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Two leading animal protection campaigners ejected from "showpiece" National Coursing Meeting

category international | animal rights | opinion/analysis author Tuesday February 11, 2014 13:22author by Ban Hare Coursing in Ireland Report this post to the editors

The ICC (Irish Coursing Club) says hare coursing has nothing to hide and everyone is welcome at displays of this "delightful rural pastime". So why were two women manhandled and ejected from the National Coursing Meeting when they tried to film this event?

Rural pastime?
Rural pastime?

Those of us who have campaigned for decades against the cruelty of live hare coursing have frequently argued that the organisers of coursing events appear to be terrified of adverse publicity. There have been incidents over the years in which cameras have been confiscated at coursing events, and people filming them subjected to threats or physical assault.

However, following an assurance by a senior Irish Coursing Club (ICC) official in a recent TV interview that everyone was welcome at coursing events, one might have expected that it would be safe to film what the ICC considers a "a wholesome and traditional rural pastime."

Two animal protection campaigners attended the recent National Hare Coursing Festival (the All-Ireland Finals of the "sport") to video-record part of the event. Their aim was to gather further evidence of animal cruelty of the kind witnessed at previous coursing fixtures such as dogs mauling the of hares, striking them with great force, or pummelling or pinning theanimals to the ground.
When the two women commenced recording with a small camcorder, they were approached by a man who asked them to stop filming. When they challenged this request, they were ejected from the coursing venue and told they wouldn’t be getting their money back.

This incident, some of which was captured on film (the camcorder was still running when the women were being ejected) can be viewed on YouTube or the banbloodsports.com website. It demonstrates very clearly that hare coursing is NOT a normal sporting activity. It is banned in many jurisdictions including Britain and Northern Ireland on animal welfare grounds. Here in the Republic it continues to depend for its survival on censorship and cover-up.

If hare coursing, as the ICC claims, has "nothing to hide", then why this apparent aversion to animal lovers filming the action?

(* Here is the footage (just uploaded to YouTube) of ICC President Brian Divilly denying the two women the right to film an event that the ICC claims has “nothing to hide.”)


Here is a sample of previous footage recorded at a hare coursing event (the “Irish Cup” fixture, 2012):


Related Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrU088Qz3RI#t=217

Not great for Ireland's image...
Not great for Ireland's image...


author by Yvonne Harringtonpublication date Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its simple enough.

If You look on the programme you will see a sign that says. No Unauthorised Photography. I was once at the Horse of the Year Show and I was filming my friend who was competing. Within seconds a security guard removed my camera from me and removed me from the building. NO UNAUTHORISED PHOTOGRAPHY......I broke the rules.

I didnt make a video of of it and whine.......I knew I broke the rules as you do

The company who do the filming pay good money to have SOLE RIGHTS.

But at the end of the day really......you just arnt welcome :)

author by Fair play for allpublication date Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

that's okay Yvonne except for one thing...the ICC Chief Executive JD Histon made it clear in the course of a recent TV interview that EVERYONE was welcome at every coursing meeting. Aideen and Mona had as much to be there as anyone else, and to film the action too.

And can you imagine someone at an All Ireland hurling or footbal final been ejected from the stands for filming with mobile phone or camcorder?

Coursing clubs only want pictures and images of their vile cruelty that leave out the nasty bits. They can depend on you to be discreet and turn your camer away when the poor animal is being struck or mauled by the dogs.

Truth is...hare coursing cannot bear close attention from a fair minded photographer. You are a very talented, very talent photographer, but your pictures do not reflect the reality of the blood sport...you only include ones that don't show maulings, hares being pinned down etc, though occasionally you include the odd one (as an oversight maybe?) that ICC wouldn't like at all. You removed those pretty quickly when it became obvious that they were unhelpful to the image of hare coursing.

What "authorised" photography doesn't show at coursing events...
What "authorised" photography doesn't show at coursing events...

what some call "sport"
what some call "sport"

why coursing clubs don't like "unauthorised photography"...
why coursing clubs don't like "unauthorised photography"...

author by Yvonne Harringtonpublication date Wed Feb 12, 2014 14:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The facts are They Broke the Rules.....NO UNAUTHORISED PHOTOGRAPHY.....end of story. I have been chased of a Racecourse for unauthorsed photography and out of a Dog show would you believe :)

At no stage did DJ Histon give you permission to FILM.......he said anyone is welcome to attend. If you then attend and break the rules the right is there to remove that person.

I have .....NEVER have any time have I been told by the ICC what I can publish. The fact remains I remove them to stop Antis stealing them and telling lies about them.....

For instance you have a picture of hare being dosed for worm infections and you make out this is a cruel thing to do. When infact it saves many hares lives. And the photos I put of hares jumping over dogs you claim they are tossed......when infact it is a natural thing for a fit healthy hare to do. And the dogs , havent even touched the hares......let alone tossed them.

Believe it or not I dont like people stealing my work and then telling lies about it...... :)

On the subject of misrepresentation.......99% of hares make it to the top of the field without a dog getting near enough to touch it. The fact remains that Antis are only interested in the photos of hares getting knocked and that is all they publish.....so it works both ways.

