdown)
In June 2016, Catherine Martin was one of the 20 compassionate TDs who voted in favour of Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban hare coursing.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"I commend Deputy O'Sullivan for bringing this Bill to the House and look forward to a time when these barbaric practices are outlawed in Ireland. The Green Party has always been opposed to all blood sports and remains resolutely so. Needless to say the Green Party will be supporting this Bill...To be absolutely clear, hare coursing is a brutal ordeal. Before the hares experience this ordeal, they are trapped and trained which is cruel enough. They are solitary creatures and keep to themselves in the wild, so keeping them in an enclosure causes significant stress and fear. Hare coursing involves the terrorising of one animal by another animal as a so-called sport, all the while being watched as entertainment. Not only are these timid and delicate creatures terrified and brutalised in this practice, they often suffer severe injuries and death. The hare is a brittle-boned creature and its internal injuries cannot heal. Injured hares have to be put down." Catherine Martin TD during Dail debate on bill to ban hare coursing, 23 June 2016. See the full speech: Video | Text

"Absolutely!!" - response from Cllr Catherine Martin to an ICABS tweet asking "are you in favour of a ban on cruel hare coursing and foxhunting?". 12th August 2014.

Shane Ross TD (Independent, Dublin Rathdown)
In June 2016, Shane Ross was one of the 20 compassionate TDs who voted in favour of Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

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DUBLIN SOUTH CENTRAL

Catherine Byrne, TD (Fine Gael, Dublin South Central):
In June 2016, Catherine Byrne was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In March 2013, Catherine Byrne voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circuses.

Joan Collins, TD (People Before Profit, Dublin South Central):
In June 2016, Joan Collins was one of the 20 compassionate TDs who voted in favour of Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban hare coursing.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In March 2015, Joan Collins asked the Minister for Agriculture "if he will initiate a new investigation and-or review into hare coursing, with a view to removing its exemption from prohibition under the Animal Health and Welfare Acts, and to bring Ireland into line with neighbouring jurisdictions, where it has criminal status"

"I will be supporting the [anti-coursing] bill that my United Left Alliance colleague, Clare Daly TD is working on." 7 February, 2012

The office of Joan Collins TD has confirmed that the Dublin South-Central Deputy "is in support of a ban on live hare coursing".

On 14 September 2011, Deputy Collins asked Minister Simon Coveney "his policy on hare coursing" and "his plans to ban this practice".

On 27th March 2013, Joan Collins supported amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to outlaw hare coursing, foxhunting, terrierwork, digging-out, ferreting and fur farming.

In May 2013, Joan Collins TD said she would boycott the National Wax Museum over a foxhunting-related discount. In a complaint to museum management, she said that with most people opposed to bloodsports, offering a 10 per cent discount when a hunt is mentioned "may backfire on the museum". "It's a promotion of a cruel bloodsport which many people, including myself, find offensive." she said. The discount was subsequently scrapped.

Aengus O Snodaigh, TD (Sinn Fein, Dublin South Central):
In June 2016, Aengus O Snodaigh was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

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".

Brid Smith TD (People Before Profit Alliance, Dublin South Central)
In June 2016, Brid Smith was one of the 20 compassionate TDs who voted in favour of Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban hare coursing.

"I support Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's Bill as a small step towards a kinder and more humane society in all aspects, especially in terms of how we treat not just hares but all sentient beings. It gives us an opportunity to have a wider argument about our attitude in that regard. I welcome the initiative and thank Deputy O'Sullivan for bringing the Bill to the Dáil. The case has been made by many different groups here about the cruelty involved in hare coursing, which is undeniable and unbelievable. It is a very weak argument to claim that the animals do not suffer and that the tradition must be respected, and in most cases it is demonstrably false. There would be more honesty involved in this debate if those who oppose the banning of hare coursing would simply tell us lots of money can be made from it, both from the events they run and the gambling that takes place in the industry and, therefore, it is about putting the creation of profit or commerce ahead of other considerations and the terror and pain inflicted on defenceless animals...The hare population is in serious decline across the country due to habitat decline and other issues in addition to coursing. Hares are among the longest established native mammals on this island and one of the last living links to the previous ice age. It is amazing to think about that and it would be a real shame to lose hares." Brid Smith TD during Dail debate on bill to ban hare coursing, 23 June 2016. See the full speech: Video | Text

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"I am with you on blood sports. They should be banned." from a tweet from Cllr Brid Smith to ICABS, 29 March 2014.

"I love animals and would be passionate if elected as a TD in supporting Animal Welfare and Animal Rights. I am totally opposed to fox hunting, coursing and fur farming." in reply to Maynooth University's Animal Rights Society.

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DUBLIN SOUTH WEST

Colm Brophy TD (Fine Gael, Dublin South West):
In June 2016, Colm Brophy was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Sean Crowe TD (Sinn Fein, Dublin South West):
In June 2016, Sean Crowe abstained/was not present in the vote on Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing. The bill was defeated by 114 votes to 20 (with the remaining 24 TDs abstaining/not voting).

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"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'."

John Lahart TD (Fianna Fail, Dublin South West):
In June 2016, John Lahart was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Paul Murphy TD (Anti-Austerity Alliance / Socialist Party, Dublin South West)
In June 2016, Paul Murphy was one of the 20 compassionate TDs who voted in favour of Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban hare coursing.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"In recent years, there have been many scandals in the greyhound industry. As part of its anti-doping programme, IGB has reported that 1% of samples tested positive last year. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Pharmacology experts, vets and many in the industry treat those official figures with understandable scepticism. IGB's Morris report on doping has identified severe problems with anti-doping measures in the greyhound industry. The report found the national greyhound laboratory does not have facilities to test many of the drugs used to dope greyhounds. Another major scandal in the greyhound racing industry is that of the dogs behind the scenes that never make it to the tracks. It is estimated that approximately 10,000 greyhounds retire from racing or, as is more common, are born but never make it into racing. Approximately 1,200 were homed last year, leaving 88% with an unknown fate. It must be investigated. We have had high profile cases of dogs being cruelly killed with little or no consequence for those caught. In 2014, there were only 15 investigations into welfare incidents in the industry. It is clear that the IGB and the Government is turning a blind eye to the cruelty that exists. Furthermore, we see attempts by the top of the industry to establish new markets in east Asia, China in particular. It is clear that exports to Macau and those involving any states with poor animal rights records and no proper protection for animals should be banned. We have argued for this and will continue to do so in debate on the legislation due on the question of the greyhound industry. We will oppose the motion for these reasons and because it places further profit at the core of the industries and does nothing to tackle the cruelty and corruption involved." Paul Murphy TD speaking during a Dail debate on the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016, 14 December 2016. Video | Text

"Hare coursing is an indefensible practice. It is an undeniably cruel and barbaric practice especially considering the fact that our near neighbours - Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England - have all moved to ban hare coursing. Ireland is one of three jurisdictions left that maintains it. To defend it and to advocate for it in such a positive fashion is shocking. I thank Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan for bringing the Bill forward. It is very good that we have it but obviously it is very disappointing that it looks like it may not pass. However, the Anti Austerity Alliance is very much in support of the Bill...Hare coursing has a negative impact on this country’s wildlife. The Irish hare is one of our most longstanding native mammals, having survived the ice age, but there are now examples of local extinctions and a fragmented population across the country. The Irish hare as a species is under pressure from human activity, primarily farming, and the last thing it needs is to be captured and chased by greyhounds in enclosures for the enjoyment, dubious though it may be, and profit of a few." Paul Murphy TD during Dail debate on bill to ban hare coursing, 23 June 2016. See the full speech: Video | Text

The campaign against hare coursing "is a campaign that [Paul Murphy MEP] fully supports". from an email from Paul Murphy MEP's office, February 2012.

As an MEP, Paul Murphy was active on many animal welfare issues at European Level. He highlighted the plight of the Galgos in Spain, banning the fur trade, etc

"The issue of the fishing of bluefin tuna is an issue that has come up in the European Parliament. Paul Murphy MEP and the Socialist Party oppose the fishing of bluefin tuna and have always taken a position of voting for measures to end the practice of fishing this endangered species. In the next period as the budget and the Common Fisheries Policy is debated in the Parliament you can be assured of Paul Murphy's support for the protection of Bluefin tuna." From a letter to ICABS from the office of Paul Murphy MEP, 13 August 2012.

He signed a Eurogroup for Animals animal welfare pledge, including "I will strive to ensure that animals are recognised as sentient beings in all legislation that comes before the Parliament and strive to ensure all existing animal welfare related legislation is properly enforced..."

Katherine Zappone, TD (Independent, Dublin South West):
In June 2016, Katherine Zappone abstained/was not present in the vote on Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing. The bill was defeated by 114 votes to 20 (with the remaining 24 TDs abstaining/not voting).

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"I oppose fur farming, and all blood sports such as hare coursing and fox hunting, I believe we need better legislation and more resources to enforce the existing legislation to improve animal welfare in Ireland and I will pledge my support if elected for further legislation in this area." from an email to ICABS, February 2016.

