Our sport is hare to stay, say 50,000 coursing fans
FERGUS Flynn is the man with the inside track when it comes to hare coursing.
The primary school teacher was among those attending the last day of the 'Olympics' of coursing in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, yesterday, which attracted 50,000 spectators in total over its three-day run.
But he had a smaller distance to travel than most. Fergus lives in the house at the centre of the coursing venue at Powerstown.
Yesterday, his bitch, 'Coffee in Currow', was still competing on the final day. "He has the inside track, you could say," laughed his brother, Michael.
Soup and sandwiches were served for friends and passers-by in Fergus's home by his sisters Mary, Breda, Rosaleen and Noreen.
There are seven brothers and sisters in the family -- and only Gerard was missing yesterday as he was unable to take time out from the Dominican order.
The Flynns have had an affinity with greyhounds since they grew up with dogs in Dillon Street, Clonmel.
Their late father, Mick Flynn, and mother, Moll Murphy, were fanatics.
The 87th National Coursing Meeting attracted crowds of up to 50,000 over the three days, including Noreen McManus, wife of the multi-millionaire businessman JP.
Punters flocked from the North and from across the UK, where live hare coursing is banned. They also came from as far away as the Czech Republic, Canada and New Zealand.
The CEO of the Irish Coursing Club, DJ Histen, said the event was worth €16m to the local economy.