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Blow to Bloodsports in Ireland as "The Gathering" removes all references to them from website and condemns bloodsport cruelty

category international | animal rights | opinion/analysis author Monday March 04, 2013 12:21author by End Bloodsports in Ireland Report this post to the editors

Recreational animal cruelty takes direct hit as "The Gathering" rejects bloodsports!

Hare coursing and foxhunt clubs crave good PR. In recent days they've got the opposite: Mega pop star Paoblo Nutini denounced bloodsports after attending a hunt ball in Westmeath without realising its connection to foxhunting...and then members of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports captured horrific footage of hare maulings at the so-called "Irish Cup" coursing festival at Limerick racecourse. Now one of the most important Irish cultural iniatives of recent decades has effectively disowned the cruel baiting of live animals for "sport"...
A fox untroubled by human predators...
A fox untroubled by human predators...

In a significant blow to the credibility of bloodsports in Ireland, the "The Gathering" has removeed hunting from its events website

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has reacted to this heartening development with this statement: " A big thank you to The Gathering for responding positively to an ICABS appeal and removing hunting from its website. One of the deleted listings was for a fair which promotes itself as being "supported by all the main hunting organisations" and includes a digging contest, "rabbits, lurchers and long nets" and hunt horse and hound displays.

A spokesperson for The Gathering told ICABS that "like Failte Ireland, we do not support blood sport and will not advertise any Gathering that promotes it."

ICABS greatly welcomes this positive response. In a year when Ireland is portraying its many positives, it is appropriate to exclude bloodsport-related events. Internationally condemned hunting and hare coursing bring shame on the nation.

We are encouraging all compassionate Irish citizens, at home and abroad, to join the campaign to rid Ireland of animal cruelty and help secure a ban on hunting and coursing".

Related Link: http://www.banbloodsports.com

The "sport" that craves good PR but deserves none...
The "sport" that craves good PR but deserves none...

A terrierman with unearthed fox and dog, both injured in underground struggle
A terrierman with unearthed fox and dog, both injured in underground struggle

author by Protect our wildlifepublication date Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As someone who works in tourism I am relieved that this matter has been cleared up. So-called "fieldsports"disgrace Ireland. Real sport needs to distance itself from bloodsport. I'm all for target shooting (like for the Olympics etc) and drag hunting and drag coursing, but causing suffering to animals just for the sheer hell of it is sick. Foxhunting and hare coursing will get the chop some day. Meantime let's keep chipping away at these remnants of dark age savagery.

What some people call "sport"
What some people call "sport"

author by George Beagle - "The Gathering"publication date Mon Mar 04, 2013 15:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Hunt, the horses, the beagles, the men and women, convene to get their adrenalin rush and why?

There is an interesting piece of archival material on Indymedia if you search 'Rocky the dog and sit down protest' back in 2007, when people looked at the extensive achievements of our canine friends and some decided that their duty as sniffer dogs in our prisons, merited a 'hit' being placed on Rocky while other contributors cited the many advantages that dogs give to our society. In the US for example, men on death row are taught to train dogs for people with disabilities and if you check it out on google, one can only call it vision and inspiration and make you say No to the death penalty also.

Back to the topic: "The Gathering". Advertising. Blood sports cannot be high on our agenda. We have moved forwards. "The Gathering" need to do a little more to show off Ireland as a canine loving nation and cut out this culture of pubs, cafes/coffee shops/restaurants saying No to dogs based on personal prejudices and pseudo regulations. Living in Dublin 4-6 areas shows that the hostilities of petty regulations and owners of pubs/cafes/hotels as nothing but shortsighted. In another era, owners of pubs had their dogs there and their regulars often came to the pub with their own pooches. Celtic Tiger snobbery went in reverse in Ireland and dogs were excluded from the culture while Europe, America and Canada embraced the importance of people and their animals. Google, European headquarters Dublin, encourage their staff to take their dogs to work (yes in Ireland) and in Japan it is encouraged also.

What a delight to read the Sunday Times yesterday: Wake up you people who want to tackle the recession. Our tourism industry is worth £6 billion to our economy and prejudices need to be swept away. As for the hunt, let them get their horses, their beagles, the attire and assemble but there it ought to stop. There is something purely native about a crowd of people on horses with beagles chasing a poor fox to the death. Let them be a 'museum piece' without the KILL. We need to shift attitudes from these primitive sports and this includes dog fights which are held in secret still.

