Former Fine Gael TD and Galway mayor sponsored cruel coursing

5 Dec
brian walsh td coursing sponsor

A former Fine Gael TD and mayor of Galway City sponsored cruel hare coursing for at least three years, it has emerged.
 
Documents seen by ICABS show that Brian Walsh – a TD for the Galway West constituency between 2011 and 2016 and mayor of Galway from 2006 to 2007 – sponsored the Galway & Oranmore coursing meeting in 2011, 2013 and 2014.
 
In February 2014, the coursing club sent Walsh a letter thanking him for “your very generous sponsorship of €200 towards our 2013 meeting”.
 
Records show that at that coursing meeting, two hares “required assistance” [a euphemism for hares that have been struck and mauled by greyhounds], two were injured and two were declared “unsuitable for coursing”.
 
In October 2014, Brian Walsh agreed to again sponsor the Galway & Oranmore coursing meeting, with his office sending a request to the coursing club to “do similar to last year with Brian’s name on sheets”, at a cost of €150.
 
A National Parks and Wildlife Service ranger monitored the 2014 Galway & Oranmore coursing meeting and noted that 6 hares were hit by dogs on the first day – three were hit and three were pinned to the ground. On the second day of the meeting, one hare was put down due to the severity of the injuries suffered. On day three, five more hares were hit.
 
In 2011, Brian Walsh TD also paid €200 for an advertisement in the hare coursing booklet and for sponsorship of the coursing cards.
 
At this meeting, 10 hares were hit by dogs and 4 were pinned to the ground.
 
In March 2013, Walsh shamefully voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland’s worst acts of cruelty to animals – foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circuses.
 
During a Dail speech in 2014, he pushed for funding for horse racing, saying “funding must be made available to look after horse owners, the lifeblood of the industry without whom one would not have any activity…the State should invest heavily in the horse racing industry…”
 
Walsh resigned his seat on the grounds of ill health just before the 2016 general election. Last December, the Sunday Times reported that in 2016 he received €105,334 from the Oireachtas.
 
According to the Sunday Times article: “In November 2015, Walsh told Galway Bay FM he would not contest the next election but insisted he would not be getting any ‘gravy train’ deal and would serve his full term. However, the then 43-year-old resigned his seat on health grounds just two months later and just weeks before the general election. The then trustees of the Oireachtas pension trust decided to award Walsh an extra five years’ notional service on the grounds that he probably would have been re-elected if he had not been ill. Records obtained following a freedom of information request reveal Walsh’s payments of €105,334 last year included a pension lump sum of €58,916. This was double the amount received by other TDs who served only one term…The records show Walsh’s payments last year included a €14,543 termination lump sum, €15,760 in termination payments and €16,113 in basic pay.”
 
The Sunday Times noted that “he is being paid €16,000 a year as an illness pension payment, which will be worth about €320,000 to Walsh over the next 20 years.” Read the full report at https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/td-who-quit-over-ill-health-was-paid-105-000-last-year-xz0chzvfk
 
Find out more about Brian Walsh at

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Ireland: Ban cruel hare coursing
https://www.change.org/p/ireland-ban-cruel-hare-coursing

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https://www.change.org/petitions/ban-blood-sports-in-ireland

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