General Election 2020: Galway West Candidates and Animal Cruelty Issues

13 Jan

Election 2020 where do the candidates stand copy

Political Views / General Election 2020

The views of General Election 2020 candidates in relation to hare coursing, foxhunting, greyhound racing and other animal cruelty issues. Please support candidates who pledge to push for an end to activities involving cruelty to animals.

Galway West (5 seats):

Catherine Connolly, TD (Independents 4 Change, Galway West)

In June 2016, Catherine Connolly 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 will be voting in favour of my colleague Maureen O’Sullivan’s bill to ban hare coursing” Catherine Connolly, TD in a tweet to ICABS, June 28th 2016.

In 2016 and 2019, voted against the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations which granted €80 million/€84 million of taxpayers’ money to horse and greyhound racing.

Cllr Mike Cubbard (Independent, Galway City Council)

“I voted to ban animal act circuses from Galway. I am 100% against animal cruelty in all forms it unfortunately takes.” from a tweet to ICABS, October 2014.

Noel Grealish, TD (Independent, Galway West)

“I remain totally opposed to hare coursing. I did not vote [on Maureen O’Sullivan TD’s June 2016 bill which sought to ban hare coursing], simply because I was not available and in the Dáil on the day in question.”

In June 2016, Noel Grealish 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, 2018 and 2019, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations which granted €80 million/€84 million/€84 million of taxpayers’ money to horse and greyhound racing.

“I fully support your quest to ban live hare coursing.” (September 2003)

“I will support your campaign [against terrier-work and digging out] and I will certainly write to Minister Brendan Smith.” From a letter to ICABS, 18th May 2009.

Independent TD, Noel Grealish, voted in favour of the ban on stag hunting, June 2010.

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

Sean Kyne, TD (Fine Gael, Galway West)

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

In 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations which granted €80 million/€80 million/€84 million/€84 million of taxpayers’ money to horse and greyhound racing.

“To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will consider encouraging the take-up of drag coursing as an alternative to live hare coursing; and if he will make a statement on the matter.” (Dail Question, 24th September 2013)

In March 2012, Deputy Kyne asked the Agriculture Minister “if the upcoming Animal Welfare Bill will contain a provision to abolish live hare coursing in view of the demonstrable evidence of the harm, injury and distress that such a sport causes to the wildlife concerned and also in recognition that such a measure would bring Ireland into line with other developed nations including the UK, several other European nations and Australia.”

“I asked the Parliamentary Question on foot of concerns expressed to me by constituents on the cruelty associated with hare coursing. These are concerns which I share and I find it most puzzling when persons harbouring such concerns are labelled as anti-rural. There is nothing ‘anti-rural’ in seeking the highest standards for animal welfare.” from an email to ICABS, March 2012.

“To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if the bounty scheme for mink is in operation or if the details are yet to be finalised as we approach the critical Spring period for wildlife and the lambing season which are affected by mink.” Dail question, 14 February 2012.

In October 2011, Deputy Kyne asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan “his views on whether the granting of licences to trap hares for the purposes of coursing runs contrary to the spirit if not the letter of the Wildlife Acts 1976 to 2000, particularly as hares under section 23 are a protected species” and “the number of licences granted for coursing of hares in County Galway in 2011”.

Joe Loughnane (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 ban the sale of fur within Ireland, End badger culling by traps, snares and shooting and Increase financial support for animal welfare charities – https://news.pbp.ie/policies/animal-welfare-policy/

Cllr Niall McNelis (Labour, Galway City Council, Galway City West)

“I support a ban on hare coursing and fox hunting” from a text message to ICABS, February 2015.

“You have my support on this [a ban on carted deer hunting] and I will be bringing this up with my party leader.” (from an email to ICABS, 8th June 2010)

Hildegarde Naughten, TD (Fine Gael, Galway West)

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

In 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations which granted €80 million/€80 million/€84 million/€84 million of taxpayers’ money to horse and greyhound racing.

Eamon O Cuiv, TD (Fianna Fail, Galway West)

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

In 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations which granted €80 million/€80 million/€84 million/€84 million of taxpayers’ money to horse and greyhound racing.

