Limerick City and County Councillors and Animal Cruelty Issues

4 Nov

Political Views / Councillors

The views of councillors in relation to hare coursing, foxhunting and other animal cruelty issues. Please contact councillors and urge them to push for a ban on hunting, coursing, greyhound racing and all activities involving cruelty to animals. If councillors express support for activities involving animal cruelty, please let them know that their stance will affect your future voting decisions.

Cllr Daniel Butler (Fine Gael, Limerick City and County Council)
In October 2014, Cllr Butler tabled a motion “to ban circuses with animals from performing on publicly-owned lands in Limerick”.

Cllr James Collins (Fianna Fail, Limerick City and County Council)
“Grant for Limk Animal welfare…Worthy cause.” (from June 2013 tweet). ICABS has asked Cllr Collins if he shares Limerick Animal Welfare’s opposition to cruel hare coursing.

Cllr Michael Collins (Fianna Fail, Limerick City and County Council)
“I’m an animal lover. I’ve been at many circuses, but none as good as today’s, and I’ve never seen an animal treated badly.” Limerick Post, October 2, 2014.

Cllr Francis Foley (Fianna Fail, Limerick City and County Council)
“Wishing Castleisland Coursing Club the best of luck over the weekend from Francis Foley, Fianna Fail Councellor [sic]”. Advert in Castleisland Coursing Club booklet, January 2020.

Cllr Joe Leddin (Labour Party, Limerick City and County Council)
“Totally opposed to both [foxhunting and hare coursing]” from a text message to ICABS, May 2014.

Cllr Elena Secas (Labour Party, Limerick City and County Council)
“I think best way to lower incidences of animal cruelty & prevent it from happening is by highlighting it through the media. This will be a way of educating and explaining why certain practices are not acceptable in our modern and developed society.” from a tweet to ICABS, May 2014.

Cllr John Sheahan (Fine Gael, Limerick City and County Council)
In October 2016 and October 2017, Cllr John Sheahan placed a “best wishes” advert in the booklet for Glin hare coursing meeting.

In October 2010, Cllr John Sheahan placed an advert in the Glin hare coursing meeting booklet. It stated: “Best wishes from John Sheahan, Local County Councillor”

In 2013, Cllr John Sheahan called for an “open season on the hen harrier” – one of Ireland’s rarest birds. The call was strongly condemned by the Irish Raptor Study Group who said “Cllr Sheahan’s call for an open season on Hen Harriers is highly irresponsible and can be interpreted as incitement to break both Irish and EU law. Hen Harriers are protected under Irish and EU legislation.”

BirdWatch Ireland also condemned “in the strongest terms” John Sheahan’s “highly irresponsible” comments. Group CEO Alan Lauder stated: “Cllr Sheahan’s ill-informed and short-sighted statement shows how far we have to travel as a state in prioritising our natural heritage over the self-interest of individuals.” He added: “Such statements can have far-reaching consequences. The Hen Harrier is protected under both Irish and European Union law, and Cllr. Sheahan’s statement could be viewed as an incitement to break these laws. For any decision-maker to hold such views in the 21st Century is alarming. When that individual actually sits on the Advisory Committee of the Environmental Protection Agency and also represents Ireland on an EU committee that helps form policy on the environment, natural resources and biodiversity, as Cllr. Sheahan does, then it becomes pitiful, and even dangerous.”


Contact Limerick City and County Councillors and ask them where they stand on animal cruelty issues. Find contact details at

If you are a Councillor and wish to provide a statement outlining your views on animal cruelty issues, please email it to us at

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