Hunting

Hunters kill protected deer and calf.

Evening Herald, 7/1/2004

A deer and its calf were butchered by two English hunters armed with high powered rifles. Simon Everett (43) and Nicholas Pancisi (44) were caught by Kerry gardai. “They had shot the deer, gutted it and then shot its young and removed the hind quarters,” Inspector Michael O’Donovan said. The Red Deer were a protected species in this area “and should not have been shot” said the garda.  Both men pleaded guilty to the charge of hunting a protected species at Kilgarvan, south Kerry, were fined €800 each and their two rifles worth stg£2,500 each confiscated.


Hunter fined €500 over shotgun blast at rabbit.

Irish Independent, 10/7/2004

A Hunter who blew a hole in a family home while hunting rabbits with a shotgun in a town centre at 3am when intoxicated has been fined €500. Timothy Coakley from Inchigeelagh, who appeared before Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday pleaded guilty to a charge of reckless endangerment with a firearm. Coakley admitted that he had been trying to shoot rabbits along the main street of Dunmanway when he accidently blasted the family home on August 7th. Council for the hunter insisted that the incident was a case of ‘drunken bravado’. 



Decision on Walderstown foxhunt cruelty investigation expected today
West Meath Independent, 1/12/2007

This afternoon (Wednesday), the body in charge of foxhunting in Ireland is expected to announce the findings of its investigation into claims that a fox was dug out of its den, tied up and fed alive to the hounds during a recent hunt in Walderstown.  An Irish Masters' of Foxhounds Association (IMFHA) sub-committee, which was set up to investigate the claims, was due to meet with members of the Westmeath Hunt yesterday evening, with a decision set to be announced today.

  The Westmeath Hunt organised the November 14 meet during which the incident is said to have taken place, but the organisation has strongly denied the claims. Caroline Preston of the Westmeath Hunt committee told this paper that while she did not take part in the meet in question, the Hunt has "vehemently denied" that the incident took place. "We are anxious to clear our name," said Ms Preston. 

  The Irish Council Against Blood Sports called for a Garda investigation into the claims, which were reported in the national press last week. Sergeant Noel Mulligan of Athlone Garda station said that, as of yesterday, the local gardai had received no report in relation to the incident.

  Landowner in Walderstown, Michael Murray, is reported to have been an eye witness to the hunt, but when contacted by this paper yesterday he said he had no comment to make in relation to the alleged events. The Walderstown allegations were originally discussed by the IMFHA at a meeting early last week.  The association's spokesperson, Brian Munn, said that a sub-committee was then established to investigate the claims and that in the last few days this group has spoken to a number of people "both formally and informally" as part of its enquiry.  "From our point of view we need to find out if something happened and, if it did, we need to make sure that it doesn't happen again," he commented.

  The Westmeath Hunt was suspended while the investigation was taking place.

  The alleged incident is outlawed under the code of conduct drawn up by the Irish Hunting Association and sanctioned by the Department of Agriculture and Food. It states that: "In no circumstances will a live fox which has been dug out be thrown to the hounds.


Silencer on a deer hunter's weapon

Wicklow People newspaper,13/06/2012 
A MAN WHO had a silencer on a gun while out illegally hunting deer had his case adjourned until July at last Tuesday's sitting of Baltinglass District Court.  Paddy Cullen, 9 Harbour View, Wexford was charged with an offence under the Wildlife Act on December 29, 2010 and again on January 26, 2011.  He pleaded guilty to the charges and the court heard on December 29, 2010 John Kelly who had leased the deer shooting rights for a wooded area met Cullen carrying a gun 500 meters inside the wood.  He challenged Cullen who said he had permission from a farmer to shoot.

  On January 26, 2011 in a different area Andrew Ryan who had leased the deer shooting rights for that area met Cullen with a rifle and a silencer 200 meters inside the wood.  Mr. Ryan told Cullen he had no permission to be there and asked him to leave.