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DUBLIN WEST

Joan Burton, TD (Labour Party, Dublin West):
In June 2016, Joan Burton was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"There are a range of occupations, including those in the hunt sports sector, that some people may find objectionable for one reason or another. Other examples include aspects of the meat or fishing industry, or those related to gambling. In these cases, as long as the occupation is valid, the activity is not illegal and the internship offered complies with the general terms and conditions of the JobBridge scheme, the Department cannot preclude it from availing of the JobBridge." Minister Joan Burton, 22 March 2016, in response to Dail questions from Ruth Coppinger TD and Clare Daly TD calling from Joan Burton to stop foxhunts from using the JobBridge internship scheme.

In March 2013, Joan Burton voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circuses.

Jack Chambers, TD (Fianna Fail, Dublin West):
In June 2016, Jack Chambers was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Ruth Coppinger, TD (Socialist Party/AAA, Dublin West):
In June 2016, Ruth Coppinger was one of the 20 compassionate TDs who voted in favour of Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban hare coursing.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"Happy to support protest against hare coursing & other blood 'sports'. Great to meet activists yesterday" Ruth Coppinger TD in a July 22 2016 tweet.

"Unfortunately I was only TD from [Dublin West] to vote against Hare coursing. FG, FF, Labour and Sinn Féin voted against #BanHareCoursing." Ruth Coppinger TD in a 30th June 2016 tweet.

In a 2014 text message to ICABS, Ruth Coppinger confirmed her anti-cruelty stance, saying "I don't support [foxhunting or hare coursing]." In a Dail Question on 15th May 2015, Ruth Coppinger TD challenged Minister Heather Humphreys on why she failed to sanction two coursing clubs which breached their licence conditions. The Dublin West Socialist Party TD asked Humphreys "the reason she intervened in the case of two hare coursing clubs and did not apply any sanctions, following alleged breaches of conditions of their licences."

"If re-elected Ruth is happy to pledge that she will continue to stand for animal welfare and use whatever influence she has to improve animal welfare." from a reply to the National Animal Rights Association, 2016.

In September 2015, Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht "if she will report on investigations into breaches of hare coursing licences in the previous hare coursing season; and if she will make a statement on the matter".

Leo Varadkar TD (Fine Gael, Dublin West):
In June 2016, Leo Varadkar was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In March 2013, Leo Varadkar voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circuses.

Leo Varadkar voted against the Wildlife Amendment Bill 2010 which banned staghunting.

In November 2007, Leo Varadkar asked the Minister for the Environment "if he has decided to grant a licence for [the Ward Union stag hunt] and if he will make a statement on the matter."

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DUN LAOGHAIRE

Maria Bailey TD (Fine Gael, Dun Laoghaire):
In June 2016, Maria Bailey was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Sean Barrett TD (Fine Gael, Dun Laoghaire):
In June 2016, Sean Barrett was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Richard Boyd Barrett, TD (People Before Profit Alliance, Dun Laoghaire):
In June 2016, Richard Boyd Barrett was one of the 20 compassionate TDs who voted in favour of Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban hare coursing.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"The Bill needs to be amended in this regard because hare coursing involves cruelty to animals in all the ways described by Deputy Daly and fox hunting also involves cruelty and suffering for animals. It is not something the vast majority of people in the country want or support. Outlawing this form of cruelty does not endanger traditional pursuits because, as has been well debated and discussed and I do not need to inform the Minister of it, there are humane alternatives whereby such activities can be carried on in other ways such as through drag coursing which do not require the suffering of animals. The Minister should take his lead from Northern Ireland where hare coursing has been banned and we should do the same. There should be no exemptions. Cruelty to animals is cruelty to animals and it should not be allowed. I welcome the Bill but it is important that the Government makes these amendments and removes the exclusions on hare coursing and fox hunting." Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage, Dail Eireann, September 19th, 2012. Watch on Youtube

On 27th March 2013, Richard Boyd Barrett supported amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to outlaw hare coursing, foxhunting, terrierwork, digging-out, ferreting and fur farming.

Mary Mitchell O'Connor TD (Fine Gael, Dun Laoghaire):
In June 2016, Mary Mitchell O'Connor was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"I agree with you wholeheartedly on the issue of puppy farming...The Programme for Government 2011 contains a commitment to amend and strengthen legislation on animal cruelty and animal welfare. The main vehicle to fulfil this commitment will be the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which is a comprehensive piece of legislation providing a broad basis for regulating the related areas of animal health and welfare. Drafting of the Bill is ongoing with the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel and it is Minister Coveney’s intention to publish the Bill at an early date." from correspondence to the Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports. October 2011.

In March 2013, Mary Mitchell O'Connor TD asked the Minister for Agriculture if his attention has been drawn to "the problem of a skulk of foxes in the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown area; the service provider or assistance that is available to persons to solve this health and safety issue" Read More

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GALWAY EAST

Sean Canney, TD (Independent, Galway East):
In June 2016, Sean Canney was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Ciaran Cannon, TD (Fine Gael, Galway East):
In June 2016, Ciaran Cannon was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In March 2013, Ciaran Cannon voted against an amendment to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on fur farming in Ireland.

Anne Rabbitte, TD (Fianna Fail, Galway East):
In June 2016, Anne Rabbitte was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

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GALWAY WEST

Catherine Connolly, TD (Independent, Galway West):
In June 2016, Catherine Connolly was one of the 20 compassionate TDs who voted in favour of Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban hare coursing.

"I will be voting in favour of my colleague Maureen O'Sullivan's bill to ban hare coursing" Catherine Connolly, TD in a tweet to ICABS, June 28th 2016.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Noel Grealish, TD (Independent, Galway West):
"I remain totally opposed to hare coursing. I did not vote [on Maureen O'Sullivan TD's June 2016 bill which sought to ban hare coursing], simply because I was not available and in the Dáil on the day in question."

In June 2016, Noel Grealish was not present in the vote on Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing. The bill was defeated by 114 votes to 20 (with the remaining 24 TDs abstaining/not voting).

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"I fully support your quest to ban live hare coursing." (September 2003)

"I will support your campaign [against terrier-work and digging out] and I will certainly write to Minister Brendan Smith." From a letter to ICABS, 18th May 2009.

Independent TD, Noel Grealish, voted in favour of the ban on stag hunting, June 2010.

On 27th March 2013, Noel Grealish supported amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to outlaw hare coursing, foxhunting, terrierwork, digging-out, ferreting and fur farming.

Sean Kyne, TD (Fine Gael, Galway West):
In June 2016, Sean Kyne was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will consider encouraging the take-up of drag coursing as an alternative to live hare coursing; and if he will make a statement on the matter." (Dail Question, 24th September 2013)

In March 2012, Deputy Kyne asked the Agriculture Minister "if the upcoming Animal Welfare Bill will contain a provision to abolish live hare coursing in view of the demonstrable evidence of the harm, injury and distress that such a sport causes to the wildlife concerned and also in recognition that such a measure would bring Ireland into line with other developed nations including the UK, several other European nations and Australia."

"I asked the Parliamentary Question on foot of concerns expressed to me by constituents on the cruelty associated with hare coursing. These are concerns which I share and I find it most puzzling when persons harbouring such concerns are labelled as anti-rural. There is nothing 'anti-rural' in seeking the highest standards for animal welfare." from an email to ICABS, March 2012.

"To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if the bounty scheme for mink is in operation or if the details are yet to be finalised as we approach the critical Spring period for wildlife and the lambing season which are affected by mink." Dail question, 14 February 2012.

In October 2011, Deputy Kyne asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan "his views on whether the granting of licences to trap hares for the purposes of coursing runs contrary to the spirit if not the letter of the Wildlife Acts 1976 to 2000, particularly as hares under section 23 are a protected species" and "the number of licences granted for coursing of hares in County Galway in 2011".

Hildegarde Naughten, TD (Fine Gael, Galway West):
In June 2016, Hildegarde Naughten was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Eamon O Cuiv, TD (Fianna Fail, Galway West):
In June 2016, Eamon O Cuiv was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"The Minister is right not to introduce a ban on hunting, fishing or coursing in the Bill. There are parts of the country where they form part of way of life and as long as it does not involve excessive cruelty, the Minister's approach in this regard is correct. I do not agree with anti-hunting lobby." Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage, Dail Eireann, September 19th, 2012. Watch on Youtube

In November 2012, ICABS welcomed a statement from Eamon O Cuiv TD that he does not agree with the digging out of animals or the use of terriers to attack animals that have gone to ground. The Galway West TD expressed his opposition to these cruel activities during the Committee Stage of the Animal Health and Welfare Bill on 8th November. Addressing Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney, Deputy O Cuiv stated: "Will [the Minister] explain whether the use of canines for the hunting of any animal, digging out of any wild mammal gone to ground and the use of terriers to attack and extract the wild mammal above or below ground, is legally permissible? The Bill provides that unnecessary cruelty is not permitted. Is that issue covered in the Bill? I do not agree with that particular procedure but I do not have a problem with normal hunting. Nature can be quite cruel but that appears to be going too far. If the Bill is passed, will the digging out of foxes be legally permissible, given the other terms about cruelty to animals?"

