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Hogan in row over coursing

ENVIRONMENT Minister Phil Hogan was defended yesterday for his attendance as guest of honour at a hare coursing meeting, writes Fionnan Sheahan.

Mr Hogan attended the Sevenhouses coursing meeting in Danesfort, Co Kilkenny, earlier this year and presented the prizes.

But the Irish Council Against Blood Sports said it was "beyond belief" for the minister to be "fraternising" with those involved in coursing.

Last night, Sevenhouses secretary Pat Loughlin said the club had a long-standing relationship with Mr Hogan.

"We'd net hares on the Hogan family farm. He caught hares with us when he was young," he said.

Irish Independent