Another FACT.......Hares in the UK were far better off before the unfair Anti Hunting ban was enforced. They are now Shot and Poached in huge numbers and are well on their way to becoming scarce......How sad is that! The badly though out law will be their demise

Here is a video of so called Coursing in the UK.....it is not Coursing........it is poaching and this was kept under control by Coursing Clubs before the ban.....now its a free for all where the Hare is the loser......To the Poachers and the landowners who have them shot to keep poachers away. I went out to the UK to take photos of Hares a couple of years ago and it was very hard to find hares.....Before the ban there were Hares everywhere. You may think the ban is a good thing......im afraid it has made life pure hell for Hares......Poachers have no rules and no seasons


Related Link: http://youtu.be/V_aVy1UZjBY
author by The truth about hare coursingpublication date Wed Feb 12, 2014 16:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Can't believe I'm reading this. Yvonne Harrington says coursing has nothing to hide. Why then does she not show the CRUELTY of hare coursing that any FAIR MINDED photographer would show? Apart from the few times she let such pictures slip through unto her site, only to remove them promptly when the big coursing boss cracked the whip?

The other post made a valid point. If coursing has nothing to hide why on earth would they go crazy when anyone tries to film or photograph their "sport"?

Imagine if the GAA decided not to allow anyone to film the fouls or bad tackles on the field at matches...just because these would make hurling or football look bad? But that doesn't happen, because the GAA is a reasonable organisation engaged in a healthy sporting activity. By contrast, coursing shames. It is cruel with a capital C and rotten to the core.

Hare coursing HAS to depend on censorship and one-sided coverage because it DOES have a lot to hide.

Come off it Yvonne. The "sport" you cover in a one-sided fawning manner is a CRIMINAL OFFENCE in many jurisdictions. And please don't give us that rot about what coursing clubs do for hares.

Coursing clubs are "fond" of hares in the way that some humans claim to be "fond" of the people they hurt or abuse. Coursing clubs groom hares so they can later terrorise them...subjecting them to the kind of cruelty that is clearly visible in the photographs you had removed from your site.

Regarding the REASON for ejecting anyone who tries to film hare coursing...here is footage that WAS recorded at the Irish Cup event last year. It clearly shows why the ICC is TERRIFIED of people who record the TRUTH about coursing. And this camera didn't lie, Yvonne:


A scene hare coursing officials don't want anyone to film...
A scene hare coursing officials don't want anyone to film...

Related Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL741E0B6DA3CBB057&v=etQ-JCtJy9Y
author by Lady Mepublication date Fri Feb 21, 2014 21:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hare coursing is cruel, end of story. It involves encouraging dogs to attack already terrified wild animals that have been captured for this specific purpose. So what if often the hare gets away without actually being caught? The ordeal is terrifying enough.

I would really question the mental status of people who get off on watching this kind of thing for entertainment. Hare coursing is the respectable end of the category of entertainment that includes dog fighting and badger baiting.

author by Mary Rose Smith - Humanitypublication date Wed Feb 26, 2014 21:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Blood Sports appeal to the primitive part of the brain therefore I ask if those who "enjoy" and defend such abomination are evolving along with rest of us ?

author by LadyMepublication date Thu Mar 06, 2014 19:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Just read today's independent that hares as a species in Ireland are on the way to endangered. This should provide further impetus to the campaign to end hare coursing.

The day when such disgusting practices are made illegal cannot come soon enough. People who are into this, badger baiting, fox hunting and the 'acceptable' face of animal cruelty are dicks.

author by Felix Quigley - www.4international.mepublication date Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Harrington above writes

"The company who do the filming pay good money to have SOLE RIGHTS.

But at the end of the day really......you just arnt welcome :)"

Yes indeed it is all true. It is essentially a money racket. it is a growth of Irish capitalism. And you correctly draw the lines. it is you the greedy and cruel and stupid Irish capitalists on one side and it will be us the Irish proud workers on the other.

I salute these wonderful friends of mine in Ireland who carry on this fight in my native country against such baseness.

These poor hares, these inoffensive and wonderful creatures, what chance have they got against a rampant capitalism, especially and above all the rampant capitalist greed of industrial farming

We need to lead a revolutionary government in Ireland, and if necessary in the north too, in order to enact the most rigorous laws which will ensure hares continue, and especially this SPECIES of hare, the Irish hare

Please urgently ( I am not addressing here this piece of garbage Harrington) do any of you have a Facebook presence so I can link up...URGENTLY

I grew up in Roslea Fermanagh and I grew up with hares all around me, and curlews too...so this is urgent I do not want this to continue another day OK

Related Link: http://www.facebook.com/felix.quigley
author by Felix Quigley - www.4international.mepublication date Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors


This is a very good article from the anti blood sports friends which we introduce in the above. These Queens folk on the other hand are idiots. To say that coursing helps the hare is like saying that Himmler was a big help to the Jews. Total idiots.

author by FFSpublication date Fri Mar 07, 2014 13:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

might be

These Queens folk on the other hand are idiots. To say that coursing helps the hare is like saying that racist murderous Zio-Nazis in Israel care about Palestinians. Total idiots.

author by Felix Quigley - www.4international.mepublication date Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Irish hare will not be saved within capitalism

It is necessary for Irish Marxists to use the QUB scientific analysis, while remembering that they are paid by the Irish capitalist class.

Their conclusion that the Irish Hare is protected in some way by these coursing hooligans is absurd and shows the bankruptcy of these academics. That must be resisted very forcefully

The news that there is an invasion of the European Hare and that it is already mating with the Irish hare is the most alarming thing of all.

It is no longer a case of what is presented in "Bad Hare Days" because things have moved on and the Irish Hare is now in the most critical position ever.

I have got absolutely NO confidence that any section of Irish Capitalist Government, and I certainly include Sinn Fein and the southern Labour party in that, will do a single thing here.

Furthermore I have no confidence in any section of Irish anarchism, and what have they done for, and what have they achieved for, the Irish Hare over so many years, that the Irish Hare is now threatened in such a grievous way today.