"I will be outlining my views on this issue at the Committee as the debate proceeds but agree with the Minister that there should be no outright ban on hunting and coursing." from an email from Eamon O Cuiv to ICABS, 8th November 2012.

"I will certainly support the abolition of hare coursing...I do not favour hare coursing at all as I feel it is a cruel sport. You can rest assured of my stand on this matter." from a December 1992 letter to anti-coursing campaigner John Fitzgerald.

Why the change between 1992 and 2012? "Explanation is quite simple and that is that the lobby against hare coursing will not give up until they make us all into vegetarians." (from an email from Eamon O Cuiv to an ICABS supporter, September 2012)

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KERRY COUNTY

John Brassil TD (Fianna Fail, Kerry County)
In June 2016, John Brassil was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"I will also support this motion. I very much welcome the €80 million funding for 2017 for both the horse and greyhound industries." Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016, 14 December 2016.

On August 28 2008, the Kerryman newspaper reported that Cllr Brassil was lobbying then Environment Minister John Gormley to issue a hare coursing licence "at the earliest opportunity". A claim by Cllr Brassil in the report that "animal welfare is of primary concern to all involved in hare coursing" was branded outrageous by ICABS.

At a Kerry County Council meeting on 28th November 2011, Cllr Brassil presented the motion: "That Kerry County Council would fill the potholes on the approach road to the coursing field in Addergown, Ballyduff prior to the weekend of the 18th November, 2011"

Martin Ferris, TD (Sinn Fein, Kerry County):
In June 2016, Martin Ferris was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In November 2015, Martin Ferris TD, Cllr Robert Beasley and Cllr Dianne Nolan placed an advert in the booklet for Listowel hare coursing meeting. The advert stated: "Best of luck to Listowel Coursing Club". See 3 Sinn Fein politicians wish "best of luck" to cruel coursers.

"Some people are straightforwardly opposed to racing and coursing of greyhounds. It is not a position I or my party share..." Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage, Dail Eireann, September 19th, 2012. Watch on Youtube

"There is the legitimate argument that the State, the State acting on behalf of a section of the electorate or, in this case, one political party, ought not to have the right to ban activities just because someone else does not like them. There are many people who do not like this form of hunting, and they are entitled to their beliefs. However, they are not entitled to have it banned simply on that basis.

The only basis on which they would be entitled would be if it could be proved that the practise in question was either cruel, deliberately designed to kill the animal being pursued or that the animal in question was an endangered species. None of that applies as far as I can see in this instance.

There is also the argument, including on behalf of people who have no particular interest in or affection for stag hunting, that if this activity is banned the way will be open to ban other sports involving animals. That could include hare coursing, for example, and I have little doubt that if this Bill is successful that will be the next target." Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010: Second Stage, 24 June 2010. Deputy Ferris voted AGAINST the bill. Watch on Youtube

"Sinn Fein TD Martin Ferris yesterday said he did not consider hare coursing a blood sport...Mr Ferris said he was stating his position on hare coursing because there was confusion surrounding the motion passed at the last party ardfheis calling for a ban on all blood sports. He said he was supportive of 'traditional rural' pursuits such as hare coursing, and he did not consider it a blood sport as greyhounds were now muzzled." Irish Times, September 8, 2009. Note: Deputy Ferris maintains this view despite evidence provided to him by ICABS which shows that coursing is a blood sport that continues to cause horrific injuries and deaths to hares.

"Hunting, coursing, fishing and shooting... are big part of rural Ireland and a big part of what we are. They are very beneficial to the economy of rural Ireland." Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010: Committee and Remaining Stages, 29 June 2010 - http://www.kildarestreet.com/debates/?id=2010-06-29.475.0 Deputy Ferris voted against the ban on staghunting.

Brendan Griffin TD (Fine Gael, Kerry County):
In June 2016, Brendan Griffin was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In March 2013, Brendan Griffin TD voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circuses.

According to a July 2012 Irish Examiner report, Brendan Griffin was part of a 14-man syndicate of Fine Gael TDs who "stumped up €250 each for a share in [greyhound] Swift Starlet after the 17-month-old bitch showed impressive form at recent trials." The Irish Greyhound Board website shows that Swift Starlet was entered into 65 races between July 2012 and August 2014 and won 7. The total prize money is listed at €2,179. Her last race was at Mullingar greyhound track on 30th August 2014 when she came last. What happened to her after that remains unknown.

Danny Healy-Rae, TD (Independent, Kerry County):
In June 2016, Danny Healy-Rae was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

"There is a building crisis. All of us who have been elected to the 32nd Dáil must work together to see what we can do for those who need housing. To put matters in perspective, I note that birds have nests for their chicks, foxes have dens for their cubs and rabbits have burrows for their young and so forth. Families - parents - need warm, safe homes for their children." Dáil debates, Housing and Homelessness: Statements, 22 March 2016.

"Sheep farmers are also in serious trouble. Lamb prices decreased from €10 to €7 this year. The margins are very small and when farmers are hit with such losses they will be in serious trouble all along the hillsides of Kerry where they are up late and early trying to endure and survive and when everything else is surmounted they have to deal with the fox." Dáil debates, Agriculture Statements, 4 May 2016.

Michael Healy-Rae, TD (Independent, Kerry County):
"I am supportive of the coursing industry and the good work that they have done." A tweet from Michael Healy-Rae TD, 6th February 2017.

In June 2016, Michael Healy-Rae was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

Michael Healy-Rae, who holds certificates for three different guns, said firearms were very restricted in Ireland. They are linked to pest control and game hunting or sports, and one had to be a member of a gun club, or own land, to be granted a licence, he said...Some years ago, Mr Healy-Rae threatened to take out a licence to hunt “marauding” deer — he did not confirm yesterday if one of his licences was to shoot deer. from ‘Let rural dwellers have guns for protection’, Irish Examiner, April 26, 2013.

"What do you do in your spare time to unwind?...I also enjoy shooting but, again, those opportunities aren’t as frequent." from an interview in RSVP magazine.

"Michael Healy-Rae has applied for a permit to shoot deer in an effort to reduce the deer population. Michael already has a gun licence for his rifle that allows him to shoot pheasants and foxes." from a caption on a photo of Michael Healy-Rae pointing a rifle skywards. http://macmonagle.photoshelter.com/image/I0000hl1Feeyd1PU

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KILDARE NORTH

Bernard Durkan, TD (Fine Gael, Kildare North):
In June 2016, Bernard Durkan was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"My views on live hare coursing are fairly well known. In fact, during debates on the subject in the late Eighties and early Nineties, I spoke publicly to the effect that I was opposed to live hare coursing."

"What concerns me most about this Bill [Wildlife Amendment Bill 2010 which bans the Ward Union deerhunt] is the attack on rural life. In recent years we have seen the gradual erosion of the rights and entitlements of people living in rural areas...One cannot keep dogs. One cannot hunt... I do not hunt but there are many people who do." Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010: Second Stage, 29 June 2010. Watch on Youtube

Deputy Durkan voted against the ban on staghunting

James Lawless TD (Fianna Fail, Kildare North)
In June 2016, James Lawless abstained/was not present in the vote on Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing. The bill was defeated by 114 votes to 20 (with the remaining 24 TDs abstaining/not voting).

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"Totally opposed to hare coursing." from a text message from Cllr James Lawless to ICABS, November 2014.

Catherine Murphy, TD (Social Democrats, Kildare North):
In June 2016, Catherine Murphy was one of the 20 compassionate TDs who voted in favour of Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban hare coursing.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

On 27th March 2013, Catherine Murphy supported an amendment to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to outlaw hare coursing.

Frank O’Rourke TD (Fianna Fail, Kildare North)
In June 2016, Frank O’Rourke was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

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KILDARE SOUTH

Martin Heydon, TD (Fine Gael, Kildare South):
In June 2016, Martin Heydon was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"With regard to animal fighting, including dogfighting and cockfighting, the change in the law to association from participation is crucial. I totally oppose these activities and I am happy to hear how strongly we will act. To return to the issue of balance, we must be very careful. People can take a very strong approach to animal safety measures and try to cover all aspects such as trying to stop people who want to go fishing from taking worms out of the ground. One can go too far and unintended consequences can arise. If the means of farmers or others to protect wild animals are curtailed too much they may be left with no alternative but to use poison, which is far more indiscriminate." Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage, 19 September 2012.

In March 2013, Martin Heydon voted against 3 amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circuses.

Sean O Fearghail TD (Fianna Fail, Kildare South):
In June 2016, Sean O Fearghail abstained/was not present in the vote on Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing. The bill was defeated by 114 votes to 20 (with the remaining 24 TDs abstaining/not voting).

