2019 Local Election Candidates and Animal Cruelty Issues – Kerry

28 Apr

elections 2019

The views of 2019 Local Election Candidates (Kerry) in relation to animal cruelty issues. Please support compassionate candidates and reject those who defend animal cruelty.

Cllr Robert Beasley (Sinn Fein, Kerry County Council, Listowel)
In November 2015, Cllr Robert Beasley, Cllr Dianne Nolan and Martin Ferris TD placed an advert in the booklet for Listowel hare coursing meeting. The advert stated: “Best of luck to Listowel Coursing Club”. See 3 Sinn Fein politicians wish “best of luck” to cruel coursers.

Cllr Michael Cahill (Fianna Fáil, Kerry County Council, Kenmare)
“The council will have to vigorously oppose any ban on night-time shooting. The fox population will increase dramatically, to the detriment of sheep farmers, who have enormous difficulty protecting young and new-born lambs. If this proposal is implemented it will also have huge repercussions for those involved in poultry — chickens, ducks, turkeys, and other fowl — as up to 90% of foxes are killed at night.” Irish Examiner, June 19, 2017.

Yvonne Dineen (Independent, Tralee)
“I oppose coursing, fox hunting and fur farms. 80% of Irish people are in favour of a ban – I am one of those people. As for coursing and fox hunting – I can’t understand how anyone could participate and enjoy this so-called ‘sport’.”

Bec Fahy (People Before Profit, Kerry, Tralee)
“I am more than happy to support your call for a ban on blood sports. I am totally opposed to fox hunting, hare coursing and any so-called sports that use live animals and causes them harm or distress. People Before Profit have clear policies on animal welfare and wish to see an end to the abuse and suffering of animals.” from an email to ICABS, 22 May 2019.

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/

Cllr Jim Finucane (Fine Gael, Kerry County Council, Tralee)
In 2014, Cllr Jim Finucane sponsored a greyhound racing event at Kingdom greyhound track in Tralee. Among the races at the “Aoife Thornton Fine Gael Night at the Dogs” event was the “Cllr Jim Finucane 525” and the “Coursing Sweepstake Final”.

Cllr John Francis Flynn (Fianna Fail, Kerry County Council, Kenmare)
“I’m not in favour of a ban [on foxhunting and hare coursing]” from an email to ICABS, August 2016.

“Cllr John Francis Flynn opposed the motion [proposing a ban on the use of wild animals in travelling circuses] saying there are groups of agitators out there who want to ban everything. This would be just a stepping stone, he said, and the next thing will be to try and stop Puck Fair or farmers shooting foxes or mink.” Radio Kerry, 13th December 2016.

Cllr Norma Foley (Fianna Fail, Kerry County Council, Tralee)
“Cllr Norma Foley said the motion [proposing a ban on the use of wild animals in travelling circuses] implied all circuses were doing a disserve to animals.” Radio Kerry, 13th December 2016.

Cllr Michael Gleeson (Independent, Kerry County Council, Killarney)
In 2007, Councillor Michael Gleeson was criticised by ICABS after he called for the urgent elimination of the mink species. Cllr Gleeson said that “it is imperative that an onslaught is commenced on the most unwelcome mink.”

Cllr Johnny Healy-Rae (Independent, Kerry County Council, Kenmare)
“Cllr Johnny Healy-Rae who farms sheep at the foot of Mangerton Mountain and has shot foxes to protect his flock, said those behind the law [proposing a ban on the shooting of foxes at night] are do-gooders who would prefer to see the entire county turned into a National Park.” Radio Kerry News, 23rd June 2017.

Cllr Maura Healy-Rae (Independent, Kerry County Council, Killarney)
“Cllr Maura Healy-Rae said [a proposed ban on the use of wild animals in travelling circuses] could open up an attack on horse racing and coursing and this area was not the responsibility of the council.” Radio Kerry, 13th December 2016.

