European election candidates and animal cruelty issues

26 Mar

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Find out where European election candidates stand on animal cruelty issues. The election takes place in Ireland on Friday 24 May 2019. Please choose compassionate candidates and reject those who support animal cruelty. 


– DUBLIN CONSTITUENCY (4 Seats) –

Clare Daly TD (Independents 4 Change)
In June 2016, Clare Daly was one of the 20 compassionate TDs who voted in favour of Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan’s bill which sought to ban hare coursing.

On 27th March 2013, Clare Daly presented/supported amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to outlaw hare coursing, foxhunting, terrierwork, digging-out, ferreting and fur farming.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers’ money to the horse and greyhound racing industries. In December 2017, she again voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations which granted another €80 million to horse and greyhound racing.

“The idea of giving taxpayers’ money to Bord na gCon, an organisation which oversees the barbarism of hare coursing, is absolutely abhorrent. We know from the scandal that engulfed Horse Racing Ireland earlier in the year that the organisation is incapable of handling public money. We must ask ourselves why we are doing this. Why is a salary of €247,000 for the CEO of Horse Racing Ireland, way above the pay cap, being sanctioned?…The issue before us is the fact that in the period 2001-16, €1.3 billion has been given to the horse and greyhound racing industries. This is some amount of public money to be given to two commercial enterprises which base themselves on the exploitation of animals for profit – not only animals, but also people… The idea that most of the public money going to HRI is spent on prize money is absolutely disgraceful against the backdrop of a severe exploitation of both animals and staff.” Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016, 14 December 2016.

“Hare coursing is a brutal and violent outdated pursuit and it should be banned outright.” Clare Daly, TD in a June 24 2016 tweet.

“Hare coursing is a brutal, barbarous, wanton cruelty and has no part in a modern society. I call this a “fact” and I can back this up. In the last Dáil we brought in legislation on animal health and welfare. Guidelines were put in place which did not go far enough but, in fairness to the then Minister, Deputy Simon Coveney, they went dramatically further than anything we had before. We specifically put in an exclusion for hare coursing, acknowledging that the activity was cruel but removing the hare from the protection of that Act, showing that the House accepted its cruelty but was prepared to let it go on. That is not good enough.” Clare Daly TD during Dail debate on bill to ban hare coursing, 23 June 2016. See the full speech: Video | Text

“That the practice of hare coursing is being excluded from the protections of this Bill is such an absolute gaping anomaly. It’s a contradiction. In essence, what we’re doing is recognising that the practice itself is inherently cruel but then we are allowing it to continue. It is something that I, and a majority of Irish citizens, consistently in opinion polls believe is an outdated practice which has no part in modern Ireland…Information circulated to all Deputies which shows that a very successful drag coursing event took place negates the traditional argument that people who love greyhounds will not have a chance to exercise their dogs and allow them to compete. That argument is an absolute nonsense. We do not need hare coursing to continue for dogs to be exercised or compete in this manner. Successful drag coursing events held in Ireland prove this and negate that argument. The Minister must take this on board. Not allowing this barbarity to continue and replacing it with drag coursing would do far better for our tourism industry…We’ve heard an awful lot over the years to justify hare coursing – ridiculous arguments in my mind, all of which can be defeated. Nonsense like ‘the hares are being looked after and they’re being protected’. Let’s be clear here: these animals are picked up, snatched from their environment, kept to be chased by dogs and sustain massive injuries…” Animal Health and Welfare Bill, 27 March 2013.

“The Bill acknowledges that these practices [coursing and foxhunting] are cruel and inflict pain and unnecessary suffering, yet it exempts them from the protection it rightly provides in other circumstances. This is not adequate in a civilised society and is not good enough in a Bill on animal welfare. It is certainly not good enough for hares and foxes.” Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage, Dail Eireann, September 19th, 2012.

“My Technical Group colleague, Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan, has asked me to apologise on her behalf as she is unfortunately unable to contribute to the debate. Like me, she welcomes all initiatives that promote animal welfare and looks forward to the day when coursing, fur farming, fox hunting and all such activities are banned. All these so-called sports have, at their core, deliberate and wilful cruelty to animals, including death.” Welfare of Greyhounds Bill 2011: Second Stage, 30 June 2011.

