RTE sports pundit, Ger Loughnane, filmed hunting hares

11 Apr
An exhausted hare slowly hops through a gateway in the County Clare countryside. He looks almost depleted but his survival instinct, and the sound of howling hounds in the distance, drives him forward. This may be his last day of life.
The hounds are owned by Ger Loughnane, a former manager of the Clare hurling team and pundit on RTE television sports programmes. He has gone from the sport of hurling to one of the most unsporting of activities – harrier hunting.
 
This hunting involves taking a pack of hounds out to chase down and kill defenceless hares.
 
Shortly after the hare splashes through a puddle and makes his way across the road, the pack of around 20 dogs arrive. They don’t take long in picking up the scent and resuming their pursuit.
 
There are not only concerns in this rural area about the plight of persecuted wildlife but also about public safety.
 
Earlier in the day, the woman who filmed the hare also witnessed hounds from the same pack jumping out of a ditch onto a public road in front of her car and running along a narrow country lane.
 
Meeting Ger Loughnane on the road, she calls out the window that “these dogs are out of control and a menace” but he denies it, claiming the hounds are under “perfect control”.
 
“They’re not under perfect control,” she responds. “I’ve been watching them for the last half an hour and there was no sign of you.”
 
The Irish Examiner has previously highlighted Loughnane’s hunting activities, revealing that he takes his pack of hounds “up the mountain to stretch their legs [and] at this time of year, he’ll hunt by foot with them two or three times a week, from about 10 in the morning until dark.” In an interview with the newspaper, he said he is “as addicted to it as I ever was to hurling”.
 
While, it’s not known what happened to the hare in this footage, we do know the typical fate of hares caught by packs of harrier hounds. They are savaged by the dogs and torn to pieces. An individual who witnessed such a kill previously told ICABS what she witnessed: “A hare came running down the road. I didn’t realise what was happening for a moment until a pack of hounds appeared from round the corner. I got out of the car to try and do something but the hounds had caught up with the hare and totally demolished it. All that was left was a tiny piece of fur blowing in the breeze.”
 
ACTION ALERT
 
A ban on harrier hunting and all forms of hunting with packs of hounds is long overdue in Ireland. Please join us in contacting Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and demanding a ban.
 
An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion St, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Email: taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie, leo.varadkar@oireachtas.ie
Tweet to: @campaignforLeo
Leave a comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/campaignforleo/
 
Sign and share our “Ban Blood Sports in Ireland” petition
 
Please contact all your local politicians and urge them to push for a ban on hare hunting, fox hunting and all bloodsports. Encourage your friends, family and workmates to contact them too.
 
Visit the Oireachtas website for names of TDs and their email addresses http://www.oireachtas.ie/members-hist/default.asp?housetype=0&HouseNum=32&disp=mem
 
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.
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