As TDs head off on a long summer vacation tomorrow, Thursday, the Irish Council Against Blood Sports will stage a demonstration outside the gates of Dail Eireann from 2pm onwards.
Our message to the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan’s recent Bill to outlaw live hare coursing will be – SHAME ON YOU!
Despite the fact that these TDs (among them Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who is on record as being opposed to hare coursing) received an unprecedented level of representations on this issue, they turned a blind eye to the cruelty and voted to hang on to a minority backwoods activity that is outlawed in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
And despite the so-called “new politics” that is being bandied about – including a free vote on social issues – FG, FF, Sinn Fein and Labour refused a free vote on what is indisputedly an issue of animal cruelty. Apart from a handful of abstentions, the rest bent to the whip and shamefully trooped through the Nil lobby to ensure that hares will continue to be cruelly snatched from the wild and used as live lures for greyhounds at coursing matches in this the year 2016.
We are so grateful to Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan for bringing forward the Private Member’s Bill to ban hare coursing, and to those 20 TDs who supported it, including Ministers Shane Ross, Finian McGrath and John Halligan, who defied the government whip and voted for an end to this animal cruelty.
This Bill to ban hare coursing is only the first of many challenges against this mediaeval barbarism, and our campaign will continue until we see an end to hare coursing, fox hunting and all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs.
Find out how TDs voted on the bill to ban coursing