In March 2013, Seán O Fearghaíl TD voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circuses.

In 2005, foxes and mink were doomed to lives of misery on fur farms following the rejection by Dail Eireann of the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Bill 2004. The bill was defeated by 67 votes to 50. Sean O Fearghail was among the 62 Fianna Fail TDs who voted AGAINST the bill.

Fiona O’Loughlin TD (Fianna Fail, Kildare South):
In June 2016, Fiona O’Loughlin was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"Fianna Fáil does not support the bill which would ban live hare coursing. This is due to the existing strict regulatory framework in place, which ensures the highest animal welfare standards and protections are in place in carrying out this activity. It is imperative that enforcement of the existing regulations are complied with in order to ensure that animals involved in this activity are protected and conform to such standards as opposed to adding another layer of regulation to existing legislation. Hares can only be collected for coursing by ICC affiliated clubs in accordance with the terms of licences granted by the state. Such licences contain 26 conditions, most of which relate to hare welfare that set strict requirements. Meanwhile, more than 95% of the hares caught for hare coursing are returned to the wild each year." From an email to a constituent ahead of June 2016's Dail Eireann vote on the bill to ban coursing. Deputy O’Loughlin was among the 114 TDs who shamefully voted against the bill and ensured that the suffering of hares continues.

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LAOIS

Charles Flanagan, TD (Fine Gael, Laois):
In June 2016, Charles Flanagan was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"As local TD I condemn this horrible cruelty." February 2013 tweet from Charlie Flanagan TD, in response to a Journal.ie report which outlined that "animal rights groups have condemned an attack in Co Laois on a fox which was found hanging on a gate after being shot and skinned."

Sean Fleming, TD (Fianna Fail, Laois):
In June 2016, Sean Fleming was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he intends to alter the current open season for wild female deer to begin on 1 October and end on 30 April in place of the current open season which starts on 1 November and ending on 28 February in view of the fact that female deer give birth beginning in May and are heavily pregnant from February onwards carrying a fully formed fetus and during October female deer still have dependant calves/fawns and to kill the mother at this time would result inthe death from starvation over a number of weeks for the orphaned calf/fawn; and if he will make a statement on the matter." Dail question from Sean Fleming to Jimmy Deenihan, 22 January 2013.

"To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he will provide the list of locations in respect of the number of licences he has issued under Section 42 of the Wildlife Act which provides for the shooting of wild deer outside the designated open season and allows for night time shooting from the public road with the use of high powered lamps in view of the fact that the Summary Jurisdiction (Ireland) Act 1851 prohibits discharge of a firearm from within 60 feet of a public road; if the shooting of wild deer in this situation is legal and even though it is highly dangerous to local communities it has the potential to promote the illegal taking of deer; the reason he continues to issue permits allowing for the culling of female deer while they still have dependant young, which results in the dependant calf/fawn suffering an horrendous death over a number of weeks; and if he will make a statement on the matter." Dail question from Sean Fleming to Jimmy Deenihan, 26th October, 2011.

Brian Stanley, TD (Sinn Fein, Laois):
In June 2016, Brian Stanley was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

On 21 March 2012, Brian Stanley, TD asked the Minister for Agriculture "if minks, cats and racing horses will be included in the upcoming Animal Welfare Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter." Read the full Dail Question and Answer.

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LIMERICK CITY

Michael Noonan TD (Fine Gael, Limerick City):
In June 2016, Michael Noonan was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In 2014, when ICABS Director Aideen Yourell met Finance Minister Michael Noonan in the run-up to the elections, she challenged him on the government's shameful failure to ban bloodsports, including hare coursing. Minister Noonan's blunt response? "Coursing is not an issue."

In March 2013, Michael Noonan TD voted against an amendment to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on fur farming.

In 2013, Fine Gael Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said that groups promoting hare hunting and fox hunting are "entitled to a tax exemption". Responding to a Dail Question from ICABS President Maureen O'Sullivan, the Limerick TD outrageously claimed that the "ordinary meaning" of sport includes activities such as hunting and therefore hunts can benefit under Section 235 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997.

According to a July 2012 Irish Examiner report, Michael Noonan and Michael Creed were part of a 14-man syndicate of Fine Gael TDs who "stumped up €250 each for a share in Swift Starlet after the 17-month-old bitch showed impressive form at recent trials." The report quoted then TD, Tom Barry, as saying that "[Finance Minister] Michael Noonan was anxious to do it [get involved]”. http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/ministers-follow-the-pack-and-go-to-the-dogs-201498.html#.UAoRkhixj0M.twitter In the year that Minister Noonan joined "The Oir" greyhound syndicate", €11.3 million was paid out by the government to the Irish Greyhound Board - part of the nearly quarter of a billion paid out since 2001.

Willie O'Dea, TD (Fianna Fail, Limerick City):
In June 2016, Willie O'Dea was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In October 2015, Willie O'Dea expressed his support for the ICABS campaign for a ban on cruel hare coursing. Responding to an email in which we appealed to him to push for a coursing ban, the Fianna Fail politician stated: "I am happy to support this endeavour."

In a May 2011 Dail question, Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Agriculture "his views on reports that the Irish Greyhound Board, a semi-State body, plans to export Irish dogs to China, a country which has a very poor animal welfare record; and if he will make a statement on the matter."

In 2009, the Irish Council Against Blood Sports welcomed a statement from the office of the then Minister for Defence, Willie O'Dea, in which we were told that the Minister "fully supports" our campaign. (Defence Minister "fully supports" ICABS campaign)

Jan O'Sullivan, TD (Labour, Limerick City):
In June 2016, Jan O'Sullivan abstained/was not present in the vote on Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing. The bill was defeated by 114 votes to 20 (with the remaining 24 TDs abstaining/not voting).

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"I do not support blood sports."

Maurice Quinlivan, TD (Sinn Fein, Limerick City):
In June 2016, Maurice Quinlivan was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

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LIMERICK COUNTY

Niall Collins, TD (Fianna Fail, Limerick County):
In June 2016, Niall Collins was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Niall Collins intervened on behalf of a disgruntled hunter to investigate why there was a delay in issuing him with a hunting licence. The pro-bloodsports Limerick TD considered the matter so important that he elevated it to Ministerial level. In a 22 September 2015 Dail Question aimed at Arts and Heritage Minister, Heather Humphreys, Collins asked "the reason for the delay in the issue of a deer hunting licence for a person in County Limerick; when it will be issued; and if she will make a statement on the matter."

"...the Minister travelled around the country scaring people in fishing clubs, coursing clubs, shooting clubs and anybody else to whom he could talk." Niall Collins during a debate on the Water Services (Amendment) Bill 2011, 25 January 2012.

In a February 2012 Dail Question, Niall Collins asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht "his policy on hare coursing" and "his policy on stag hunting".

In 2008, Deputy Niall Collins called on Environment Minister John Gormley to grant coursing licences as a matter of urgency. Quoted in the Irish Examiner of August 19, 2008, he said: "It stands to reason that once the licences have been granted the various coursing clubs and organisations can better plan when, where and how they will capture hares. This will help to ensure that the best possible care for the hares is provided and it will also give the various coursing clubs more certainty when it comes to planning their activities...I do not agree with the narrow view taken by the Irish Council Against Blood Sports on this issue, as they don't understand and value the traditional and cultural elements of this greyhound sector."

"In Opposition, the Taoiseach's party and the Labour Party opposed the ban on the Ward Union stag hunt. Will the Government be introducing legislation to reverse the ban? If so, when?" from a Dail debate, 8 November 2011

"Fianna Fail TD Niall Collins believed that RISE was not a mass movement of rural interests but a 'professional lobby group' led by influential people who were involved in politics or are politically engaged. 'RISE has succeeded in confusing the nation and causing upset and anxiety across all its rural pressure groups about the ban on stag hunting, even though it is clear from the Programme for Government that fox hunting, hare coursing, angling, shooting and all outdoor pursuits are all safe,' said Collins." Sunday Business Post, 4th July 2010

Tom Neville TD (Fine Gael, Limerick County):
In June 2016, Tom Neville was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In an October 2016 Dail Question, Tom Neville TD asked the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed "his plans to introduce a scrappage scheme for horses and if he will make a statement on the matter". When contacted by ICABS, Deputy Neville maintained that he was not actually pushing for a scrappage scheme for horses but rather "seeking clarification" from the Minister for Agriculture if it was going to happen.

Tom Neville has not responded to an enquiry from ICABS, asking if he is in favour of a ban on foxhunting and hare coursing. He is the son of outgoing pro-bloodsports TD, Dan Neville, who is on record as saying that he and his family used to rear a foxhunt pack's pups and that foxhunting is "a vital industry".

Patrick O'Donovan TD (Fine Gael, Limerick County):
In June 2016, Patrick O'Donovan was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In March 2013, Patrick O'Donovan voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circuses.