The solution must be found and I am prepared to discuss with people what that solution is going to be.

I expect answers to this question here, a real discussion, and immediately

author by Anitapublication date Mon Mar 10, 2014 16:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think the record of anarchism in Ireland in support of the hare should be acknowledged , Felix. See articles like this one on anarkismo for instance http://www.anarkismo.net/article/22478

Thanks for pointing out to readers the distinction between the Irish hare and the brown hare. Some of the photos of hares I've seen online with captions describing them as the " Irish hare" have actually shown the potentially invasive brown hare. When describing hares in this country generally, it's perhaps best to use the term "hare in Ireland" .

author by Felix Quigley - www.4international.mepublication date Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors


I prefer The Irish hare because it nails it that it IS the Irish hare, our animal, our responsibility

You misunderstand me so let me be more clear.

It is not what the anarchists have done, it is that whatever has been done by anybody down the years, The Irish Hare is now in its most critical position

THAT is the problem.

You refer me to a petition by John FitzGerald. i do not dismiss that but I do say that petitions are not the answer

What is the answer then? Well the answer is as long as capitalism exists in Ireland then the danger to The Irish Hare exists and becomes more critical.

It is a race against time.

In ending capitalism to sabe the Irish Hare there is no time to lose and proposing a petition as a solution evades the real solution

it is a serious problem but in your above comment you have not even acknowledged the problem, and that is a great danger.

author by Anitapublication date Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think I follow you Felix and fully agree : the hounds are certainly out for the Irish hare , there's no time to waste . When you wrote about the urgent need to lead a revolutionary government , in order to "ensure hares continue, and especially this SPECIES of hare, the Irish hare" , you weren't referring to the Irish hare as such then , but also to the noble European hare - the invasive though inoffensive creatures that are resident in Ireland and currently mating with the native Irish hare ?

author by Felix Quigley - www.4international.mepublication date Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors


You write above:

"When you wrote about the urgent need to lead a revolutionary government , in order to "ensure hares continue, and especially this SPECIES of hare, the Irish hare" , you weren't referring to the Irish hare as such then , but also to the noble European hare - the invasive though inoffensive creatures that are resident in Ireland and currently mating with the native Irish hare ?"

As you suggest I have much agreement with you and with the active fighters (more active on the ground than I) fighters for the Irish Hare

Also I think "Bad Hare Days" is a huge asset for us all and I will always promote it.

Despite limitations (in my view) I will support all such petitions etc as above.

Remember also I am finding my way on this issue so I welcome discussion and airing of differences to promote Exchange of ideas.

In actual fact the differences are emerging and I am unhappy with your statement above which seems to give free rein to the European Hare to continue to mate with the Irish Hare.

I would approach it like this though:

1. All animals are inoffensive
2. The differences with humans is that humans have developed large brains
3. From that follows that humans must take responsibility FOR THE ENVIRONMENT IN TOTAL

You seem to be evading that difference and that responsibility

In fact there are very many dangers to the Irish Hare but the biggest danger of all right now is that the European Hare is breeding with the Irish Hare

Of course the European Hare is inoffensive but in this context of the survival of the Irish Hare it certainly is the problem of problems, I could say the mother of all problems, I would never use the Word "offensive", but unwittingly a great danger to our Irish Hare.

The definition of species is problematic (I read) but I like this description of the Irish Hare:

"The Irish hare Lepus timidus hibernicus is the only species of lagomorph native to the island of Ireland. Carbon dating of cave fossils has shown that hares were present in Ireland as far back as 30,000 BP. This species is now thought to have continuously inhabited Ireland since before the last ice age.

The Irish hare's unique morphology, ecology and behaviour as compared to other mountain hares seem to be the result of genetic adaption over a period of at least 30,000 to 60,000 years. Consequently the Irish hare possesses a high number of unique genetic characters that are not shared by any other hare species outside of Ireland. This suggests the current Irish hare population could be the only remaining descendants of an older genetic lineage that was probably common in Europe prior to the last Ice age. So although the Irish hare is currently classified as a sub-species of the mountain hare there is now compelling evidence that it should be given species status in its own right."


It seems clear from all of this that this species of hare, our very own Irish Hare, will be wiped out in a very short period of time if "man" in Ireland through a revolutionary socialist government of the Irish Working Class cannot take decisive action

author by Felix Quigley - www.4international.mepublication date Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Irish Hare MUST be saved from extinction and also the Irish Hare CAN be saved from extinction.

The main immediate battle is to fight against pessimism and cynicism in the revolutionary potential of the Irish working class.

There can be nowhere a more vivid example of the bankruptcy for humanity and all of living things than the Irish bourgeois class both north and south than in its conduct on this issue.
Or to put it more bluntly the Irish capitalist class has proved in front of our eyes that it WILL NOT save the Irish Hare.

There has been no better parliamentarian than Tony Gregory. He was extremely popular in Ireland, he was eloquent and well prepared in the Dail Debate, the Green Parliamentarian even had a recording on hand for deputies to hear of the death agony of the Irish Hare mauled by the Coursers, they even covered their ears as it was so distressing to humans, yet they voted against Gregory! As John FitzGerald knew then they had voted to destroy The Irish Hare

From that moment the Irish Hare would have known that it could expect no salvation from Irish capitalism

Its future depended totally with the Irish working class and the Socialist Revolution

But the Irish Hare cannot articulate these thoughts. It just charms us by being alive. It is up to us to articulate these things for it. Let us not fail.