The Times and Gabrielle Monaghan - what a coup, and about time! 'Mine's a pint and Rover'll have one too'. The pub is the Temple Bar pub and please note Hughes is an urban beagle. How many businesses have been so short-sighted to tap a market that exists during one of the deepest recessions. At last 'neighbourhood pubs are revoking bans on customers bringing their dogs in an attempt to woo more business from the nation's growing army of pet lovers'. Statistics from Pet Expo suggest that one in four people in Ireland owns a dog which makes it double the EU average. If this is so, there is a market waiting to be tapped. Why are people so blind? Try taking your dog to town and note the conversations, the people especially from America and Canada who show you pictures of their muts, the smiles.

Let us go canine-friendly: Well according to the article there are the following: O'Briens and Hogans in Dublin and O'Connells in Galway....well done to you. Let your initiative bring back some literary talent to our pubs through communication versus the noise of music. Well done to the Terry Cullen at the Beach House bar in Greystones, Co. Wicklow - next time I will be visiting your pub with my canine friend. You at least had the common sense to see you were turning away valuable trade/custom during a recession. I like the idea of water in bowls and the paw prints on designated tables. Dog owners should not be treated like second class citizens. The arrogance of certain publicans/traders is to make you sit outside in the rain and cold while inside their premises could be empty.

Did you know there are dog friendly hotels in Ireland? Clonakilty is one spot and the local Thomas Read pub is open to canines too. Discover Ireland gives the details of pet-friendly hotels. Ireland has a 'Blue Book' which lists 15 hotels open to pets. What is more interesting is the website laterooms.com advertises 120 pet friendly hotels including the Four Seasons and the Shelbourne.

Has anyone read the book published by the homeless man in England and his cat. The cat locked on to him literally and followed him to the cafe daily. In the end he wrote the story and now it is top of the charts. For the "Gathering" get human beings, canines, newspapers, interaction back into our pubs. We need the yarns, the fun, the gossip in these dismal times.

This year is the 17th anniverary of the Peace Process. Think of the names of English pubs like the Horse and Hounds and apply logic....there is a market up North to be tapped and let's welcome the people and their dogs to a friendly society down South.

author by Des - Nonepublication date Mon Mar 04, 2013 16:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This could indicate that people 'home' for the 'gathering' have more cash, cheque books or credit cards than the local blood 'sports' activists. On the other hand it could also mean that they are simply not going to tell anyone visiting our beloved little island (temporarily of course) what the local kulaks do for recreation.

author by Johnpublication date Tue Mar 05, 2013 09:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am treasurer of a rural organisation of fifty or so members that was planning an event to support the Gathering. I have decided, in light of the 'Gathering's' decision to submit to the bullying tactics of ICABS, to withdraw my support and to actively campaign against any involvement with any event linked to the gathering. ICABS in no way represents the informed opinions of the people of Ireland and it would be a travesty to support any organisation which supports or condones ICABS.

author by Ban Hare Coursingpublication date Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

To "John" who backs bloodsports and is having a sulk over The Gathering not being pro-animal cruelty...you are entitled to your opinion but the tide is turning against the whole concept of using animals as live bait in "sport". There was no way that The Gathering could be remotely associated with so-called fieldsports/bloodsports of teh animal baiting kind...hare coursing, badger baiting, foxhunting, illegal stag hunting etc. The vast majority of people abhor animal cruelty posing as "sport". Olympic target shooting is fine, and drag hunting. No problem. But not terrorising or torturing animals for kicks.


Protest against hare coursing, with ULA Deputy Clare Daly among those calling for protection of the Irish Hare
Protest against hare coursing, with ULA Deputy Clare Daly among those calling for protection of the Irish Hare

author by Johnpublication date Tue Mar 05, 2013 13:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

From Ban Hare Coursing to "John" who backs bloodsports and is having a sulk.

A Chara,

If stating an opinion and deciding to take action based on that opinion is 'having a sulk' then ICABS must be the sulkiest organisation in Ireland.

Is Mise le Meas



author by Thumbs up to The Gatheringpublication date Tue Mar 05, 2013 14:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Is it any wonder that "The Gathering", which is a massively important cultural event with the potential to boost tourism and the economy generally, does not want any association with blood sports when footage like this is out there for all to see:


Advertisers absent for this year's "Irish Cup" live hare coursing event on Limerick Racecourse
Advertisers absent for this year's "Irish Cup" live hare coursing event on Limerick Racecourse

author by RedOakpublication date Tue Mar 05, 2013 16:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The red coat hunts are almost like a metaphor for the Romano-Anglo-Hiberno breed expressing their dominance over the native. Their swagger and arrogance is sickening. Clever as the fox may be , in the end he's outnumbered and overcome by brute force. They have their local lickspittle comprador paddies holding the reigns for the men and women from the big houses from Wicklow to Sligo of course. God forbid you might want to get past them on your own street or road or you'll be met with a farty grimace and a sore rebuke from the paddy henchman. Horrible , horrible , horrible toxic people , why can't we repatriate them to Bavaria or wherever the hell their bloodline comes from.

