Blood sports sully Ireland’s reputation

18 Aug
Letter to the Editor in today’s Irish Examiner…
Blood sports sully our reputation
Irish Examiner, 18th August 2016
Fianna Fáil Deputy Timmy Dooley was on his high horse on the airwaves this week, pontificating about what he perceives is the minister for sport’s heel dragging on the Olympic ticket affair. He was concerned about Ireland’s image internationally, saying our reputation was being tarnished and sullied by the events, adding that it could damage our tourism product.
However, Deputy Timmy Dooley, along with 113 other TDs in Dáil Eireann, put all their concerns about sullying and tarnishing Ireland’s reputation aside when they trooped through the Níl lobby on June 30 last to vote down Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan’s Private Member’s Bill to ban live hare coursing. The minister for sport, Shane Ross, to his great credit, was one of those 20 humane politicians who voted to outlaw this barbaric activity.
Sadly, the bill to ban hare coursing hardly made a blip media-wise, and so those 114 politicians, confident that nobody in the country would notice, voted for the snatching of thousands of timid hares from the wild to be used as live lures before greyhounds at coursing matches.
They ignored the evidence of hares being terrorised and mauled by the muzzled dogs, sustaining severe injuries and dying or having to be put down. They ignored the fact that coursing is banned in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
If ever there was an activity to sully and tarnish our country internationally, it has to be the fact that our government sees fit to permit cruel blood sports such as live hare coursing and foxhunting.
Aideen Yourell
IrIsh Council Against Blood Sports
PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath

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