The chapters of Bad Hair Days in 56 to 59 especially 59 "Muzzling Democracy" are a brilliant account of how the Irish Capitalist Class will destroy the Irish Hare so we must destroy it first, without pity.

author by Anitapublication date Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A thoughtful, well researched post , but I do have problems with what you describe as the “ problem of problems” in your analysis , Felix. Surely the mother of all problems is not the inoffensive brown European hare but the cruel hooligans who course these gentle creatures for “sport”? I'd be interested to hear what other friends of the Irish hare think on this matter , which is by no means an abstract one in my humble opinion. Comrades and friends ! When we proudly call ourselves “friends of the Irish hare” are we referring to ourselves as friends of Lepus timidus hibernicus specifically or as friends to all hares that inhabit the island of Ireland in general?

author by Felix Quigley - www.4international.mepublication date Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Anita you have shown me that you have great love and thoughtfulness for all of our animal friends and I will go with you to the ends of the earth on that

Yet in your comment above you have just signed the death warrant for the irish Hare. I will explain this as carefully as I can because I admire the collaborative tone you have used in this discussion.

Note I say "The Irish Hare" and thus I make a clear distinction between The Irish Hare and The European Hare

I am at one with you and John Fitgerald and all others involved in very many things especially about coursing. Personally I want to see an "Irish Workers Revolutionary Government" make all kinds of such chasing and hounding after hares illegal with massive fines, with imprisonment and corrective education involved as an urgent necessity.

But where is the leadership for that. At present in Ireland it is just not there.

Thus we are fighting to save The Irish Hare from a position of great disadvantage.

But remember it is not us who are at great disadvantage, it is The Irish Hare, and in a sense we are only articulating for this creature which cannot speak for itself, and is victim to every event.

So there are two sides to my thinking on this. There is the overall and future answer which requires a Socialist Commonwealth answer, which will invovle many things, one of which is to use science to avoid this artificial livestock creation for food, whereby an animal lives for 18 months instead of its natural 20 years (the modern beef animal on our farms). Science has already mastered the methods of producing meat directly from vegetation. But even with a Revolutionary Workers Government sitting in the Dail tomorrow this would still remain a massive and a massively tricky task

However the saving of the Irish Hare is an immediate problem and because it is an immediate problem steps must be taken immediately to save this creature for all of posterity.

And the Irish Hare is threatened by far the most at this point by its actual mating with the European Hare NOT BY THE COURSERS INHUMANE AS THEY CLEARLY ARE

These European Hares did not appear in Ireland by magic but were brought here in one way or another by industrialised man, by capitalist man essentially.

And therefore Man the species has a responsibility to right this.

Since this is the main immediate danger to The Irish Hare the whole of the movement of animal lovers must re-focus

I have read last night the last few months of the Facebook Page of John FitzGerald (who I obviously hold in very high regard) but could not find any sense of urgency there on the danger to The Irish Hare from The European Hare.

Thus John needs to enter this discussion in some way at this point because a lot of people in Ireland look to him on this issue.

Basically and because I see THE EUROPEAN HARE AS BEING THE MAIN DANGER TO THE IRISH HARE I say that The European Hare must be removed WITHOUT DELAY from this Irish environment. I am no expert on how, just that this must be done humanely, and working in collaboration with European, Russian and American friends including all others, and involving the very best in science, special spots can be found where the European Hare can roam and mate happily

There is literally NO, I repeat NO, other way to save The Irish Hare

We are at a point here of great moment, of great decisión, of great decisive importance. Please give this great attention everybody.

The PDF despite its political bankruptcy of Dr Reid of QUB is of extreme importance and is a vital weapon

"The current threats to the Irish hare, therefore, are anthropogenic in nature and principally include habitat change, hunting and biological invasion."

and much other material, some of which sets the issue inside the world crisis of species such as the issue of "bush meat" in tropical Africa

on www.qub.ac.uk/sites/.../Filetoupload,134058,en.pdf‎

With The European hare removed from the scene there is a chance of saving The Irish Hare.

For some time there will be a respite for The Irish Hare around the airports and a few other locations. There must be a strong organization created that will police these áreas actively with no reliance placed on the police to do so.

Later after the successful workers socialist revolution and with the working class in power and led by a revolutionary government there will be a breathing space, an opportunity, where we can begin to reorganise Irish life in general and that will enable us to create large tracts of land in Ireland where The Irish Hare will not be threatened in any way

But that is for the future. There will be no future if The European Hare is not removed from Ireland.

author by Hahahapublication date Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

not surprising given his links to fascist parties like EDL

Even the poor hares can't escape Felix's racist Nazism

author by heeheeheepublication date Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

even when he's talking about Hares Felix the Nazi can't help ranting like a pure-blood racist against miscegenation

his racism and nazism follows him everywhere, even into his supposed love for animals - they say Hitler was very nice to his dog too

It's like reading something from Der Sturmer or something written by Norwegian Nazi Anders Berhing Breivik even though it's about Hares and not muslims

author by Anitapublication date Thu Mar 13, 2014 18:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The flippant attitude taken by the last commenter towards the survival of this most gentle of creatures speaks volumes. I assume from a textual analysis I have made , that "heee hee" and "haa ha ha" are in point of fact one and the same person and that this one person quite possibly is a hare courser himself who has come to mock and pour scorn on our important work here . May I take this opportunity of addressing this individual in a personal capacity and urge him to immediately desist ? Just stop it!