author by Mark Dennehypublication date Tue Mar 05, 2013 17:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

[moderator: this post referred several times to animal rights campaigners as "extremists". This could be considered to be "playing the player" not to mention using an underhanded "have you STOPPED" beating your wife yet" fallacy. campaigning for animal rights and the decent treatment of animals is an ethical and reasonable non violent democratic activity and is NOT "extremism". It's deliberately underhanded to refer to it as such. In the interests of debate, we have left up this post but removed all the deliberate slurs on the good name of dedicated animal rights activists. Be warned, however, we're sick of having to deal with this kind of deliberately crafted and harmful language on animal rights (and other) threads here so any further posts containing similar personal slurs on this or any other animal rights threads will NOT be tolerated by this moderator! Please discuss the topic respectfully ok?]

To "Ban Hare Coursing",
As an Olympic target shooter myself, here would be my response, printed today in the Irish Examiner:

A reason for hare coursing

Dear Sir,
On Monday, John Fitzgerald complained that there was no excuse for hare coursing. Scientific studies (such as Reid N., Magee C. and Montgomery W. I. 2010. Integrating field sports, hare population management and conservation. Acta Theriologica 55: 61–71) have shown that in areas where coursing clubs operate, the Irish Hare population levels are between ten and one hundred times higher than in comparable areas where coursing clubs do not operate. The studies put this down to better feeding of the hares in captivity, control of their natural predators, better veterinary care, allowing them an advantage when returned to the wild. These studies also videotaped coursing meets and found that when analysing thousands of directly observed runs, mortality occurred in 1.9% of those runs, not the inaccurate and misleading non-figure of "many" that John Fitzgerald quotes. And while the most recent figures are unpublished as yet, it appears that number has fallen to under 1%.

I neither hunt nor course; but even I can accept the continued survival and thriving of the Irish Hare - a species recently listed as having a conservation status of "poor" by the NWPS - is proven scientifically to be better served by coursing than by the protests of a small handful of animal rights campaigners who have neither the manpower nor the funding to do as much actual work for the hare species as coursing does. The studies all strongly indicate that were we to ban coursing out of sorrow for an individual hare who died as a result of coursing, we would soon after feel far more sorrow as the entire Irish Hare species died out - and the irony would be even stronger when we realised that the main predator responsible for the 50% mortality rate for hares in the wild was the fox which John Fitzgerald and other animal rights campaigners also want protected from hunting.

These are not "excuses" for coursing; these are darn good reasons for it, even if it's not everyone's cup of tea.

For those wishing to read the studies, they may be found on the web here:


[Link to petition (see editorial guideline 8) which also contained yet another "slur" removed by moderator]

author by Face the Truthpublication date Tue Mar 05, 2013 22:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A feeble argument...It wouldn't matter if coursing clubs boosted hare numbers in Ireland to unheard of levels. It's the CRUELTY of the bloodsport that people object to. Should we bring back legal dog fighting or cock fighting if the cock fighters and dog fighters could establish that it didn't seriously impact on the dog and rooster populations? Of course not. Hare coursing is for the chop, as in UK and the North, and I don't see it becoming an OIlympic sport any time soon!

Harmless fun and lovely "fieldsport"?
Harmless fun and lovely "fieldsport"?

A hare runs in terror at a coursing event..."conservation"?
A hare runs in terror at a coursing event..."conservation"?

Related Link: http://www.banbloodsports.com
author by Reality checkpublication date Wed Mar 06, 2013 00:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

AHEM! Hasnt anyone noticed that this is a completely different backround landscape to the 2012 pic???????Did they change the scenery too suit the antis as well???

author by It's realpublication date Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Not one advertiser had a hoarding displayed at the racecourse this year during the "Irish Cup"...hare coursing's three days of shame. I know because I was there....And all the advertisers had been asked last year to do just that. Game set and match to the "antis"!

This is "good for hares", says Comical Ali propagandist
This is "good for hares", says Comical Ali propagandist

author by No Fouling pleasepublication date Wed Mar 06, 2013 19:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The pro bloodsports petition referred to above is effectively null and void after hunters boast of cheating. Have a look: Using multiple names and different computers they give the impression that support for disgusting coursing cruelty is greater than it actually is. Shows how desperate they are to hold on to even a tiny fig leaf of credibility!


Pro coursing fans say their "sport" is good for hares!
Pro coursing fans say their "sport" is good for hares!

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