“We in the Socialist Party oppose stag hunting and the inherent cruelty of hunting animals purely for human enjoyment. We will oppose any attempt to overturn the ban from within the Dail. We also support the banning of hare coursing and we would be in favour of legislation which aimed to do so.” March 22nd, 2011.

In 2007, Councillor Clare Daly proposed a successful motion to ban the Use of Wild Animals in Circuses on land Owned by Fingal County Council. The final wording of the agreed motion was: “That Fingal County Council support the introduction of by-laws or other measures which would ensure that circuses which use wild animals are prohibited from performing in any part of the local authority area, in light of the well-documented evidence of suffering endured by the animals involved and the serious animal welfare issues raised.”

Rita Harrold (Solidarity)
“Rita Harrold is totally opposed to blood sports. Solidarity have voted against hare coursing and introduced Bills banning wild animals in circuses and we’ve a fur farming Bill in June. Rita would raise these issues in European Parliament if elected.” – statement from Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger, 10 April 2019.

Gillian Brien (People Before Profit)
“I believe foxhunting, hare coursing, fur farming and bullfighting should be banned…I hate to see animals being treated cruelly or neglected. Unfortunately this happens so frequently in our society. This is largely because they are viewed as a commodity by the private, profit-driven sector. I condemn all forms of cruelty and neglect. I advocate decent conditions for animals – where offspring are not separated from their mothers too soon, and where animals are kept in clean environments that are not cramped. I am opposed to the use of growth hormones and unnecessary usage of antibiotics or steroids. The use of painful methods of killing – such as grinding up live chicks – is abhorrent and should be banned outright.” from an email to ICABS, 8th April 2019. Read People Before Profit’s animal welfare policy at http://www.pbp.ie/policies/animal-welfare-policy/

Senator Alice Mary Higgins (Independent)
In June 2016, Senator Alice Mary Higgins attended a press conference in Dublin to support Maureen O’Sullivan TD’s announcement of a bill to ban hare coursing. Holding a copy of the ICABS “Ireland’s cruel bloodsports” leaflet, she posed for a photograph next to our “Ban Hare Coursing” placard.

In November 2018, Senator Higgins expressed support for a ban on cruel fur farming in Ireland. “Happy to support the #furfreeireland campaign!” she tweeted.

“Animal welfare is a pressing issue right now. I believe it needs to be treated exceptionally.” Greyhound Racing Bill 2018: Report Stage, 29 November 2018.

“I do not like to think of greyhounds as a product because they are fellow creatures, but life-cycle planning is now recognised as a key aspect of all industries. It is important that those who wish to ensure they are dealing with participants in the greyhound industry who have ethical practices can be assured that this ethical practice extends beyond the working lifetime of a dog. I would like the Minister of State to indicate that he will work with us to ensure the welfare of the animals is given due regard and guidance is provided for when they are no longer racing or working. This is a humane and appropriate thing to do in animal welfare terms and it sends an important signal…It has been outlined that there are serious animal welfare concerns in respect of the use of drugs in the industry… It is grotesque intentionally to subject animals to prohibited or controlled substances that nobody would give to a pet or put into anyone’s body.” Greyhound Racing Bill 2018: Committee Stage, 15 November 2018

“Ireland has a number of birds on the red list. These birds are at risk of absolute extinction. The birds on the list include the barn owl, the yellow hammer and the curlew. There are 150 nesting pairs of curlews. That is all we have of the curlew in Ireland. What guarantees do we have? Will we check after two years to see whether we still have 150 pairs of curlews? Maybe we will have five, maybe we will have none or maybe we will have lost another species of great deep historical significance and resonance in Ireland. We could also talk of the golden plover and the meadow pippet. These birds are on the red list as well. Then there are many birds and species on the amber list and they are vulnerable too. What is the projection of the number of our birds and animals that are now in jeopardy and that will move into the endangered category over a two-year period?” Heritage Bill 2016: Committee Stage, Seanad Eireann, 9 November 2016

Senator Alice Mary Higgins is a daughter of President Michael D Higgins (who is a former vice-chairperson of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports).

Frances Fitzgerald TD (Fine Gael)
In June 2016, Frances Fitzgerald was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan’s bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In 2016, 2017 and 2018, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations which granted €80 million/€80 million/€84 million of taxpayers’ money to horse and greyhound racing.

