Former Fine Gael TD and Galway mayor sponsored cruel coursing

5 Dec
brian walsh td coursing sponsor

A former Fine Gael TD and mayor of Galway City sponsored cruel hare coursing for at least three years, it has emerged.
Documents seen by ICABS show that Brian Walsh – a TD for the Galway West constituency between 2011 and 2016 and mayor of Galway from 2006 to 2007 – sponsored the Galway & Oranmore coursing meeting in 2011, 2013 and 2014.
In February 2014, the coursing club sent Walsh a letter thanking him for “your very generous sponsorship of €200 towards our 2013 meeting”.
Records show that at that coursing meeting, two hares “required assistance” [a euphemism for hares that have been struck and mauled by greyhounds], two were injured and two were declared “unsuitable for coursing”.
In October 2014, Brian Walsh agreed to again sponsor the Galway & Oranmore coursing meeting, with his office sending a request to the coursing club to “do similar to last year with Brian’s name on sheets”, at a cost of €150.
A National Parks and Wildlife Service ranger monitored the 2014 Galway & Oranmore coursing meeting and noted that 6 hares were hit by dogs on the first day – three were hit and three were pinned to the ground. On the second day of the meeting, one hare was put down due to the severity of the injuries suffered. On day three, five more hares were hit.
In 2011, Brian Walsh TD also paid €200 for an advertisement in the hare coursing booklet and for sponsorship of the coursing cards.
At this meeting, 10 hares were hit by dogs and 4 were pinned to the ground.
In March 2013, Walsh shamefully 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.
During a Dail speech in 2014, he pushed for funding for horse racing, saying “funding must be made available to look after horse owners, the lifeblood of the industry without whom one would not have any activity…the State should invest heavily in the horse racing industry…”
Walsh resigned his seat on the grounds of ill health just before the 2016 general election. Last December, the Sunday Times reported that in 2016 he received €105,334 from the Oireachtas.
According to the Sunday Times article: “In November 2015, Walsh told Galway Bay FM he would not contest the next election but insisted he would not be getting any ‘gravy train’ deal and would serve his full term. However, the then 43-year-old resigned his seat on health grounds just two months later and just weeks before the general election. The then trustees of the Oireachtas pension trust decided to award Walsh an extra five years’ notional service on the grounds that he probably would have been re-elected if he had not been ill. Records obtained following a freedom of information request reveal Walsh’s payments of €105,334 last year included a pension lump sum of €58,916. This was double the amount received by other TDs who served only one term…The records show Walsh’s payments last year included a €14,543 termination lump sum, €15,760 in termination payments and €16,113 in basic pay.”
The Sunday Times noted that “he is being paid €16,000 a year as an illness pension payment, which will be worth about €320,000 to Walsh over the next 20 years.” Read the full report at
Find out more about Brian Walsh at

Express your support for a ban on coursing. Sign and share the petitions

Ireland: Ban cruel hare coursing

Ban Blood Sports in Ireland

Support our campaign with a donation


Protests: Don’t party at a greyhound track this Christmas

4 Dec


Please support these upcoming peaceful protests against the cruel greyhound industry…
Don’t Gamble With Dogs Lives This Christmas
Friday, 14 December 2018 from 18:00-20:00
Outside Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium, Dublin
Greyhound Racing Xmas Party Protest
Saturday, 15 December 2018 from 18:30-20:00
Outside Kingdom Greyhound Stadium, Brewery Road, Tralee

Growing gambling addiction concerns after introduction of 8:12am greyhound racing

29 Nov

There are fears that the introduction of early morning greyhound racing will add to Ireland’s gambling addiction crisis.

Speaking on today’s Sean O’Rourke Show on RTE Radio 1, Professor Colin O’Gara, Head of Addiction Services at St John of God Hospital in Dublin stated: “I would be concerned, like a lot of treatment service providers, that this is opening up gambling to a new audience. It’s really on a background of the intense proliferation of gambling over the last few years in Ireland. Certainly I would be concerned about that. I would also be concerned about the impact of this on problem gamblers in particular – individuals who we know the industry takes a disproportionate amount of money from. I would be concerned that people who have problem gambling have lost insight into reality, they’ve lost insight into the nature of their gambling. These are the kind of people I would have thought at 8.18 in the morning are going to be gambling.”

Professor O’Gara warned that Ireland is “in a very dangerous situation at the moment because for many years we have been asking for regulation and it hasn’t come in – I do think this proliferation, and this [morning greyhound racing] being an example, is a major concern to us.”

