Call to halt coursing held in town park
THE Irish Council Against Blood Sports have called on the people of Millstreet to oppose coursing in the local Town Park following reports of a recent meeting there.
Coursing is once again set to become a national debate, following the announcement that Independent TD Maureen O'sullivan and Socialist TD Clare Daly intend to introduce a Private Member's Bill in the Dáil to ban hare coursing.
The meeting has sparked online debate, with users commenting on a website carrying photos of the event suggesting that a mechanical hare should be used instead.
"I don't think, with the greatest respect to everyone, that the town park in Millstreet should be used for hare coursing. This can give us a bad name here in Millstreet at a time when tourism is so important. I'm not what you'd call anti-bloodsports when it comes to game shooting (a quick kill is ok in my book) and I'm not against foxhunting ... but hare coursing I've never liked,' one user said.
"Millstreet has a lot to offer but, please, not this ill-treatment of animals dressed up as sport,' another added.
Philip Kiernan of the ICAB said that photos from the event "show hares desperately running for their lives."
"In these disturbing scenes, there is no mistaking the fear and stress of the hares as they try to escape a mauling from the greyhounds bearing down on them," he said.
"But it isn't just the hares that are victims of this despicable event. So too is the image and reputation of Millstreet itself.
"The hosting of animal cruelty in Millstreet's Town Park represents an unfortunate black mark against a town that has so many positive attractions and associations.
"We call on the decent people of Millstreet to act to keep cruelty out of their park and prevent coursers from tainting the town," Mr Kiernan said.
Millstreet Coursing Club had no comment to make at time of going to press.