In response to a complaint about a priest blessing a coursing field where hares were used as live bait before greyhounds, the Limerick Diocese of the Catholic Church has issued a statement in which they condone and endorse the barbaric bloodsport.
A spokesperson for the diocese told the Limerick Post: “Coursing is an integral part of life for many in Glin and surrounding area and the recent opening of the new venue was a significant day for the local community which funded and developed the facility (field), while the meet itself attracted over 1,500 people to the parish over the two days”. The diocesan spokesperson went on to say that the “Irish Coursing Club stressed to us (the diocese) that coursing operates under licence and that, in accordance with this, robust animal welfare practices applied”.
In our original complaint to the Bishop of Limerick, Brendan Leahy, ICABS made clear the cruelty of hare coursing. “At the Glin coursing field, hares ran for their lives in front of muzzled greyhounds an activity which is undoubtedly contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church,” we stated. “The hares used at Glin coursing meeting were trapped from the wild in nets, kept captive in compounds and on the days of coursing, used as bait for greyhounds. Hares that are struck by the dogs can be mauled and severely injured, resulting in death. Every year, hares die at coursing meetings from such maulings, and every hare is subjected to stress and terror.”
The subsequent statement by the Limerick Diocese is nothing short of a promotion for the Glin coursing club, and spouts the propaganda of the Irish Coursing Club. The diocese is, in effect, acting as a mouthpiece for Glin coursing club and the ICC. It beggars belief that a diocese of the Catholic Church would endorse and defend such cruelty to animals and would turn a blind eye to the terror and suffering of timid wild creatures. They should recognise that hare coursing is inherently cruel from beginning to end and that every single animal used in this barbaric game is terrorised.
Shame on the Limerick Diocese for condoning this cruel practice, which has been outlawed by England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, because of the cruelty involved.
Photos showing hares running for their lives at the recent Glin coursing meeting can be viewed at http://tinyurl.com/glincoursing
Contact the Bishop of Limerick and ask him to act against to stop clergy involvement in hare coursing.
Bishop Brendan Leahy
Bishop of Limerick
Social Service Centre, Henry Street, Limerick
Tel: +353 (0)61 315 856
Send a tweet to Archbishop Eamon Martin and Pope Francis
Tweet “Please act to end clergy involvement in Ireland’s cruel bloodsports” to @Pontifex @ArchbishopEamon @CatholicBishops