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The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is outraged that the Irish Army hosted a foxhunt at their Curragh Camp HQ. According to a report in the Irish Field, a number of Army officers took part in the barbarism and officers in army fatigues were pictured with the foxhunters.
According to the report in the Irish Field, it was stated that “the Irish Army were out in force for the Kildare Foxhounds meet at the Curragh Camp,” and that personnel were involved in the organising of the hunt. Given that foxhunting was very much a British tradition, Eamonn Ceannt, one of the signatories of the 1916 Rising, would no doubt have been turning in his at grave at the sight of horse-boxes arriving in Ceannt Square at the Curragh Camp, and the foxhunters indulging in finger food and refreshments at the officers’ mess. Ironically, Britain has over a decade ago outlawed foxhunting, leaving Ireland as the last outpost of barbarism in these islands.
The Irish Field report went on to detail how foxes were pursued by hounds and “marked to ground” which indicates that they would have sought refuge underground. We can only speculate as to what happened these foxes after this, but generally terriermen, who are an integral part of the hunt, arrive with spades and terriers to dig down to the fox, using the terriers to flush it out, resulting in underground battles with fox and terrier, and the ultimate death of the fox.
As we commemorate 1916, it is an absolute disgrace that the Irish Army would be involved in such a barbaric bloodsport. One hundred years after they laid down their lives for our country, the Irish Army taking part in a foxhunt is hardly what our 1916 patriots would have envisaged.
In a 1967 letter to founder member of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports, actor John Cowley (aka Tom Riordan of ‘The Riordans’), Senator Margaret Pearse – sister of Padraic Pearse – wrote from her nursing home, aged 89, that both of her brothers, Padraic and Willie, would have been opposed to animal cruelty. Senator Pearse stated: “all bloodsports are repugnant to me and I think that they have a debasing effect on all those who take part in them”.
Out of respect for the martyrs and patriots of 1916, and for the vast majority of Irish people who oppose cruel bloodsports, we call on the Irish Army to cease their involvement in this barbaric activity.
Call on the Irish Army to prohibit animal cruelty on its property
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