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LONGFORD WESTMEATH

Peter Burke TD (Fine Gael, Longford Westmeath)
In June 2016, Peter Burke was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Speaking to a constituent in February 2016, Peter Burke indicated that he supports foxhunting and hare coursing.

When questioned in 2014 about his position on bloodsports, Cllr Peter Burke wasn't prepared to reveal his stance. He claimed to know nothing about bloodsports, despite previously being furnished with information about the cruelty involved.

Kevin "Boxer" Moran TD (Independent, Longford Westmeath)
In June 2016, Kevin "Boxer" Moran was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"My main political aims, if elected are...Lobby for the introduction of a Dept of Agriculture supervised cull of unwanted horses." (2014 By-Election)

Willie Penrose, TD (Labour, Longford Westmeath):
In June 2016, Willie Penrose was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"The horse and greyhound sector plays an important role throughout Ireland. It is an important contributor to the economy of rural Ireland and the enjoyment and recreation of rural life, and it supports thousands of jobs. However, the figure of 10,500 jobs in the greyhound industry is more than questionable and does not stand." Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016, 14 December 2016.

"I am involved with point-to-point racing, which has its base in rural Ireland. I was delighted to win one of the oldest cups in Ireland, the Barbour Cup, twice with Ballintue Road. Point-to-point racing is a community activity organised by the local hunt or committee." Willie Penrose, Horse Racing Ireland Bill 2015: Second Stage, 11 November 2015

"Longford-Westmeath TD Willie Penrose also said he would not support a ban [on the Ward Union deerhunt]. 'I support rural Ireland. I don't support the Wildlife Bill. I certainly would not support the bill. I'm a rural person with rural views,' he said." (Irish Times, April 29, 2010)

"I speak as a Deputy who is deeply in touch with rural issues and a rural way of life and I strongly oppose the Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010, as proposed by the Minister, Deputy Gormley...The Bill before the House is historic in at least one respect, in that, to the best of my knowledge, it is the first occasion since the foundation of the State that a Government has brought a specific Bill before this House to outlaw a country sport...As young people we hunted rabbits in order to secure food or sell it at two shillings unskinned or half a crown skinned...We hunted foxes...One got half a crown for a fox's tail when one brought it in." Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010: Second Stage, 29 June 2010. Watch on Youtube Deputy Penrose voted against the ban on staghunting

"[Minister Gormley] reserved his full contempt for Labour. "I find you absolutely shameful." It was difficult to disagree with him. The principled men and women of the Labour Party, who love to take a stand and cleave to it, blithely voting against a long-expressed opposition to animal cruelty and blood sports. No amount of shouting from Willie Penrose from Westmeath could change that, although he got a noisy round of applause from the Ward Union [hunt] people in the public gallery." Irish Times - Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"I have heard from people representing him that the Minister wants to get rid of coursing proposals implemented by a previous Minister, which were excellent. The Green Party was not satisfied and wanted to get rid of them. We say “No” to this today." Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010: Second Stage (Resumed), 29 June 2010.

Robert Troy, TD (Fianna Fail, Longford Westmeath):
In June 2016, Robert Troy was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

During a Dail debate in July 2012, Robert Troy said he wanted to see the ban on cruel stag hunting rescinded. "I thought the Government parties might have used the opportunity...to rescind the ban on stag hunting," he stated. Watch on Youtube See Also: Robert Troy wants stag hunt ban rescinded

Robert Troy has told ICABS that he supports hare coursing because some of his constituents are engaged in the activity.

In 2010, Cllr Troy attended a meeting in Mullingar organised by pro-blood sports group, RISE. Cllr Troy spoke in support of RISE. A RISE sticker was displayed on the door of his constituency office.

On 28 January 2016, Robert Troy raised the issue of cruelty to animals in Ireland’s greyhound racing industry. In a Dail question submitted to Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney, Deputy Troy referred to “animal abuse suffered by greyhounds in the racing industry” and “lenient sanctions for persons who have committed grave abuses”.

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LOUTH

Gerry Adams TD (Sinn Fein, Louth):
In June 2016, Gerry Adams was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

"I am against hare coursing" - stated in conversation with ICABS director, Aideen Yourell. Dail Eireann, 30th June 2016.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In May 2014, Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Agriculture "the amount of funding that is provided for the animal welfare helpline; and if he will make a statement on the matter."

In a January 2015 tweet, Gerry Adams posted photos he took of foxes. In an unanswered message to him, ICABS stated: "Gerry, foxes like this are chased to exhaustion and torn apart by packs of hounds. Are you in favour of a ban on foxhunting?"

Declan Breathnach, TD (Fianna Fail, Louth):
In June 2016, Declan Breathnach was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Peter Fitzpatrick, TD (Fine Gael, Louth):
In June 2016, Peter Fitzpatrick was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"The legislation is necessary to allow people to continue lawful activities. Throughout my constituency of Louth, there are strong and law-abiding gun clubs...Gun clubs in rural areas...have a strong bond with and are respectful of nature...[Shooting animals] is a traditional skilled activity that has been handed down for generations. It is important for my rural constituents to have their traditions respected and honoured." Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second and Subsequent Stages, 18 July 2012. Watch on Youtube

In March 2013, Peter Fitzpatrick, TD voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling and the use of animals in circuses.

Imelda Munster, TD (Sinn Fein, Louth):
In June 2016, Imelda Munster was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Fergus O'Dowd TD (Fine Gael, Louth):
In June 2016, Fergus O'Dowd was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In March 2013, Fergus O'Dowd TD voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling and the use of animals in circuses.

In February 2005, Fergus O'Dowd TD asked the Minister for the Environment "his views on the report of the scientific group set up to examine the issue of hunting on State lands."

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MAYO

Dara Calleary, TD (Fianna Fail, Mayo):
In June 2016, Dara Calleary was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"The Ward Union [stag hunt] is on the scrap metal heap..." Dail debate, 8 November 2011.

Lisa Chambers, TD (Fianna Fail, Mayo):
In June 2016, Lisa Chambers was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Enda Kenny, TD (Fine Gael, Mayo):
In June 2016, Enda Kenny was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

During a November 2014 speech in Dail Eireann, Taoiseach Enda Kenny indirectly acknowledged that foxhunting is "absolutely disgraceful". Read More. However, he refused to move to ban foxhunting or hare coursing.

"I am opposed to the practice of live hare coursing." (from an email to ICABS, July 2003)

The Fine Gael party's 2011 election manifesto stated that "Fine Gael will reverse the ban on stag hunting." Fine Gael later dismissed a suggestion that the Ward Union stag hunt would be back. A spokesperson for Enda Kenny made it clear that "there is no such commitment in the Programme for Government" and that the Taoiseach "would not resile from what's in the Programme for Government." ICABS website, 15 November 2011

A statement issued by shooting organisation, NARGC, claims that "Enda Kenny gave a solemn commitment to all the hunting associations, when he met them on April 20th 2005 in the offices of the Irish Coursing Club in Clonmel, that Fine Gael would not in government agree to the introduction of restrictions or bans on hunting." In a letter to the Fine Gael leader, ICABS queried the claim and stated that if it was accurate, it was extremely disappointing to those campaigning against animal cruelty all across Ireland. We also conveyed our sadness at the claim that a meeting took place at the offices of the Irish Coursing Club. We reminded Mr Kenny that he confirmed to us in July 2003 that he is "opposed to the practice of live hare coursing". from ICABS website, March 2007.

Michael Ring, TD (Fine Gael, Mayo):
In June 2016, Michael Ring was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"I am personally against hare coursing. I am totally opposed to cruelty to animals but particularly this kind of cruelty in relation to blood sports."

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MEATH EAST

Thomas Byrne, TD (Fianna Fail, Meath East)
In June 2016, Thomas Byrne was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"I am shocked that I do not see any evidence of the Government’s promise made by Deputy Shane McEntee and Deputy Phil Hogan to repeal the ban on stag hunting. Will an amendment be tabled on Committee Stage? Fine Gael rose up the people in the RISE organisation by giving specific promises and a specific commitment that stag hunting in County Meath would be reinstated. We find now that this was just what I must say were barefaced lies told to the people by Fine Gael... I expected to see a provision for the reinstatement of stag hunting but there is nothing in the Bill to do with stag hunting. Those promises are just thrown on the bonfire of power. The Ministers, Deputies Hogan and McEntee conveniently and completely discarded the promises they had made to the people. " Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2012, 4th July 2012. Watch on Youtube

The Irish Times of 15 December 2009 reported that at a pro-hunt meeting at Trim Castle Hotel, then TD Thomas Byrne said he was not comfortable with the proposed ban on carted deerhunting but that he would be supporting the government. He told hunters that Fianna Fail would not stand for any other prohibitions on hunting.

Regina Doherty TD (Fine Gael, Meath East):
In June 2016, Regina Doherty was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In March 2013, Regina Doherty TD voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circuses.

