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Rural dwellers have had enough

IN reply to Mr Fitzgerald's letter in Monday's paper, the animal rights lobby has taken Ireland into dangerous territory in which we in rural communities stand united in protecting what we hold dear.

The Green Party has moved away from its core principles in terms of sustainable energy, clean rivers, supporting agri- business and enabling communities to live and work in rural Ireland to an agenda led by animal rights activists who have far-reaching goals that could destroy the Irish countryside and its traditional way of life as we know it.

Live exporting of animals would disappear. Coursing would disappear. Shooting and fishing would disappear. The list is endless.

Ireland's traditional sporting and agricultural traditions are united in opposition to the animal rights agenda of the Green Party.

Former MEP Patricia McKenna exposed the new power behind Mr Gormley and the Green Party recently -- animal rights groups.

The minister spent two hours with Irish animal rights activists in the run-up to the referendum on Lisbon. He also had time to take submissions on puppy farm legislation from groups in the UK who do not support traditional field sports and have no mandate in the Republic of Ireland. But he ignored a submission from the Hunting Association of Ireland, which represents 300,000 Irish people whose sport contributes €34m annually to the rural economy.

Country people in Ireland have been awoken and are standing up to an unrepresentative group who are trying to destroy our way of life. We support and promote animal welfare but will stand united in the campaign against animal rights, to protect the countryside as we know and love it.

James Phelan
P.R.O. Irish Master of Foxhounds Association

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