Cllr Niall Kelleher (Fianna Fail, Kerry County Council, Killarney)
“Fianna Fail Cllr Niall Kelleher brought a motion before the monthly meeting of the local authority calling for legislation governing the area to be amended. Cllr Niall Kelleher told the meeting at present the use of animals in circuses in Ireland is unregulated and the only way to ensure the welfare of wild animals such as lions, tigers and elephants is to ban their use. He added that 12 other local authorities have banned circuses using wild or any animals on council lands.” Radio Kerry, 13th December 2016.

Cllr Mike Kennelly (Fine Gael, Kerry County Council, Listowel)
Cllr Kennelly follows Listowel coursing club on Twitter. ICABS asked him to clarify his stance on the issue. He did not reply.

Cllr Sam Locke (Independent, Kerry County Council, Tralee)
“I am totally against this form of so-called sport [hare coursing and fox hunting]” from a text message to ICABS, November 2014.

Cllr Dan McCarthy (Independent, Kerry County Council, Kenmare)
“Cllr Dan McCarthy, who also manages Kenmare Mart, said the law [proposing a ban on night-time shooting of foxes] will prevent farmers even using a light to check their flocks at night. ‘It won’t increase my wages at the end of the year, it will be me or the fox getting a bonus and I hope it’s me’, he said.” Radio Kerry News, 23rd June 2017.

Cllr Pat McCarthy (Fine Gael, Kerry County Council, Castleisland)
“No I am not in favour [of a ban on hare coursing and foxhunting]” from an email to ICABS, August 2016.

Cllr Tom McEllistrim (Fianna Fail, Kerry County Council, Castleisland)
In a statement issued in September 2007, Tom McEllistrim welcomed the licensing of hare coursing and described the blood sport as “thoroughly humane”. Responding, ICABS stated: “Deputy McEllistrim clearly doesn’t comprehend the meaning of the word humane.” For more details, please see ICABS blasts “coursing is humane” claim

In 2005, foxes and mink were doomed to lives of misery on fur farms following the rejection by Dail Eireann of the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Bill 2004. The bill was defeated by 67 votes to 50. Tom McEllistrim was among the TDs who shamefully voted AGAINST the bill.

Cllr Jimmy Moloney (Fianna Fail, Kerry County Council, Listowel)
In February 2014, Cllr Moloney tweeted “hard luck” to the Irish Coursing Club and the owner of a dog beaten in the Irish Cup hare coursing event.

Cllr Norma Moriarty (Fianna Fail, Kerry County Council, Kenmare)
Speaking on the Sean O’Rourke Show on RTE Radio 1 (4th April 2019), Cllr Moriarity defended fur farming on the grounds of employment, saying “we have in the region of 13 full time jobs in the Kerry [fur farm]”. Asked about the cruelty of fur farming, Cllr Moriarity remarked: “I think it is also cruel if you take a job away from somebody who is providing for their household…” Listen to the show at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCKOE1Lb4nI

Cllr Aoife Thornton (Fine Gael, Kerry County Council, Listowel)
In 2014, Cllr Aoife Thornton held a fundraiser at Kingdom greyhound track in Tralee. Among the races at the “Aoife Thornton Fine Gael Night at the Dogs” event was the “Coursing Sweepstake Final”.

Green Party candidates
Michael Fitzgerald
Cleo Murphy
Anne-Marie Fuller

The Green Party is in favour of a ban on bloodsports, including fox hunting, hare coursing, hare hunting and mink hunting. It also supports a ban on fur farming and an end to the Department of Agriculture’s cruel snaring and killing of badgers. See the party’s full animal welfare policy document at https://www.greenparty.ie/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Green-Party-Animal-Welfare-Policy_June-20151.pdf

See the full list of Kerry candidates at

Find out the views of candidates in other constituencies

Find out the views of European election candidates

If you are a candidate and wish to provide a statement outlining your views on animal cruelty issues, please email it to us at info@banbloodsports.com

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