Another layer of shame has been added to the so-called National Coursing Meeting, the All-Ireland final of the blood sport, held in Clonmel over the weekend. A greyhound called Dicks Bimbo won the “Grace & Matt Bruton Champion Bitch Stakes final.”
This greyhound was trained by Owen McKenna of New Inn, County Tipperary. Mr. McKenna is not just any greyhound trainer. He has a conviction for blooding dogs on live animals, an offence that both the Irish Coursing Club and Bord na gCon (the Greyhound Board) claim they abhor and will never tolerate within the industry.
Yet a number of dogs trained by him, including the above named one, were accepted for entry in the “National Coursing Meeting.”
Owen McKenna was filmed at a County Tipperary track in 1994 using live rabbits attached to strings to train greyhounds.
Journalist Donal McIntyre secretly filmed Mr. McKenna and others clearly blooding the dogs. He was working on a BBC documentary on the Irish greyhound industry. A court case ensued and Judge Michael Patwell sentenced Owen McKenna and a number of other defendants to prison terms.
Please see link (below) to footage of the blooding session (part of the documentary entitled “On the Line”) in which you will see Mr. McKenna calmly inflict pain and suffering on the captive rabbits.
The ICC should now be asked to explain its position…how can it possibly stand over Owen McKenna’s involvement in the National Coursing Meeting if, as it claims, it does not in any way tolerate blooding or the people who practice it.
And Owen McKenna should be asked if he would like to express remorse for his despicable acts of cruelty as he has not, to our knowledge, ever done this.
The ICC might also have a look at this footage…to remind itself of who Mr. McKenna is…and of the fact that the organisation is supposed to be implacably opposed to this method of training greyhounds.
Here is Mr. McKenna “at work”: