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‘Sport of hunting’ a barbaric ritual

Madam -- Philip Donnelly's attempts to ridicule Fiona O'Connell's article depicting the brutal reality of the so-called "sport of hunting" is to be expected -- given his position as chairman of the Hunting Association. Unsurprisingly, this organisation regularly seeks to defend its barbaric rituals under the guise of them being a "valued part of our unique and country heritage". (Sunday Independent, September 16).

Mr Donnelly apparently has some concerns that Ms O'Connell might run the risk of boring your readers, and that much of what she wrote could be interpreted as fictional. There is no make-believe in watching an animal being hunted to the death, and using young cubs as bait to blood the hounds. Inflicting such suffering on defenceless animals is surely abhorrent to someone who considers themselves a member of the human race.

It is difficult to conceive how anyone with a vestige of compassion could find enjoyment in this brutality.

Mark Twain best described hunting when he observed "of all the creatures every born man is the most despicable of the brood, he inflicts pain knowing it to be pain and calls it sport".

Ed Twohig,

Glounthaune,

Co Cork

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