“The Minister is right not to introduce a ban on hunting, fishing or coursing in the Bill. There are parts of the country where they form part of way of life and as long as it does not involve excessive cruelty, the Minister’s approach in this regard is correct. I do not agree with anti-hunting lobby.” Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage, Dail Eireann, September 19th, 2012. Watch on Youtube

In November 2012, ICABS welcomed a statement from Eamon O Cuiv TD that he does not agree with the digging out of animals or the use of terriers to attack animals that have gone to ground. The Galway West TD expressed his opposition to these cruel activities during the Committee Stage of the Animal Health and Welfare Bill on 8th November. Addressing Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney, Deputy O Cuiv stated: “Will [the Minister] explain whether the use of canines for the hunting of any animal, digging out of any wild mammal gone to ground and the use of terriers to attack and extract the wild mammal above or below ground, is legally permissible? The Bill provides that unnecessary cruelty is not permitted. Is that issue covered in the Bill? I do not agree with that particular procedure but I do not have a problem with normal hunting. Nature can be quite cruel but that appears to be going too far. If the Bill is passed, will the digging out of foxes be legally permissible, given the other terms about cruelty to animals?”

“I will be outlining my views on this issue at the Committee as the debate proceeds but agree with the Minister that there should be no outright ban on hunting and coursing.” from an email from Eamon O Cuiv to ICABS, 8th November 2012.

“I will certainly support the abolition of hare coursing…I do not favour hare coursing at all as I feel it is a cruel sport. You can rest assured of my stand on this matter.” from a December 1992 letter to anti-coursing campaigner John Fitzgerald.

Why the change between 1992 and 2012? “Explanation is quite simple and that is that the lobby against hare coursing will not give up until they make us all into vegetarians.” (from an email from Eamon O Cuiv to an ICABS supporter, September 2012)

“The other issue is the killing of mink in fur farms. I do not have enough information on it to make a judgement. That appears to be a major issue. I am not an expert in this area. I would like to know what is the practice and how humane is it compared to killing other animals, such as, a cow, a pig, or a sheep. What is the method used, how humane is it and is it environmentally sensitive?” Select Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012: Committee Stage, 8 November 2012.

Cllr Pauline O’Reilly (Green Party, Galway City Council)

“All live export must stop, all funding must stop and the industry itself should be closed for business #greyhounds #dspca” Cllr Pauline O’Reilly in a 17 December 2019 tweet – responding to the Journal.ie news report “Twelve Irish-trained greyhounds discovered in cages with no food or water at Dublin Port” https://twitter.com/paulinegalway/status/1206866396363284480

Green Party candidate for Galway City West, Pauline O’Reilly has today called on Galway City Council to set aside areas in public parks and roadside verges for pollinators, and to get active in halting the alarming decline in biodiversity by implementing actions within the All Ireland Pollinator Plan. “We’re being reminded again and again of how our precious biodiversity is under threat. Bee populations in Ireland have halved and there’s a reduction in populations of many of our Irish birds like corncrakes and curlews. We need to take drastic steps to help maintain biodiversity,” she said.

Niall O Tuathail (Social Democrats)

The Social Democrats are in favour of a ban on fox hunting, hare coursing and fur farming. The party’s animal welfare policy states: “The Social Democrats strongly advocate animal rights and recognise animals as intelligent, sentient beings capable of complex thought and of experiencing pain and suffering…We are in favour of harsher penalties for animal cruelty” See the full policy at https://www.socialdemocrats.ie/our-policies/

Other candidates:

Cllr. Ollie Crowe (Fianna Fáil)
Mairéad Farrell (Sinn Féin)
Conor Burke (Solidarity)
Cormac O Corcorán (Aontú)
Daragh O’Flaherty (Independent)

Contact candidates and ask them where they stand on animal cruelty issues.

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

Please support our campaign with a donation
https://www.paypal.me/banbloodsports

Help fund our “Ban Greyhound Racing” Billboards
https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-fund-ban-greyhound-racing-billboards

 

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