John Fitzgerald's work in the field is well known and greatly appreciated , but given the dire prospects for the Irish hare's survival under conditions of rampant capitalist crisis outlined above , I can but only share the urgent concern expressed here so eloquently by Felix . “We are at a point here of great moment, of great decisión, of great decisive importance.” With these words , Felix has thrown down the challenge to us all my dear friends .And time is short .But , fear not : with the invasive European hare's removal from these shores , Ireland will be able to once again hold its head high amongst the nations of the world. I do not envisage a transfer of such a sub- species to mainland Europe being carried out in an inhumane way if carried out by a workers revolutionary government , but under present conditions , I would argue for as much oversight from the working class as possible in the transportation process so as to ensure the well-being of the European hare against which I have ABSOLUTELY NO GRUDGES WHATSOEVER.( N.B. this has NOTHING to do with the pigmentation of the European hare's fur , which is indeed brown in colouration , but this factor is quite irrelevant to our present analysis. )

John Fitzgerald , Wageslave , Mary Rose Smith , Lady Me and all who have to date posted- ignore the wretched hare coursers and their cynical supporters .But please state your positions on this urgent question urgently . Thank you, A.B

author by wageslave - (moderator)publication date Thu Mar 13, 2014 19:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Felix, you asked for my position? Here it is:

My position is that IMHO you are a total liability to any movement trying to defend animals and furthermore, occasionally amusing as the exchanges sometimes are between yourself and FFS, nevertheless both of you are going to get a moderator delivered ass kicking off this thread if either of you mention anything to do with Nazis or jews again.


Furthermore, a mass culling of helpless animals seems a bit nuts on an animal rights thread IMHO.

Here's my 3 point plan for the hares:
(1)Stick a bunch of the pure blooded Aryan Irish hares on a few of our smaller islands with a decent food supply.
(2)Let nature take it's course here on the big Island between the euro / Irish hares.
(3)Ban coursing. Such primitive savage cruel and unnecessary pursuits debase us as human beings.

wageslave (mod)

author by Anitapublication date Fri Mar 14, 2014 15:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I came across some anti-hare coursing images at the link below, which will hopefully be helpful to those seeking the complete banning of this cruel “sport” from all parts of this island.The site also features numerous pictures of our current justice minister Alan Shatter , which may at first surprise some readers, but more knowledgeable readers -those more familiar with the hare coursing debate will probably know that Alan has a record second to none when it comes to defending the hare. Many leftist take swipes at Alan for his strong support for the state of Israel , but even the likes of FFS , who I note with pleasure has called for the banning of hare coursing , would I'm sure extend him at least a certain degree of respect for the courageous stand he has taken against hunting - and especially against the powerful hare coursing lobbies. Alan even lost the Fine Gael party whip in the nineties because of his support for a bill to outlaw the “sport”.

In a personal capacity , I'm sorry to see dissension occurring amongst the different opponents of hare coursing, which sadly seems to have crept into this thread . I would like to propose therefore a cooling off period to allow for reflection. Perhaps the recent proposals from myself , Felix and Wageslave for the protection of the Irish hare could be the starting point for a debate on how best we can protect this most gentle of creatures .

author by wageslave - (moderator)publication date Fri Mar 14, 2014 18:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

felix / Anita / whoever. I am certainly not FFS.

the link did not work so I removed it. perhaps you could repost it?

author by A.Bpublication date Fri Mar 14, 2014 19:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Wageslave/ FFS / or whoever .I am certainly not Felix
Here again is the link .


author by joemcpublication date Sun Mar 16, 2014 13:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

[post has been edited to remove some of the smears and unsubstantiated editorial commentary]
Below is a copy of a post by a UK indymedia activist writing under the name “Indyleaks”, which was hidden several times by the indymedia ireland editorial board in 2010 . The post had attempted to notify and warn Indymedia ireland readers of infiltration of the Indymedia UK site by police agents provocateur posing as animal rights activists . The posts from "Indyleaks" were published on a Saturday afternoon on Dec 4 2010, 2:42pm . A London Indymedia editor called Mara contacted the indymedia ireland collective shortly afterwards asking for the post to be removed . Almost immediately the hide request had been complied with by the then indymedia ireland moderator Pat Corcoran , an editor with a record on the indymedia ireland site of supporting and encouraging clandestine , militant and criminal animal liberation actions such as mink releases and incendiary attacks on hare-coursing facilities .. The reason for the arbitrary hide of the post from "Indyleaks" given by Corcoran was:” At request of Indy UK.Premature publication.”
Readers of indymedia were unaware at the time of Indyleak's revelations that Corcoran had been a year previously arrested by gardai in Dublin for being in possession of thousands of paedophile images on his work PC and that he had agreed to " fully cooperate" with the gardai after their search of his computer .

 Title: Advocating 'domestic extremism' - Cops on Indymedia - an expose:

Here is the original article which I've now unhidden:(mod)

author by wageslave - (moderator)publication date Sun Mar 16, 2014 15:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Despite it being quite off topic, I'm allowing a slightly edited version of your most recent post ( minus usual smears against this editor) because I think you are right that that post should only have been hidden temporarily at the time. We hid it to comply with a request from Indymedia UK to do so while they investigated the matter themselves. It should have been unhidden after a week or two.

Again, here is a link to the original article which I've now unhidden. It is worth a read I think.

Joe is right that a tactic of police infiltrators / provocateurs is sometimes to encourage extreme actions which backfire and discredit fragile activist groups they wish to damage the credibility of. Including animal rights groups because they threaten PR and profits of well connected capitalists profiting handsomely from animal cruelty. Activists should not be naive and should always remain vigilant in this regard.