In 2011, Regina Doherty told ICABS that she would raise the hare coursing licensing issue with then Minister, Jimmy Deenihan.

Helen McEntee, TD (Fine Gael, Meath East):
In June 2016, Helen McEntee was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In November 2013, Helen McEntee tweeted: "Great day for the Tara Harriers Hunt Run, all proceeds go to Nobber GAA club, #communityworkingtogether". The Tara Harriers is a hare hunting group. In a message to Helen McEntee, ICABS highlighted the cruelty of harrier hunting, i.e. hares caught by the pack of hounds are attacked and ripped apart.

Helen McEntee is the daughter of the late Shane McEntee TD. She worked with Shane McEntee in Dail Eireann and at the Department of Agriculture. Shane McEntee was a pro-bloodsports TD and lobbied to try and get the ban on stag hunting reversed. He also spoke in favour of hare coursing, claiming there was no danger to the hare.

"Fine Gael Meath East TD, Helen McEntee attended the launch of the Irish Greyhound Derby’s 55th anniversary celebrations in Shelbourne Park...Speaking after the event, Deputy McEntee said: ‘It was a great honour to address the Irish Greyhound Derby as it celebrates its 55th anniversary. It’s an event that otherwise would have been attended by my dad, Shane, and I am humbled to haven taken his place’...'When my father worked as Junior Minister in the Department of Agriculture, he recognised the potential in the greyhound industry, despite not having a huge amount of knowledge about it previously. He became very passionate about how he, and his Department, could make the industry even stronger . The Irish Greyhound Industry has an extremely proud history, and it is vital that we safeguard the passion and pride associated with the sector going forward. I hope to work with the Derby in the years ahead to ensure the industry gets the recognition and support it needs.'" From a Fine Gael statement, May 2013.

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MEATH WEST

Shane Cassells TD (Fianna Fail, Meath West)
In June 2016, Shane Cassells was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

ICABS thanked Cllr Shane Cassells in 2010 for being one of only 3 Meath County Councillors who voted against a pro-blood sports motion. "I firmly believe that the majority of Meath people are in favour of seeing the pursuit of live deer banned...I was very pleased to speak out against the mistruths which the RISE campaign are using to try and advance their cause."

Damien English, TD (Fine Gael, Meath West):
In June 2016, Damien English was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"I shall take a few seconds to register my opposition to this Bill and my support for the Ward Union Hunt and hunts in general. I have spent all my life living beside the Meath Hunt and have watched it in operation. I watched how its members treat their dogs and run their business. I do not get a chance to follow or watch the Ward Union Hunt and its business but I know many of the people involved. They treat animals and operate in exactly the same way as the Meath Hunt. They have respect for animals and know what they are doing." Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010: Second Stage, 29 June 2010. Watch on Youtube Deputy English voted against the ban on staghunting

"Shane McEntee and Damien English promised unqualified support for the Ward Union and hunting in general from any incoming government led by Fine Gael." from the Hunting Association website, 2009.

Peadar Tóibín TD (Sinn Fein, Meath West):
In June 2016, Peadar Tóibín was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In June 2015, Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Finance "the revenue that would be generated from the removal of [tax] exemptions relating to horses and horse breeding."

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OFFALY

Marcella Corcoran Kennedy TD (Fine Gael, Offaly):
In June 2016, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In January 2013, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Agriculture "when approval will be granted on the applications submitted for ships for the live export of cattle; the number and type of animals to be transported; the reason for the delay in granting such approval; and if he will make a statement on the matter."

In October 2015, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Environment "if the local authorities hold a register of puppy breeders who have been found to be in breach of legislation but who have not received a conviction for animal cruelty; if such breeders can obtain a licence to continue breeding; if puppy breeders who have received a conviction for animal cruelty are allowed to obtain a licence to continuing breeding; and if he will make a statement on the matter."

Barry Cowen, TD (Fianna Fail, Offaly):
In June 2016, Barry Cowen was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"I will not be supporting any upcoming bill seeking to ban hare coursing." Barry Cowen in an email to ICABS, 1st February, 2012.

"An Taoiseach's brother Barry Cowen has been appointed to the vacant General Manager position at Mullingar Greyhound Track. Cowen takes over as Sales, Commercial and Operations Manager at Mullingar Track next Monday...Cowen is a well known and successful greyhound owner and has been involved in the ownership of many of the very speedy Gilbeyhall greyhounds." Irish Examiner Thursday, November 04, 2010.

"This bill [Wildlife Amendment Bill 2010] is about ensuring the highest standard possible for our animals. The proposed legislation will not have any implications for other country pursuits such as fox hunting, hare coursing, fishing, deer stalking. All allegations that this is a threat to these industries is false" Clara Councillor Barry Cowen quoted in the Offaly Express, May 11th, 2010

"I know the [greyhound] industry and grew up with it and realise its potential. I grew up realising its impact on rural communities and its great social benefit. It has the potential to be exported and nobody should stand in the way of the Department, the Irish Coursing Club and the Irish Greyhound Board in exploring this to the utmost." Welfare of Greyhounds Bill 2010, 30th June 2011.

Carol Nolan, TD (Sinn Fein, Offaly):
In June 2016, Carol Nolan was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

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ROSCOMMON GALWAY

Michael Fitzmaurice TD (Independent, Roscommon Galway):
In June 2016, Michael Fitzmaurice was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"I understand the habitats directive is under review in various countries. What plans is Ireland making to review the habitats directive, given the massive problems it has caused for people living in rural Ireland? Every one of us loves wildlife and loves promoting it, but the sad reality of the habitats directive is that it puts a snipe ahead of a human being and is driving people out of rural Ireland. What submissions has the Government made to balance the weighing scales?" Michael Fitzmaurice, Dáil debate, 24 September 2015.

"To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in view of the fact that the activities of commercial shoot operators targeting woodcock in the main, particularly in the western counties, are frequently unregulated and the need to regulate the shooting of wild animals and birds in the interest of conservation and sustainability, if she will provide a commencement date for section 36 of the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000 which deals with the licensing and regulation of shoot operators" Dail Question, 22 September 2015

Eugene Murphy TD (Fianna Fail, Roscommon Galway):
In June 2016, Eugene Murphy was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

Denis Naughten, TD (Independent, Roscommon Galway):
In June 2016, Denis Naughten was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

On 27th March 2013, Denis Naughten supported amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to outlaw foxhunting, terrierwork, digging-out, ferreting and fur farming.

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SLIGO LEITRIM

Martin Kenny TD (Sinn Fein, Sligo Leitrim)
In June 2016, Martin Kenny was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"The horse racing and greyhound industries not only have economic benefits but also bring great enjoyment to hundreds of thousands of people in Ireland every year. I have no wish to restrict the growth or development of these industries, although I have serious doubts about the funds dispersed by Government to Horse Racing Ireland and Bord na gCon...Why does horse racing prize money, in a sport populated by very rich owners and trainers, have to come from an Exchequer which cannot pay for the basic medical needs of our senior citizens, for instance?...I cannot support the funding allocation to these two bodies and I will call a vote on the matter. It is outrageous that this money is being spent in this way." Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016, 14 December 2016.

"Sinn Féin does not support this Bill, which sets out to amend the Wildlife Act by proposing to ban hare coursing completely. A ban on hare coursing is not compatible with Sinn Féin policy...Some rural practices may be distasteful to certain people and are often presented as cruel or abusive, as is the case here, as we have two opposing views on hare coursing. We believe Irish hare coursing practices should be properly regulated to ensure sustainable wildlife management and to minimise unnecessary suffering to all the animals involved. These regulated coursing meetings occur across the country in the winter months and are a part of rural life for the many who participate in these events...Hunting, fishing and hare coursing should continue to be regulated in the interests of sustainable wildlife management. This is not like blood sports by which I mean, dog fighting, badger baiting or cock fighting, which we all continue to oppose." Martin Kenny TD during Dail debate on the bill to ban hare coursing, 23 June 2016. See the full speech - Video | Text

At a June 2010 meeting of Leitrim County Council, Cllr Kenny presented a motion in support of pro-bloodsports group, RISE: "I propose that Leitrim County Council notes the increasing level of popular support being expressed for the RISE (Rural Ireland Says Enough) campaign and shares the concerns it is highlighting, over legislation currently being proposed by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, John Gormley TD. This Council calls on the Government to listen to the concerns being expressed by those who engage in hunting..." The minutes of the meeting detail that Councillor Kenny claimed he is totally against cruelty to animals but that he went on to express opposition to legislation "if activities such as pheasant shooting, activities of the South Leitrim Harriers etc are curtailed or prevented."

Marc MacSharry TD (Fianna Fail, Sligo Leitrim):
In June 2016, Marc MacSharry was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Tony McLoughlin TD (Fine Gael, Sligo Leitrim):
In June 2016, Tony McLoughlin was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"I couldn't look at the video [of an Irish hunter using live pigeons to train hunting dogs] as I find those videos distressing. I commend you for highlighting this issue and whatever I can do to advance your cause let me know." Tony McLoughlin TD in an email t+o ICABS, June 2013.