In March 2013, Frances Fitzgerald 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.

In December 2014, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald defended the presence of two Gardai at a hare coursing meeting in Glin. Replying to a Dail Question from Clare Daly, TD, Minister Fitzgerald stated: “The event attracted a significant number of patrons on Saturday 4 October and a larger number of patrons on Sunday 5 October. As with other events that attract a considerable crowd of people, local Garda management deemed it necessary to have Gardaí present. The duties performed by Gardaí were normal traffic duties, as performed at all local public events that attract large numbers of people and the Coursing Club will not be covering the cost of the Garda presence.”

Mark Durkan (Fine Gael)
Former MP for Foyle and leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) from 2001 to 2010

In a May 2010 letter to a constituent, then SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie MP wrote: “The SDLP is completely opposed to animal cruelty. As far back as 1995, the party passed a motion at our annual conference calling for a complete ban on foxhunting and when he was leader, Mark Durkan MP signed an Early Day Motion in Westminster supporting the British government’s record on animal welfare and the British bans on fox, hare and staghunting, as well as hare coursing.”

Barry Andrews (Fianna Fail)
As a TD in 2010, Barry Andrews voted in favour of the ban on carted stag hunting.

As a TD in 2005, Barry Andrews voted against the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Bill 2004. which sought to ban cruel fur farming in Ireland.

Lynn Boylan MEP (Sinn Fein)
In October 2014, Lynn Boylan MEP voted in favour of a European Parliament Budget Amendment which sought to end massive subsidies to barbaric bullfighting. Despite the support of 323 MEPs, the amendment was rejected because it didn’t secure a qualified majority.

Cllr Alex White (Labour Party)
As a TD in March 2013, Alex White 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 circus performances.

Cllr Ciaran Cuffe (Green Party)
“I am against all forms of blood sports.”

Cllr. Gary Gannon (Social Democrats)
“I am fully against blood sports in all their forms and would be fully supportive of any Dublin City Council motion which called for a ban on such unnecessary cruelty. ”

Cllr Eilis Ryan (The Workers’ Party)
“Fully opposed to hare coursing.” from a tweet to ICABS, November 2015.

Ben Gilroy (Independent):
“I am in favour of banning all cruelty to animals or humans. I hate cruelty in any form.” from an email to ICABS, February 2016.

Others/Independents: Eamonn Murphy, Hermann Kelly, Gemma O’Doherty, Aisling McNiffe, Mark Mullan, Tony Bosco Lowth

– MIDLANDS-NORTH-WEST CONSTITUENCY (4 Seats) –

Saoirse McHugh (Green Party)
“I think that blood sports, especially fox hunting, are absolutely disgusting. It is a prime example of the total disregard with which we treat our environment and wildlife and that disregard has brought us to this critical juncture where our entire society must change. A fox hunt came to Achill there a few years ago, the hunt went where ever it pleased, through people’s gardens etc and the screaming of the foxes was heard all over the village. People were really upset by this gruesome event. All for entertainment of a few people.” from an email to ICABS, March 2019.

Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan (Independent)
On 27th March 2013, Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan supported an amendment to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to outlaw fur farming.

Mairéad McGuinness MEP (Fine Gael)
In October 2014, Mairead McGuinness refused to support a European Parliament Budget Amendment which sought to end massive subsidies to barbaric bullfighting. Along with her three Fine Gael colleagues, Mairead McGuinness abstained in the vote. The amendment was rejected because it didn’t secure a qualified majority.
“On tonight’s The Frontline we’ll debate animal rights and rural Ireland. We’ll be joined by Mairead McGuinness MEP (who opposes John Gormley’s measures) [to ban carted deer hunting]…” From a Frontline programme statement, 22 Mar 2010.

Maria Walsh (Fine Gael)
Maria Walsh, a former Rose of Tralee winner, described a trip to the Kingdom greyhound stadium in Tralee as “really fun” and encouraged people to come to the track and bet on races.

In a 2016 video posted on the Irish Greyhound Board website, Maria Walsh interviews an IGB representative “about what makes Tralee & the Kingdom Greyhound Stadium the perfect spot for visiting tourists” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6w1EkG6ArQM

Recalling a visit she made to the stadium, Maria Walsh said: “It was fun and it was great to see all different ages here.”