He went on to reveal that there are an estimated 40,000 “very severe problem gamblers” in Ireland and up to 100,000 less severe problem gamblers, adding that “I would suggest that that is a relatively conservative estimate…it could be 200,000 or more.”

Studies have shown that that for every problem gambler, there are around 8 people directly affected by the problem.

Asked by programme presenter Sean O’Rourke if there has been an increase in children gambling and if “there are signs that there are more children gambling in a more dangerous way”, Professor O’Gara replied: “Absolutely. The suggestion from studies is that the rate of adolescent gambling is about three times higher. I would be particularly concerned about this group in the context of advertising in Ireland at the moment.”

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has this week renewed an appeal to Minister for Children Katherine Zappone to take action to stop children gambling at greyhound tracks. The call follows the online publication of troubling photos showing young children at greyhound tracks with betting slips.


Don’t attend greyhound races or fundraisers/hen parties/Christmas parties/office parties held at greyhound tracks.

Contact the Minister for Children and ask her to urgently intervene to stop the Irish Greyhound Board targeting children.

Katherine Zappone, TD
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs
43-49 Mespil Rd, Dublin 4
Phone: 085 2196189 OR 01 647 3000

The cruel and crumbling greyhound industry has received nearly a quarter of a billion euros of taxpayers’ money since 2001 (including €16 million for 2018 and €16.8 million for 2019). Urge Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe to end funding to the greyhound industry and instead direct the money to charities and other deserving causes. Email “Stop funding the cruel greyhound industry” to,,,

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion St, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Tweet to: @campaignforLeo
Leave a comment on Facebook:

Paschal Donohoe TD
Minister for Finance
Phone: +353 (0)1 6045810
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Tweet to @Paschald

Sign and share our petitions

GAA: Stop club fundraisers at greyhound tracks

Irish Government: Stop Giving Millions of Euro to Cruel Greyhound Industry

Stop supporting the cruel greyhound industry

Watch our campaign video
Why you should say NO to greyhound track fundraisers

Hares running for their lives during cruel coursing in Limerick

28 Nov

Sickening scenes of animal cruelty filmed at the weekend (17/18 Nov 2018) at Bulgaden, near Kilmallock, County Limerick. At a coursing meeting held by Ardpatrick & Kilfinane coursing club – one of approximately 70 that take place around Ireland up until the end of February – dozens of hares were used as live bait for dogs to chase.
The terrorised creatures were seen frantically running for their lives as pairs of greyhounds were unleashed in front of a merciless mob comprising men, women and children. Some of the hares were hit hard, their delicate bodies sent tumbling or flying into the air. Others ran from one side of the field to the other and around in circles, sometimes leaping over the dogs, to try and escape.
The coursers know how unacceptable their vile pastime is to the majority of decent people in Ireland and are desperate to keep it from the public view. At Ardpatrick & Kilfinane, a pathetic attempt was made to interfere with filming by shining a bright light directly at the video camera and the woman operating it. She was undeterred by this intimidation and successfully documented the plight of the hares.
How appalling that our government, in 2018, continues to allow this obscene bloodsport to continue. It is particularly shameful that Minister Josepha Madigan and the National Parks and Wildlife Service issued licences for this latest season of coursing, given the recent warnings from wildlife experts that the hare is in trouble, with numbers declining.
The Irish Hare should be afforded every protection to safeguard its future but instead, our politicians are pandering to the small minority who consider it entertaining to snatch hares from the wild, release them into an enclosure and watch as they run from dogs.
The hares at Ardpatrick and Kilfinane are just some of the thousands of victims of coursing. All suffer fear and stress – they don’t know the dogs are muzzled and so are effectively running for their lives. Hares who get hit by the dogs are at risk of sustaining painful life-ending injuries. Hares who survive the ordeal may later die from the stress-related condition known as capture myopathy which can claim lives in the days, weeks and months after coursing. Every coursing season, hare injuries and deaths are recorded.
This depraved practice has no place in modern Ireland; it should have been banned decades ago. It is time for the majority who love and value our wildlife heritage to unite to demand a long overdue ban on coursing. Please help bring coursing to an end by responding to the action alert below.
With warnings from wildlife experts that the Irish Hare is in trouble, it is now more clear than ever that the species must be given FULL PROTECTION – no hare coursing, no hare hunting, no hare shooting. Urgently contact Minister Josepha Madigan and the National Parks and Wildlife Service and demand that they revoke the 2018-19 hare coursing licence and end all forms of hare persecution.
Minister Josepha Madigan
Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht
Phone: +353 (0)1 631 3800
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Tweet to: @josephamadigan
John Fitzgerald
Director, National Parks and Wildlife Service
Phone: +353 (0)1 888 3242
(If you have time, please compose your own personal letter. Otherwise, feel free to send the short sample letter below)
Dear Minister Madigan,
I am one of the majority who want hare coursing outlawed. I am writing to demand that you revoke the 2018-19 hare netting licence that has shamefully been issued.
In coursing, hares suffer and die at all stages – during the capture, during the time they are kept in captivity and during the coursing meetings where they run for their lives in front of greyhounds. Among the injuries recorded are broken legs, damaged toes and dislocated hips.
I ask you to please act on the wishes of the majority, show compassion and end this cruelty.
Thank you.
Yours sincerely,
The Irish Hare is a protected species but an exemption for coursing in the Animal Health and Welfare Act means coursers are not liable for prosecution for their cruelty. Join us in our call to the government to remove the exemption and provide full and permanent protection to this cherished species.
Contact An Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar and ask him to ban hare coursing and give permanent protection to hares.
An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion St, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Tweet to: @campaignforLeo Tweet to @campaignforLeo
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Please contact all your local politicians and ask them to push for a ban on this blood sport. Encourage your friends, family and workmates to contact them too. Visit the Oireachtas website for names of TDs and their email addresses Write to your TDs at: Dail Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 337 889. Please also arrange a meeting with your TDs at their local clinics.
Express your support for a ban on coursing. Sign and share the petitions
Ireland: Ban cruel hare coursing
Ban Blood Sports in Ireland
Support our campaign with a donation