It's worth checking out this article:
see http://www.indymedia.ie/article/97967

The revelations about the JTRIG program by Ed Snowden are quite interesting in this regard:

For the record:
We may never know whether ex editor P.C. was pressured (due to his legal issues) to co-operate with the state to undermine / inform on activist groups he was involved with and this website. It remains a possibility.
If true, this is more of a damning indictment of our corrupt controlling state than anything else. And, despite Joe's rabid attempts to infer otherwise, I'd like to assure users of this site that I am NOT a cop!! ;-)

( Mind you, with their pensions, pay and other perks, I kinda wish I was!! ;-)

However interesting post or not, I am putting Joe back on a (temporary) ban for constantly attempting to attack, smear and undermine this site and insult the integrity of the remaining volunteers that help run it. There is just no need for that kind of behaviour. Joe has engaged in this kind of personalised offensive commentary many times before and it will no longer be tolerated. Joe knows well that he could easily have presented his (valid) point minus the offensive component and got the same result (unhiding of the article) without the ban


PS: Thats it. Absolutely no more off topic posts will be tolerated on this thread ok?

author by Dr Neil Reid - Queen's University Belfastpublication date Mon Apr 07, 2014 13:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There are two peer-reviewed papers published in the scientific literature on Irish hare coursing (see link below) or by Google "Quercus and hare coursing" and following the links.

These have attracted criticism from anti-field sports campaigners and members of the public. In this respect, the distinction between two separate arguments must be made clear; 1) the "Animal welfare" argument and 2) the "Conservation" argument.

Animal Welfare argument(s):
Some object to hare coursing on the basis of animal welfare. This is entirely acceptable and is based on personal moral and ethical perceptions of hare coursing as an unnecessary, cruel or distasteful activity inconsistent with 21st century (predominately urban, and by implication the majority of the population's) ethics. Equally, those that support coursing are equally entitled to their personal subjective opinion that coursing is consistent with rural and traditional values and they have little or no objection to hunting animals per se often caveated with the requirement for, in the case of coursing; humane capture, husbandry and release back into the wild. Both positions are entirely respectable as both are subjective. Science has absolutely nothing to say on this matter as it invokes subjective morals and ethics which vary between individuals. Science could ask questions such as "relatively, how stressed are coursed hares compared to uncoursed hares" and answer this by testing the animal’s stress hormones (e.g. cortisol) before, during and after coursing compared to a suitable control group. However, even this information (whilst it might inform the debate) would not answer the question "is coursing cruel?". The reason being that there is no direct correlation between stress hormones and cruelty as defined by the impingement of quality of life and survival. For example, a human going to Tesco's on Christmas Eve will have substantially elevated cortisol levels as it’s a moderately stressful event but we wouldn't say it’s cruel nor does it have a lasting effect on quality of life or survival. Thus, the "Animal welfare" argument is subjective and based on individual morals and ethics.

Conservation argument(s):
Those that object to hare coursing based on animal welfare also often invoke conservation issues i.e. the perception of the hare as rare or declining and that coursing kills animals detrimentally affecting populations. This is the focus of the two scientific papers. Other work shows that Ireland has probably less than 1 million hares (in 2007) and that the Irish Coursing Club removes ~6,000 per year of which less than 4% are killed with the rest returning to the wild. The loss of ~250 hares per year (and it’s probably lower now) is negligible in a population of 1 million (far more will be predated by foxes, die of disease or killed on the roads). Moreover, a second paper shows that management of ICC "preserves" for rushes, fox control etc enhances certain local populations such that they have 18 times more hares than the wider countryside. This management is by landowners associated with the coursing clubs for the purposes of having places to release and thus capture hares year-after-year. It makes sense that the coursing club manages such areas to ensure the provision of hares each year for their sport. Given there are up to 10 such preserves per club consisting of up to 10 fields each and round 75 clubs throughout Ireland that equates to a fairly large area of land managed for hares that would otherwise have been agriculturally improved for other purposes leading to lower hare numbers. Thus, there is a logical, scientifically verified, peer-reviewed and published argument that hare coursing can (and does) benefit local hare populations rather than being detrimental. No one denies that hares die in coursing. This argument is not subjective nor personal i.e. it can and has been scientifically tested but it contributes nothing to the debate on "animal welfare", which we have shown here to be a quite separate ideological viewpoint.

Even those that are anti-coursing on animal welfare grounds should welcome the research as it provides verified information on the activity that didn't exist before. Being well informed is always a good thing. What they should not do is make claims on conservation or population grounds to support or supplement an argument on animal welfare grounds. Objections to hare coursing on animal welfare grounds is safe as its individual and subjective but specious claims regarding conservation are, and have been shown to be, false doing no favours to the anti-coursing lobby. Each animal welfare viewpoint and each argument (welfare and conservation) are equally valid.

Attacking the science is counterproductive (and anti-intellectual). Those that make claims that the science is (plainly) wrong or that the authors are biased (including those in the Irish Campaign Against Blood Sports or ICABS which hold and publish data on hare deaths annually; incidentally the same data from NPWS on hare mortality analysed in one of the papers) are welcome to publish their own analysis demonstrating the contrary in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Until such times it is much safer to stick to the animal welfare argument on moral and ethical grounds which can never be disproved by scientific enquiry.