At the end of the video she added: “From all of us at the Kingdom greyhound stadium, we’ll see you here very soon. And bring a couple of euros – I bet you’re going to become a little bit of a better.”

In 2015, Tralee Today reported that Maria Walsh attended a Kerry GAA fundraiser at Kingdom greyhound stadium and presented a prize to the winner of a “best dressed lady competition”. According to the Kerryman newspaper “reigning Rose [of Tralee] Maria Walsh will be special guest on the night”.

“I got my first pay cheque at our local mart.” Maria Walsh in an election promotional video posted to Twitter, 20 May 2019.

Anne Rabbitte, TD (Fianna Fail, Galway East)
In June 2016, Anne Rabbitte was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan’s bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, she voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations which granted €80 million of taxpayers’ money to the horse and greyhound racing industries. In December 2017, she again voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations which granted another €80 million to horse and greyhound racing.

Brendan Smith TD (Fianna Fail, Cavan Monaghan):
In June 2016, Brendan Smith TD was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan’s bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In 2016, 2017 and 2018, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations which granted €80 million/€80 million/€84 million of taxpayers’ money to horse and greyhound racing.

According to the Summer 2008 edition of the Hunting Association’s newsletter, Minister Brendan Smith “officially opens Drumlin Hounds Equestrian Facility”. The Drumlin Hounds is a Cavan hunt affiliated to the Irish Masters of Harriers Association. “The course, [was] built by Drumlin Equestrian with the aid of a grant from the Government Sports Capital Scheme…Minister Smith commended the group on their vision, perseverance and personal commitment in pursuing and completing this project.” Minister Smith was photographed alongside members of the hunt.

Matt Carthy MEP (Sinn Fein)
In October 2014, Matt Carthy voted in favour of a European Parliament Budget Amendment which sought to end massive subsidies to barbaric bullfighting. Despite the support of 323 MEPs, the amendment was rejected because it didn’t secure a qualified majority.

In October 2013, the Irish Council Against Blood Sports thanked Monaghan County Councillor Matt Carthy for proposing a motion condemning illegal cockfighting in Monaghan. The motion – “Monaghan County Council condemns the practice of cock-fighting and we call on the Gardai to initiate a major crackdown on this practice in our county” – was adopted unanimously.

Dominic Hannigan (Labour Party)
A call for a voluntary ban on the shooting of curlews has come from Meath TD Dominic Hannigan. The Labour Deputy made the call as a month long hunting season for the globally threatened bird species opens on November 1st. “We have seen an almost catastrophic decline in the numbers of what was once one of Ireland’s most iconic birds. A recent survey by BirdWatch Ireland estimates the number of breeding pairs in the state may now be down to less than 200. Up to the 1970’s the native population of curlews was around 12,000 breeding pairs,” said Hannigan. Deputy Hannigan said there was no single cause for of the decline of the curlew. “Numerous factors are involved including the loss of habitat due to an increase in forestry, commercial peat-cutting and windfarm developments. One thing is clear however we need to take measures to protect this native bird. One of those measures should be removing the curlew from the shooting list,” Hannigan added. from Dominic Hannigan’s Press Office, 14 November 2011

“In principle, we are in favour of the legislation, in that it regulates the operation of Puppy Farms – Ireland is seen as the puppy farm of Europe. But it appears that Minister Gormley is using the opportunity of the new legislation to include regulation of hunting dogs and greyhounds within the remit of the act. This has made the legislation contentious…The Minister was like a chased hare at a coursing event. He was getting attacked and questioned from all sides on this.” from Dominic Hannigan’s blog, February 28, 2010

We listened to the views of speakers from the Ward Union Hunt, a vet, a representative from fishermen and a representative from a Gun Club, amongst others. The key issue coming out of the meeting was the worry of many that these two pieces of legislation were just the thin edge of the wedge, and that further legislation would come in later, to ban things such as shooting, fishing and even sports such as horse-racing. I spoke in relation to this. I explained that there is no appetite amongst any politician on our side of the house to ban fishing, or ban shooting. from Dominic Hannigan’s blog, October 17, 2010

Fidelma Healy Eames
“Fine Gael Senator Fidelma Healy-Eames said that if the Green Party continues to ‘run riot over rural pursuits’ it will not just be politicians who lose the whip, jockeys will as well.” from a RTE News report on the Green Party’s Bill to ban cruel stag hunting. 30 June 2010.