Norman: A man of courage and dignity

22 Nov

obituary Norman Daniels

Norman: A man of courage and dignity
Kilkenny Reporter, 21st November 2018

The small close-knit community of Rathmoyle, County Kilkenny was shocked and saddened at the sudden death of Norman Daniels.

Norman was brother of Ruth and Hubert, and son of the late Abe and Kathleen Daniels.

He was the quintessential gentleman farmer: Dedicated to honest toil he was the most obliging neighbour you could ask for, and closely attentive to the welfare of his animals. With his brother Hubert he ran the farm efficiently as a model business enterprise, but he never lost touch with the ethics-based rural way of life bequeathed to him by his parents and grandparents.

He empathized with the cause of wildlife protection. Representatives of the Irish Council and Against Blood Sports and like-minded groups attended his funeral.

In recent years Norman became something of cause célèbre for other farmers and landowners owing to his principled stance against trespass.

He acted decisively to tackle renegade foxhunting and other forms of aggravated trespass.

He demonstrated how such illicit behavior could be recorded and used in evidence in any resulting legal actions to enshrine the rights of the landowners affected.

His handling of a series of incursions on his own property was widely reported via social media and praised by landowners nationwide.

Long suffering victims of trespass who had themselves sustained damage to fencing, livestock, and crops following his example and opting to videotape unlawful incursions rather than physically approaching or confronting the culprits.

Though of peaceful disposition, Norman was never a man to accept wrongdoing…whether to himself, family members, or other farmers.

A hero of his was the acclaimed Garda Whistleblower Maurice McCabe. Norman held that one should always battle for truth, whatever the consequences.

He believed that in the end doing the right thing brought the joy and relief of a clear conscience and ultimate vindication.

Aptly, a quote from Matthew (5:11) was included in his funeral service at the magnificent St Canice’s Cathedral: “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and tell all kinds of evil lies against you.”

In good times and bad, Norman was a born optimist, never giving up on an enterprise or dodging a daunting challenge.

He followed through to the end in the knowledge- or hope- that success could be achieved.

The theme of optimism was in the air when the service ended and people streamed out of the cathedral.

Drizzly rain had abated, clouds were beginning to clear, and a most beautiful rainbow shimmered in the sky.

It seemed to bisect the round tower, and to encircle the ancient place of worship, exuding brilliant reds, yellows, and indigo.

For some it was a sign of hope and renewal, a reminder that a decent human being had passed to his just reward for a life well-lived.

Norman will be missed: by his family, his friends, and the countless people who drew solace from his brave stance against bullying.

May his gentle soul rest in peace.