Such is the limited and negligible negative impact of hare coursing on the Irish hare that arguments over hare coursing with respect to conservation are a red herring. Other research on threats clearly demonstrate that population declines (which occurred in the 20th century but not recently i.e. no real population change since 2000) are likely to have been caused by agricultural intensification and landscape homogenization, principally creating large grassy monocultural deserts of Italian Ryegrass which are harvested by silage cutting during the period of peak leveret birth. Hares need a small scale patchwork quilt of high quality improved grassland and rough rush-dominated fields. Also, the emerging threat of the European brown hare should be taken very seriously (like the grey and red squirrel issue) as it has been shown to be expanding its range, has replaced the Irish hare entirely in its core range and 32% of animals in the invasive range are hybrids; a process known as extinction by hybridisation. Over 150 years the native mountain hare in Sweden was entirely replaced from its southern range by invading European brown hares. The process has been caught early in Ireland (at the moment restricted to Mid-Ulster and west Tyrone) and the only cost effective way to protect the unique and endemic Irish hare is by immediate action and eradication of the invader (which is common throughout Great Britain, Europe and the wider world where it is also invasive).

We should be focusing our efforts on issues that will make a difference (agriculture, agri-environment schemes, silage cutting and the European brown hare) rather than being distracted by the red herring of coursing.

Related Link: http://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/Quercus/PastProjects/2010/3HarecoursinginIreland/
author by BanCoursingpublication date Mon Apr 07, 2014 22:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I notice a particular skew in your so called "science" towards coursing being ok.

I guess the devil can cite scripture and all that.

I wonder if "scientific" identification of human suffering relied merely on measuring cortisol levels and then comparing them to tesco shoppers, would that be acceptable to most people?

I suspect not. Because suffering is not so subjective as you might have us accept here.
most people other than sociopaths or psychopaths recognise it when they see it.

Using your cortisol and subjectivity argument and taking it to it's logical conclusion, the suffering of people in Auchswitz was "merely subjective" and "cortisol levels compared well with tesco shoppers on christmas eve"

Animal or human suffering cannot be so easily discounted as unimportant and subjective as you have tried to do here.

You are an apologist for deliberate and unnecessary human cruelty. In another life you might have been recruited to defend the unspeakable. No doubt you would accept the job. Atrocity and your sort go hand in hand and one would not be so easily possible in this world without the other.

author by Dr Neil Reid - Queen's University Belfastpublication date Tue Apr 08, 2014 16:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Our work clearly states that "Anti-hunting organisations cite both welfare and high mortality as their main objections to hare coursing... the mean number of hares killed during coursing was 243 hares per year when dogs were muzzled." However, despite a 4% mortality rate some clubs had an "exceptionally high rate of mortality at 94%... Physical contact between the hare and the dogs increased from 3.4 ± 2.3% using unmuzzled dogs to 12.8 ± 3.0% using muzzled dogs. The percentage of hares experiencing direct physical contact by dogs was greater in courses using muzzled dogs than courses using unmuzzled dogs. Obviously, muzzled dogs are incapable of biting hares that they intercept as had previously been possible during events with unmuzzled dogs. However, hares may be buffeted and pawed by muzzled dogs resulting in stumbling, falling or mauling. It is possible, therefore, that some hares may receive injuries that cause pain and suffering that may compromise their subsequent survival. Furthermore, mortality resulting from mauling by muzzled dogs may not follow as swiftly as mortality resulting from being bitten and mauled by unmuzzled dogs. Other causes of mortality apart from the actual course that may account for discrepancies between the number of hares released and those caught may include natural causes and injury, stress or disease resulting from capture or confinement." etc etc

Thus, the papers do directly refer to animal welfare issues and I did not shy away from publishing details of deaths and maulings. What I did, and what i think was valuable, was take the data collected by Government officials and subject it to rigorous statistical analysis so that we can say, with confidence, what exactly happens during coursing and how many animals are killed or are present in the wild in areas used by the Irish Coursing Club. This data are equally as useful to those that oppose coursing (by knowing exactly how many animals are killed and hit by dogs i.e. injured) as they are to the coursing club or Government (with respect to monitoring their activities under licence). Without this information it was anyone's guess how many animals died, were mauled or were returned to the wild. The job of a scientist is to report quantifiable facts. In this case, data on mortality (whether it was high or low or as a result of being mauled) and relating this to issues of conservation.

I am fully aware that measurement of cortisol levels etc would not be accepted by opponents with regards quantifying "cruelty". That is why I made the point; whilst its something science could comment on its won't help resolve any animal welfare arguments. In this regard it is important not to confuse animal welfare with any potential detriment (or benefit) for conservation. Again, it is important to know what we can and cannot say with confidence and the (original) research was balanced (unlike its paraphrasing on online forums).

Invoking psychopathy and comparisons with Nazi's (under the anonymity of the internet) or, as the case is on other sites, making defamatory remarks (e.g. http://4international.me/2014/03/07/the-irish-hare-need...iars/) is not helpful. I hope this has clarified what was and was not included in the original research and why it was done i.e. to present hard numbers which might be useful to Government, politicians, the anti-coursing lobby and the Irish Coursing Club alike. Scientists are often criticized for not communicating their work to the public. I hope I have not been naive in trying to do so.

author by BanCoursingpublication date Wed Apr 09, 2014 06:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ok that comment was much less skewed so I accept that perhaps your original comment was perhaps unintentionally so and you are not actually an apologist.

I apologise for my defensive position and my comparison with some very unsavoury historical facilitators.

In my defence, one gets used to the same tired posts attacking any kind of animal rights or welfare activism. It is rare that we see anyone without a vested interest replying to these threads.

Thanks for your input which may prove useful to the discussion.

I'll just add to your point that you should also mention observations that abject terror likely induced in the hare when being chased and mauled by growling excited dogs wishing to kill it.