Michael O’Dowd (Renua)
A former mayor of Drogheda Town and a former member of Fine Gael. He is a brother of Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd who has voted against proposed bans on foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling.

Cyril Brennan (People Before Profit)
People Before Profit’s Animal Welfare policies include: Introduce a complete ban on the hunting of wild mammals with hounds, Introduce a complete ban on coursing live hares, Ban fur farming and End badger culling by traps, snares and shooting – http://www.pbp.ie/policies/animal-welfare-policy/

Direct Democracy Ireland: Patrick Greene

Others/Independents: Peter Casey, Dilip Mahapatra, James Miller, Diarmaid Mulcahy, Olive O’Connor

– IRELAND SOUTH CONSTITUENCY (5 Seats) –

Mick Wallace TD (Independents 4 Change)
In June 2016, Mick Wallace was one of the 20 compassionate TDs who voted in favour of Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan’s bill which sought to ban hare coursing.

“I have sensed a certain feeling around this issue that city people do not really understand country people when it comes to coursing and how nature works and so on. I was born on a small farm in Wexford and I do not think it is nice to see an animal suffer. In the natural cycle, animals die and big animals kill smaller animals, but that does not make an argument for humans organising it…There has been talk of driving the sport underground. I remember when there was cock fighting and it was no problem to set up a cock fight around my area. It is banned now and I do not see it any more. It has not grown more popular. It has disappeared from where I live.” Mick Wallace TD during Dail debate on bill to ban hare coursing, 23 June 2016.

In December 2016, was one of 39 TDs who voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers’ money to the horse and greyhound racing industries. In December 2017, he again voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations which granted another €80 million to horse and greyhound racing.

On 27th March 2013, Mick Wallace supported amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to outlaw hare coursing, foxhunting, terrierwork, digging-out, ferreting and fur farming.

In a 16th December 2014 Dail Question, Mick Wallace TD asked the Minister for Agriculture “if he will provide details of measures being taken to prevent cruelty to animals involved in hare coursing”.

On 10 February 2015, Mick Wallace TD asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht “her plans to revoke hare coursing licences here, particularly in view of figures from the National Parks and Wildlife Service which indicate that during the 2013 coursing season over 100 hares required assistance, due to injuries sustained during races.”

Cllr Breda Gardner (Independent, Kilkenny County Council)
“[I am] an avid animal lover”. from an email to ICABS, October 2014.

Deirdre Clune MEP (Fine Gael)
In October 2014, Deirdre Clune refused to support a European Parliament Budget Amendment which sought to end massive subsidies to barbaric bullfighting. Along with her three Fine Gael colleagues, Deirdre Clune abstained in the vote. The amendment was rejected because it didn’t secure a qualified majority.
As a TD in 2010, Deirdre Clune voted AGAINST the Bill which banned staghunting.

Sean Kelly MEP (Fine Gael)
In October 2014, Sean Kelly refused to support a European Parliament Budget Amendment which sought to end massive subsidies to barbaric bullfighting. Along with his three Fine Gael colleagues, Sean Kelly abstained in the vote. The amendment was rejected because it didn’t secure a qualified majority.

Andrew Doyle TD (Fine Gael)

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture

In June 2016, Andrew Doyle was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan’s bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations which granted €80 million of taxpayers’ money to the horse and greyhound racing industries. In December 2017, he again voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations which granted another €80 million to horse and greyhound racing.

In a 2017 Dail Eireann speech, Andrew Doyle TD farcically thanked the Irish Greyhound Board for “their valuable contribution to animal welfare” and made the outrageous claim that the government “does not tolerate any instance of animal cruelty”. He was referring to a government that refuses to outlaw cruel hare coursing, foxhunting, digging-out/terrierwork, fur farming, puppy farming, etc. His reference to Bord na gCon and animal welfare is similarly laughable given that the greyhound industry is inherently cruel, with an estimated 10,000 greyhounds destroyed every year when found to be too slow to win races. Greyhounds also suffer injuries and are killed at tracks while others are shamefully exported to countries such as Pakistan and China which have little or no animal welfare laws. In his speech, Deputy Doyle attempted to present foxhunting and hare coursing as activities which “avoid wilful or unnecessary cruelty” – again, contrary to the facts which are that both of these bloodsports are intrinsically cruel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVqq4cpUY3I

