Oh deer -- Ward Union hunt pushes ahead, minus the stag
IT'S stag hunting, but not as we know it.
The country's only stag hunt has pushed ahead with its radical solution to get around the Government's hunting ban.
A stag was allowed to roam the countryside for a few hours in Meath on Tuesday morning and was then captured and removed to safety.
Only then were the hounds released to follow its scent at the Ward Union Hunt at Skryne.
The compromise came as members attempted to continue their 150-year-old tradition, following the ban on stag hunting introduced by the Government in the summer.
Last year, the hunt had the High Court overturn a licence issued by Environment Minister John Gormley, where he imposed a condition that the hounds could not be released until the stag had been recaptured by the huntsman.
At the time the Ward Union Hunt claimed the situation was unworkable -- but has since changed its mind. A spokesman for the hunt was unavailable for comment last night.
A Department of the Environment spokesman has said it had discussed the alternative proposals with the Ward Union Hunt.
"Once they're within the letter of the law they can do what they want," he said.