This "terror level" could no doubt be quantified by science too.
Rapid breathing, heartbeat, screeching, dilated pupils, etc etc, are all symptomatic of the level of terror experienced by the hare. You could also count areas where the hares are cut, or fur is pulled out in clumps, etc.
Plenty of things to measure. Or alternatively to just ignore in a report that does not tell the whole story.

author by Dr Neil Reid - Queen's University Belfastpublication date Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It would be interesting to know how many of those who vehemently criticize the science, often using highly emotive, offensive and defamatory language, have actually read the original papers in their entirety; which are freely available for download? The work is necessarily balanced and as objective as it is possible to be otherwise it would not pass the gold standard of peer-review and publication in a scientific journal (they would not publish partisan opinion pieces).

It is a little unfair to expect the first and only two scientific studies on coursing to quantify all imaginable parameters and then accuse them of "not tell[ing] the whole story". In any case, there are no known methods, that I am aware off, suitable for measuring the pupil dilation, inhalation or heart rate of a running hare. Even if they were measurable what would we compare them too? A resting hare? Of course they would be elevated, but what conclusions could be draw regarding animal welfare, cruelty or "terror"? That was the point of my Tesco analogy; whilst some measurements might be possible they would never be accepted (either by scientific journals or opponents of coursing) as ways of quantifying the real issue; is coursing cruel. There are no measures that could be taken which would resolve hare coursers to the opinion it was cruel and damaging nor the anti-hunting lobby that it wasn't cruel and damaging. I was not being dismissive nor derogatory in referring to this animal welfare issue as "subjective"; I meant it in the literal meaning of the word (QED: some people believe its cruel and others do not).

The purpose of the original papers were to take what information was available (Government records), accessible (video recordings) or (easily) measurable (hare densities in the wild) and to statistically analyse them in a rigorous manner such that hard numbers where available for what actually happens. It aspired to nothing more and to be judged beyond this (perhaps by those who haven't even read them) is to take the work out of context.

author by BanCoursingpublication date Thu Apr 10, 2014 06:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I guess some otherwise learned folks never learned how to take an apology.

Contrary to your assertions it is possible to measure many of the outward manifestations of anxiety / fear / suffering in a subject, by attaching electrodes and using some form of remote transmission device.

To say such measurements are not possible is not reasonable in our age of miniaturisation computers and wireless communications.

But yes, the definition of suffering / terror itself is suitably vague and as such, allows for denial if people choose to do so. But nevertheless some more concrete definitions and a range of circumstantial measurements might help give weight to arguments rather than just some hand waving, side stepping a fundamental dimension of the issue altogether.

The real problem here is ideological. If it's in your interests or you stand to profit by subjecting animals to unpleasant and cruel practices then it is necessary to reduce them in the eyes of the public so society will turn a blind eye to your actions and of course you will be in denial about their suffering.

Black slaves were subject to "scientific" studies claiming they were somehow lesser beings than their white slave masters. This helped to give the slave masters the leeway they required to mistreat their slaves in ways they would not be permitted to treat other white people they considered equals.

Our society treats animal cruelty in the same manner. We deny their ability to suffer and rationalise away all signs of this because we feel they are somehow lesser beings and as such, not particularly deserving of any empathy from us. We hear phrases like "animals don't feel pain like we do", "we don't know if they feel pain", "science cannot determine whether they feel pain like we do", "animals were put on earth for man to use" etc.

This is clearly nonsense. Even the simplest creatures exhibit clear signs of suffering, fear of death. Anyone that has lived in the presence of animals for any length of time knows this.

I have observed many complex behaviours not easily explained away even among very simple mammals. They exhibit a wide range of emotions such as jealousy, depression, joy, fear, guilt, and I have seen them go off their food and pine for another member of their group that had died.

They may not be able to do quantum physics, but then most of us can't either. And indeed why should intelligence and membership of the species "homo sapiens" be the only criteria standing between being treated well or being tortured without mercy or recourse to law?

But yes, ultimately science cannot solve the ideological problem of human cruelty and speciesism. Only rigorous education in ethics and instilling a proper set of values at a formative age in our children would help here. However this seems unlikely to happen any time soon. Meanwhile, our children are bombarded with and steeped in a daily bath of the propaganda of capitalism and consumerism, and violence and cruelty are normalised through TV, video games and other media. Our education system is geared towards producing obedient workers and consumers. There is a lot of money to be made from exploiting animals and indeed from human cruelty and making war. Systematic questioning of the status quo in our schools would not be encouraged by those in charge or those powerful forces who currently profit handsomely from the current system.

author by Felix Quigley - www.4international.mepublication date Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

To last comment dear friend

I removed the offensive article that neil refers to and i think I was far too hasty but on your comment above I feel the same sense of frustration. I am very happy about the new laws in Ireland even though I realise they are limited. You see I am living in Spain and there really is no law at all there, when it comes down to it. You can imagine the situation of especially dogs. it is almost unimaginable. I am presently looking closely at the research by QUB and last night I was reading a piece by QUB Biology teams from 2007, which is particilarly important because it hammers totally in their own guarded way, I think they have to be restrained, the positions of the government. The governent had tried to do some good but had through their initiative actually stengthened the position of the fox and the rabbit to the detriment of the hare. That report proved to me that they are very independent of government which is very good. We do need objective research. I welcome everything I can get. Even Little things. I do not expect everything. But back to the title and the main point of me writing here what is really missing is an organisation that can plot the way forward. I am not so vain as to say I have the answer but at least I am working on an article which I will post the url of here and perhaps send to your terrific organisation, at least to begin to open up the debate in new areas.

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