In March 2013, Tony McLoughlin voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circuses.

Eamon Scanlon TD (Fianna Fail, Sligo Leitrim)
In June 2016, Eamon Scanlon was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

As a Fianna Fail TD in 2010, Eamon Scanlon voted in favour of the ban on carted deer hunting.

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TIPPERARY

Jackie Cahill TD (Fianna Fail, Tipperary)
In June 2016, Jackie Cahill was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"Fianna Fáil supports this motion. Both industries have attracted a lot of negative publicity in recent months. We should not lose sight of the importance of these two industries to our economy as a whole. The €80 million is money well spent." Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016, 14 December 2016.

"I would not support such a motion" in reply to an ICABS email asking if he would support an anti-bloodsports council motion. 12th September 2014.

In 2010, ICABS expressed disgust to the Irish Creamery and Milk Suppliers Association after its president Jackie Cahill referred to cruel carted deerhunting as a "humane country activity" and claimed that the ban on the Ward Union deer hunt is "unwanted, uncalled for, unfair and unprecedented in terms of the bias it represents against traditional country pursuits". The comments were made in an April 2nd statement headed "Minister Gormley should 'cop-on' and drop Wildlife Bill". "The President of the country's second largest farmers' organisation has given his association's full support to the RISE [pro-blood sports] campaign against the Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010," the statement said. "We have here a perfect example of Minister Gormley acting on the advice of a tiny but vocal group and banning something that the silent majority know to be a traditional and humane country activity. It is simply not acceptable to have perfectly legitimate pastimes banned."

According to a March 2016 report in the Irish Independent, Jackie Cahill "has an interest in greyhound racing, owns several race hounds and is on the committee of Thurles Greyhound Stadium."

In November 2015, Jackie Cahill tweeted a photo of himself "with Chairman Golden Vale Hunt" at a point-to-point race.

During the hare coursing cruelty festival in Clonmel in February 2016, a Jackie Cahill election vehicle was parked directly opposite the Powerstown Park coursing venue.

Seamus Healy, TD (Workers and Unemployed Action Group, Tipperary):
In June 2016, Seamus Healy was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"I ask the Minister to confirm that the Bill will not adversely affect any properly organised or regulated greyhound and coursing industries. That is an important consideration." Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage, Thursday, 20 September 2012.

Cllr. Seamus Healy said at this week's County Council meeting the fact that coursing was being discussed in the Programme for Government talks put the coursing industry in jeopardy. The national coursing meeting was very important for Clonmel, bringing in millions of Euro to the local economy during the festival week. "It is an industry that has created employment and is very important to Clonmel and South Tipperary," he told the meeting. Cllr. Healy proposed that the Council write to the Taoiseach and Fianna Fail Oireachtas members on the issue. The Nationalist, 7 October 2009. http://www.nationalist.ie/news/local/green-party-ban-on-coursing-would-cost-clonmel-16m-1-2245983

"This is a small but important industry, particularly in the area from where I come in south Tipperary in which the Clonmel track is located and which hosts the national coursing festival each year. The greyhound and coursing industries are important and give much employment and support to other industries and business in the town of Clonmel and much enjoyment and sport to the many people involved at all levels." Greyhound Industry (Doping Regulation) Bill 2006

"Cllr Seamus Healy said he had no brief for stag hunting and did not support it." Tipperary Star, 15 June 2010

Alan Kelly TD (Labour Party, Tipperary):
In June 2016, Alan Kelly abstained/was not present in the vote on Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing. The bill was defeated by 114 votes to 20 (with the remaining 24 TDs abstaining/not voting).

In March 2013, Alan Kelly TD voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circuses.

Michael Lowry, TD (Independent, Tipperary):
In June 2016, Michael Lowry was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"A number of TDs, including Jackie Healy Rae and Michael Lowry, had earlier voiced concern that the Greens' ban on stag hunting and their dog breeding bill indicated a lack of empathy with country pursuits." (Sunday Business Post, 04 April 2010)

"After today's discussion with John Curran Government Chief Whip, I confirmed that I am not in a position to support this Stag Hunting Bill which threatens the future of hunting and coursing in Ireland. In advance of my discussions with the Chief Whip, I consulted with my Independent colleague Jackie Healy Rae T.D. who is equally concerned with the implications of this legislation for rural Ireland. Jackie Healy Rae is taking the same stand as myself on these two Bills. It is my firm intention to vote against the Bill and I will not be deflected from that decision...I represent North Tipperary, a land famous for its long tradition of hunting, coursing, greyhound racing." Statement from Michael Lowry TD, June 2010

Independent TD, Michael Lowry, voted AGAINST the staghunt ban in June 2010.

Mattie McGrath, TD (Independent, Tipperary):
In June 2016, Mattie McGrath was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"As a young boy I went hare coursing and learned a lot about nature, wildlife and life in general. Teams of men and youngsters hunted hares. Things have moved on since then and it has become a very humane activity...Thousands come to Clonmel [hare coursing cruelty festival]. It is a lovely festival which everybody enjoys. I accept there is gambling but gambling goes on everywhere. I have never bet in my life but I attend coursing and meet people there every year." Mattie McGrath TD during Dail debate on bill to ban hare coursing, 23 June 2016. See the full speech: Video | Text

"The [hare coursing] meet at Knockgraffon was a huge success and is a further testimony to the enduring popularity of this traditional rural pursuit. What was even more impressive was the ability of the event to draw a substantial crowd of visitors from the UK who all thoroughly enjoyed the enthusiasm of the home crowd and the fine quality of hare and greyhound on display...I am sure that the Clonmel Coursing event in two weeks’ time will also be a massive success and one which will draw in significant revenue for the local economy. It is events like these that continue to thrive and draw high volumes of visitors to our localities year after year. We must do all we can to support such events and educate those opposed to them by demonstrating the high quality conditions under which the events are managed..." from a statement by Mattie McGrath TD, published on his website, 20th January 2014.

"I am totally supportive of the practice of coursing...I have a gun licence to shoot fowl...Is it not better for a young boy or girl to be outside fishing or hunting than sitting at home every day in front of computer on Facebook, Google or whatever else? At least when they return to school after the summer, their teachers can ask them about flora, fauna and mother nature, about which I learned when I went coursing as a buachaill og with the men of the parish. Coursing was good, healthy exercise and all I had was the butt of a stick to hit a ditch." Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second and Subsequent Stages, 18 July 2012. Watch on Youtube

Mattie McGrath spoke in favour of hare coursing on the Pat Kenny Radio Show on October 1st 2009. You can listen to Deputy McGrath's defence of this cruel activity by downloading the show. Deputy McGrath voted against the ban on staghunting in June 2010.

"It has been noted that this stag hunt has been in existence since 1854 and reference has been made to its benefits. People who take part in rural pursuits and who get their children involved will care for animals more than any animal rights person or self-proclaimed animal rights people because they are close to nature...I know nothing about stag hunting because I do not live in that part of the country so I will not stray into it. However, I am disappointed in the way they have been vilified." Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010: Second Stage, Thursday, 24 June 2010

According to a comment left on a hunting website, Mattie McGrath "was at the national coursing meeting plying for votes this week [February 2011] on the strength of his stand against the hunting ban".

"Hopefully, the Minister will be able to find Eur 1 million or so for the track in Clonmel. It is very important. Coursing is a huge industry and is worth Eur 6 million or Eur 7 million to South Tipperary. The Clonmel event is known throughout Europe. I have been there many times. There is none of the savagery that is often spoken about." From a Dail debate on the Welfare of Greyhounds Bill 2011, 30 June 2011

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WATERFORD

Mary Butler TD (Fianna Fail, Waterford):
In June 2016, Mary Butler was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

David Cullinane TD (Sinn Fein, Waterford):
In June 2016, David Cullinane was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In response to a January 2016 enquiry, David Cullinane quoted his party's animal welfare policies, including "[Sinn Fein] acknowledges the support in rural Ireland for traditional rural occupations including hunting, fishing and hare coursing, acknowledges the value that these pursuits bring to local rural economies and 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, believes that Irish hare coursing practices should be regulated to ensure sustainable wildlife management and to minimise unnecessary suffering to the animals involved, believes that the banning of hare coursing would drive it underground and remove current regulations which are essential to protect the animals involved. Therefore we oppose such an outright ban."

John Deasy TD (Fine Gael, Waterford):
In June 2016, John Deasy was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In March 2013, John Deasy TD voted against an amendment to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on fur farming in Ireland.

John Halligan TD (Independent, Waterford)
In June 2016, John Halligan was one of the 20 compassionate TDs who voted in favour of Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"I fully support an end to that barbaric practice [hare coursing]" from a tweet from John Halligan TD, 4th July 2016.