“The greyhound industry is an important driver of economic activity and employment in both rural and urban Ireland. Developing the sector to its potential is a key priority for me. I am confident that the Board of Bord na gCon shares that objective. The meeting was a very constructive engagement and provided a useful opportunity to outline key priorities, including putting the sector on a sound financial footing, and building a reputation for good governance, strong regulation and high standards of animal welfare. The Indecon Report already provides a good road map. My Department will be closely monitoring progress on its implementation, and is at present preparing the heads of a Bill to implement aspects of the report, including those in relation to governance and regulation. I look forward to working closely with the Board to develop this very important sector to its maximum potential.” Andrew Doyle, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, May 2016.

Billy Kelleher, TD (Fianna Fail, Cork North Central):
In June 2016, Billy Kelleher abstained/was not present in the vote on Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan’s bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing. The bill was defeated by 114 votes to 20 (with the remaining 24 TDs abstaining/not voting).

In 2016, 2017 and 2018, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations which granted €80 million/€80 million/€84 million of taxpayers’ money to horse and greyhound racing.

In March 2013, Billy Kelleher voted against an amendment to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on fur farming in Ireland. Billy Kelleher also voted against the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Bill 2004.

Cllr Malcolm Byrne (Fianna Fail, Wexford County Council)
Wexford County Councillor Malcolm Byrne has expressed opposition to coursing in Ireland, saying he would “support any legislation at national level that would ban hare coursing”. The Fianna Fail politician’s statement came in response to an ICABS email in which we highlighted the suffering caused to hares used as live lures in coursing. In September 2010, Cllr Byrne stated: “I am personally opposed to hare coursing, which I view as cruel.”

Liadh Ní Riada MEP (Sinn Fein)
In October 2014, Liadh Ní Riada voted in favour of a European Parliament Budget Amendment which sought to end massive subsidies to barbaric bullfighting. Despite the support of 323 MEPs, the amendment was rejected because it didn’t secure a qualified majority.

Senator Grace O’Sullivan (Green Party)
Senator Grace O’Sullivan attended an anti-coursing protest outside Dail Eireann on July 21st 2016 and held a “Stop the cruelty. Ban hare coursing” placard.

“Having spent over ten years on Greenpeace ships, including the Rainbow Warrior, Grace is an internationally renowned environmentalist. She describes her activism as fighting injustice against the environment and communities, and is contesting this election to ensure that the environmental rights and concerns of her community are represented on the European stage.” from the Green Party website, 2014.

Adrienne Wallace (People Before Profit)
“I’m a vegetarian and of course I’m in favour of banning foxhunting and hare coursing” from a tweet to ICABS, April 2015.

Sheila Nunan (Labour Party)
President of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and General Secretary of the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation

Liam Minehan (Independent)
A dairy farmer from County Tipperary

Jan Van De Ven (Direct Democracy Ireland)

Peter O’Loughlin (Identity Ireland)

Diarmuid O’Flynn (Independent):
A supporter of hare coursing, Diarmuid O’Flynn wrote an article for the Irish Examiner in 2014 entitled “House of pure coursing”. In it, he wrote: ” After the delayed start on Saturday the coursing itself went as smoothly as could be, not a hare knocked all day, slipper Brian Doyle doing a superb job giving hare and hound every chance…Overall another successful meeting for another successful coursing club. With only Macroom to go this week, the excitement is building for Clonmel, almost every box ticked. Less than three weeks now, and counting”

As a Cork Examiner columnist in 2001, Diarmuid O’Flynn bemoaned the lack of media coverage for Clonmel’s coursing cruelty festival, writing: “The Irish media army’s silence during the three-day Clonmel event, their derisory coverage when they did deign to report, should not be interpreted as indifference. They are merely waiting, hiding in the long grass, for the campaign to begin. When it does, the coursing fans, the hunters, will have no chance.

Others/Independents: Paddy Fitzgerald, Walter Ryan Purcell, Theresa Heaney, Dolores J Cahill, Maurice Joseph Sexton, Alan J Brennan, Colleen Worthington, Peter Madden

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