John Fitzgerald

The savagery of blood sports

21 Nov


The savagery of blood sports: Listen to a Near FM interview with Macroom resident Niamh Hodge whose garden was invaded by a pack of hounds last St Stephen’s Day. The hounds cornered a fox in the garden and ripped him apart
Huntsman John McSweeney – who initially denied that the fox was killed by the hunt’s dogs – appeared at Macroom District Court this month charged under Section 9 of the Control of Dogs Act. After admitting to the offences, McSweeney was ordered to pay €1,000 to the poor box or reappear in court next month. Read more at
The housing estate where the fox was killed is just one mile away from Agriculture Minister Michael Creed’s constituency office. Despite being aware of the disgusting cruelty of foxhunting, Minister Creed shamefully refuses to ban the bloodsport. Please help bring foxhunting to an end in Ireland – respond to the action alert below.
Sign our “Ban Blood Sports in Ireland” petition
Demand an immediate ban on hunting with hounds in Ireland. Contact the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) and Tanaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) now.
An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar
Upper Merrion St, Dublin 2
Tel: +353 (0)1-6194020
Tweet to: @campaignforLeo
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Tanaiste Simon Coveney TD
Iveagh House, 80 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2
Tel: +353 (0)1 408 2000
Tweet to: @simoncoveney
Appeal to the Minister for Agriculture to remove an exemption for foxhunting from the Animal Health and Welfare Act.
Michael Creed TD
Minister for Agriculture
Agriculture House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Tweet to: @creedcnw
Please contact all your local politicians and ask them to push for a ban on foxhunting. Encourage your friends, family and workmates to contact them too. Visit the Oireachtas website for names of TDs and their email addresses
Hungry for answers after fox’s death
Irish Mail on Sunday, 7th January 2018.
The Department of Agriculture is investigating the killing of a fox allegedly attacked by a pack of hounds in a Cork housing estate on St Stephen’s Day, the Mail on Sunday can reveal.
It comes after a report in last week’s MoS which revealed that a large pack of hunting dogs chased a fox into the back garden of homeowner Niamh Hodge in Macroom, and savaged it to death.
The housing estate adjoins a field where the Macroom Foxhounds Hunt was taking place that day. Our report was followed up by RTE and radio stations in Cork, with many horrified callers condemning the killing as ‘cruel’.
A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture told the MoS that the department is ‘concerned’ at the incident in Macroom, which occurred in Minister Michael Creed’s constituency, and has ordered an investigation.
In a statement, the spokesman said: ‘There is a detailed code of conduct in place in respect of the hunting of foxes which places responsibility on hunting associations to ensure that hunting is carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013. The department is aware of and concerned at the reported incident in Macroom and is investigating the matter.’
Gardai have begun a separate investigation following a complaint from Niamh Hodge.
But huntsman John McSweeney, who denies that their dogs killed the fox, refused to comment on the controversy this weekend.
by Niamh Walsh

Irish clergy involvement in hare coursing continues

20 Nov
hare coursing maurice brick
Irish clergy involvement in hare coursing continues, despite the Catechism of the Catholic Church making it clear that “It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly”.
In coursing, thousands of hares are cruelly snatched from the wild in nets, thrown into boxes, transported to coursing compounds and eventually forced to run for their lives from pairs of greyhounds. All will suffer fear and stress, while the hares hit and mauled by the dogs will sustain painful injuries such as broken bones and dislocated hips. Some will die from their injuries or will be destroyed by vets. Hares who survive the ordeal and are later released back to the wild are at risk of subsequently dying from stress-related capture myopathy.
At the weekend, the name of County Kerry parish priest Fr Maurice Brick appeared in the booklet for the Clonmel & Kilsheelan coursing meeting. His greyhound Bridies Spirit was among the dogs listed to be unleashed to chase after hares. In September, as highlighted by ICABS, the same priest was involved with the Kilflynn coursing meeting.
Last year at Kilflynn, one hare was reported pinned to the ground by the dogs. At “coursing trials” held a few days beforehand, a NPWS ranger report revealed that 10 hares were hit by dogs, 7 were injured and 2 were “put down as a result of the injuries”.
What an absolute shame that despite multiple appeals over the years, the Irish Catholic Bishops Conference has refused to act to end clergy involvement in hare coursing.
Contact the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference now.
Tel: +353 (0)1 505 3000
Twitter: @CatholicBishops
Urge Fr Maurice Brick to show compassion for the hares and end his involvement in coursing.
Fr. Maurice Brick, P.P.
Tel: 066 7132111
Mobile: 087 9473317
See the cruelty of hare coursing on our Youtube channel
Express your support for a ban on coursing. Sign and share the petitions
Ireland: Ban cruel hare coursing
Ban Blood Sports in Ireland
Support our campaign with a donation