"There was a vote in the Dail last week on hare coursing and three in the Independent Alliance voted against the government. There wasn't a catastrophic meltdown of relations between ourselves and the government. We just felt that was an issue of conscience. I particularly felt that you shouldn't kill animals for pleasure so I wasn't going to be whipped in to line on that to vote with the government for whatever reason they didn't want to support Maureen O'Sullivan's Bill." John Halligan TD, Newstalk Lunchtime, 4th July 2016

"I can confirm that Mr Halligan would consider blood sports to be a form of animal cruelty and as such would be in favour of any proposal to have same banned." from the office of John Halligan TD, 14th March 2012

"Mr Halligan is completely and utterly against any form of animal cruelty" (From the office of John Halligan, TD, 14th February 2012)

"I believe that hunting animals for pleasure is wrong and would be opposed to any motion that would be taking a step backwards in this regard." (From email to ICABS Supporter, February 2011)

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WEXFORD

James Browne TD (Fianna Fail, Wexford)
In June 2016, James Browne was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Michael D’Arcy TD (Fine Gael, Wexford)
In June 2016, Michael D’Arcy was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

As a TD in 2010, Michael D’Arcy voted AGAINST the ban on carted stag hunting.

On 24 January 2017, Michael D’Arcy TD asked the Minister for Agriculture "the frequency with which racing dogs are drug tested here; the number of winners that have been tested in the past two years after the race; if all winners could be drug tested after each race; the reason the 2015 drug test results have not been released". See full question and answer.

Brendan Howlin TD (Labour Party, Wexford):
In June 2016, Brendan Howlin was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In March 2013, Brendan Howlin TD voted against an amendment to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling and the use of animals in circuses.

In March 2011, Labour Party Minister, Brendan Howlin, stated on the Pat Kenny Radio Show that any move to reverse the ban on carted deer hunting "will be a matter for discussion". His statement followed a pre-election assurance from then Labour leader, Eamon Gilmore, that the party accepted the ban and wouldn't support any reversal.

In 2010, Brendan Howlin TD voted against the ban on carted stag hunting.

In 2005, Brendan Howlin TD voted in favour of the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Bill 2004. The bill was defeated by 67 votes to 50.

Paul Kehoe, TD (Fine Gael, Wexford)
In June 2016, Paul Kehoe was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Paul Kehoe voted AGAINST the staghunt ban in June 2010.

"The Government Chief Whip, Minister Paul Kehoe T.D., today announced the Legislative Programme for the Spring Parliamentary session of 2012...Progress will also continue to be made in a number of other areas with the introduction of...new animal welfare laws" Paul Kehoe statement, January 11, 2012

"Taoiseach Brian Cowen reminded every TD of their responsibility. Mr McGrath and Mr O'Sullivan still abstained. A peace process began with the rebels. Their abstention provoked Fine Gael's whip Paul Kehoe to up the ante. He withdrew an agreement to keep two of his TDs back to cancel out two sick men - Sean Ardagh and Noel Treacy..." Irish Examiner Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mick Wallace, TD (Independent, Wexford)
In June 2016, Mick Wallace was one of the 20 compassionate TDs who voted in favour of Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban hare coursing.

"I have sensed a certain feeling around this issue that city people do not really understand country people when it comes to coursing and how nature works and so on. I was born on a small farm in Wexford and I do not think it is nice to see an animal suffer. In the natural cycle, animals die and big animals kill smaller animals, but that does not make an argument for humans organising it...There has been talk of driving the sport underground. I remember when there was cock fighting and it was no problem to set up a cock fight around my area. It is banned now and I do not see it any more. It has not grown more popular. It has disappeared from where I live." Mick Wallace TD during Dail debate on bill to ban hare coursing, 23 June 2016. See the full speech: Video | Text

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

On 27th March 2013, Mick Wallace supported amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to outlaw hare coursing, foxhunting, terrierwork, digging-out, ferreting and fur farming.

In a 16th December 2014 Dail Question, Mick Wallace TD asked the Minister for Agriculture "if he will provide details of measures being taken to prevent cruelty to animals involved in hare coursing".

On 10 February 2015, Mick Wallace TD asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht "her plans to revoke hare coursing licences here, particularly in view of figures from the National Parks and Wildlife Service which indicate that during the 2013 coursing season over 100 hares required assistance, due to injuries sustained during races."

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WICKLOW

John Brady TD (Sinn Fein, Wicklow)
In June 2016, John Brady abstained/was not present in the vote on Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing. The bill was defeated by 114 votes to 20 (with the remaining 24 TDs abstaining/not voting).

"It was a really horrible situation, the three children were hysterical and petrified and Bonnie was in great distress. This individual had no control over that bird. I have friends in the falconry community and they say this man’s actions are disgraceful. I am sure the gardai will be investigating whether the bird was licensed and I have no doubt that this beautiful bird is in the wrong hands.” Mr Brady is now calling for tighter control on owners of birds of prey. from 'It sank talons into my dog's head' - Garda probe after TD's pet attacked by hawk, Irish Independent, 21 March 2017.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

"When businesses advertise JobBridge internships in which they seek applicants such as fully qualified architects or, as in a more recent example, a fox hunting organisation advertises for the position of first whipper-in, it is clear that the scheme has been and continues to be abused." John Brady TD - Dail Eireann Priority Questions, National Internship Scheme Review, 25 May 2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTBERWqHtTg

"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.

"Sad to hear that Tilikum the famous Orca died in SeaWorld. The 36 year old Orca spent 33 years in a small tank in SeaWorld after being taken from the wild off the coast of Iceland. This cruelty needs to be ended for all Orcas." John Brady TD in a 7th January 2017 Facebook post.

Pat Casey TD (Fianna Fail, Wicklow):
In June 2016, Pat Casey was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Stephen Donnelly TD (Independent, Wicklow):
In June 2016, Social Democrats TD Stephen Donnelly was one of the 20 compassionate TDs who voted in favour of Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban hare coursing.

On 27th March 2013, Stephen Donnelly supported amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to outlaw hare coursing, foxhunting, terrierwork, digging-out, ferreting and fur farming.

Andrew Doyle, TD (Fine Gael, Wicklow):
In June 2016, Andrew Doyle was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In October 2016, Andrew Doyle announced aother massive grant to the cruel greyhound racing industry - "I am also pleased to announce the intention to fulfil the commitment to the Horse and Greyhound Fund for 2017, which will increase expenditure to €16 million next year for Bord na gCon. The sector is a very important contributor to the economy and provides employment in both rural and urban areas."

“The greyhound industry is an important driver of economic activity and employment in both rural and urban Ireland. Developing the sector to its potential is a key priority for me. I am confident that the Board of Bord na gCon shares that objective. The meeting was a very constructive engagement and provided a useful opportunity to outline key priorities, including putting the sector on a sound financial footing, and building a reputation for good governance, strong regulation and high standards of animal welfare. The Indecon Report already provides a good road map. My Department will be closely monitoring progress on its implementation, and is at present preparing the heads of a Bill to implement aspects of the report, including those in relation to governance and regulation. I look forward to working closely with the Board to develop this very important sector to its maximum potential.” Andrew Doyle, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, May 2016.

Fine Gael Wicklow Deputy, Andrew Doyle, said today that laws governing puppy farming are long overdue and called on the Environment Minister to introduce regulations originally promised in 2006. Deputy Doyle added that a recent raid on a ‘puppy farm’ in Co. Wicklow, where 82 dogs were found mistreated and almost a quarter had to be put down highlighted just how badly regulations are needed and just how negligent the Fianna Fáil/Green Government is in not introducing them. “How many more raids on farms that treat dogs in such a repugnant manner will it take before Fianna Fáil and the Greens act on this practice? from a media statement issued by Andrew Doyle, Sunday 22nd July 2007.

Simon Harris, TD (Fine Gael, Wicklow):
In June 2016, Simon Harris was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

Wicklow Fine Gael TD, Simon Harris, has stated that he is looking forward to the introduction of the new animal welfare bill. Deputy Harris stated ‘I have spoken directly to Minister Coveney regarding several issues around animal welfare in County Wicklow. Minister Coveney has stressed that the new bill will provide for a clearer level of expectation of care for animals as well as trying to deal with some of the issues around how companies interacting with animals must act. ‘I am confident that the changes that will emerge when this bill is introduced will provide greater clarity around animal health and welfare. ‘The Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 is currently at Committee stage and the updating of this Bill is a significant positive improvement on the existing bill and should bring necessary changes for the improvement of the health and welfare of animals,’ concluded Deputy Harris. SimonHarris.ie, November 26 2012

"To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to ban the docking of the tails of dogs-puppies and the removal of the dew nail, considering that both of these practices are banned by the Irish veterinarians body; if he will consider introducing such a ban in animal welfare legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter." (from a Dail Question, 3rd December 2013)

NOTES:
Individual views may differ from official party policies, to which members are expected to follow in Dail Eireann. Click on the link to view party policies in relation to animal issues.

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