  Cullen told Judge David Kennedy he didn't realise he had no permission to be on the lands shooting.  'I don't accept that for a second,' said Judge Kennedy.  He adjourned the case until July 3 to allow gardai time to check if Cullen had permission to use a silencer on his rifle.



Hunters blamed for reintroducing wild boar herds in rural Clare

Irish Examiner (http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/hunters-blamed-for-reintroducing-wild-boar-herds-in-rural-clare-238364.html), July 31/01/2013

Underground hunting rings are believed to be behind the reintroduction of herds of wild boar into rural County Clare. Three separate herds of wild boar have been discovered by authorities in forestry areas in the east and south of the county in recent weeks — with a total of 24 animals being captured from the wild. The most recent herd was discovered last week in the Sixmilebridge area where two adults and two boar piglets were discovered. Earlier this year, 15 animals were discovered in the Scariff area and a further five were discovered in a separate forestry location in east Clare. 

  According to Clare County Council’s ISPCA Dog Warden, Frankie Coote, the animals are likely being released on purpose so that their offspring can be hunted for sport. “These could have been released by people who took them in as pet and realised that they could not look after them, but I believe that they are being introduced by people who have an interest in coming back again and shooting the animals,” he said. “I think that this is an attempt to get them back into the big forestry areas in the county. If they did make it undetected, they would accumulate and they would run wild in no time. The people would then come back and hunt them.” 

  The animals discovered were relatively tame, however, their offspring would be wild and would present a danger to the public and to other wild animals.
  “We’ve had three incidents over the last few months in different parts of the county. These animals would have tusks and tough skin and the evidence suggests to us that someone is trying to reintroduce them in an organised way,” he said. “These can be very dangerous animals — especially if they turn wild. The difficulty is that they breed like hell and while these animals are relatively sedate, one sow could have 13 or 14 offspring, and these offspring would be wild. “If they were allowed to run wild it could quickly get out of control and it would present us with a major problem.” 

  Wild boar are similar in size and weight to pigs. They are generally stronger and better built, as they forage over large distances. They can be aggressive towards humans, especially when they have piglets. They attack people by using their girth and power to ram them — essentially head-butting them — before slashing upwards with their sharp tusks.



Three accused of Badger baiting at Kinnegad

Meath Chronicle, 08/03/1997

  Three Kildare defendants summonsed with a number of alleged offences, including assisting in the baiting of a badger and a fox, had their cases adjourned to 11th April next at Trim Court next week.

  Peter Maher, Grangeclare, Knockcor, Carbury, is summonsed with wilfully interfering with and for destroying the breeding place of a protected wild animal, at Colehill, Kinnegad, on 25th February last; entering on the lands of Laurence Finn for the purposes of hunting wild birds or animals without the permission of the owner; causing, procuring or assisting in the baiting of a badger and a fox; carrying a spade and shovel capable of being used for the hunting of a wild bird or animal, on the lands of Laurence Finn without his permission; giving a false name and address contrary to section 69 of the Wildlife Act, 1976, and failing to give a correct name and address on a demand made pursuant to section 72 of the Wildlife Act, 1976.

  John Casey, Coolcarrigan, and Patrick Mulligan, Knockcor, Carbury, were summonsed also, with the first four charges.



Men admit to interfering with badger set

Examiner, 26/04/1997

Three men who admitted interfering with the set of a badger were described as blackguards by a Judge yesterday.

  Judge John Brophy also threatened to remand them in custody for a week when they appeared before Trim District Court. One of the men, Peter Maher, Grangeclare, Robenstown, was remanded in custody for a week.

  The court heard he had given a false name and address to a wildlife ranger.

  Maher along with John Casey (32), Coolcarrigan and Patrick Mulligan Jnr (28, Knockmore, Carbury was charged with entering lands without the owner’s permission on February 25, 1996 at Colehill, Kinnegad. The three also admitted interfering/destroying the breeding place of a protected wild animal and carrying a spade and shovel capable of being used for the hunting of a wild bird or animal.

  Solicitor Cora Higgins said the men had been given permission to hunt on lands belonging to a particular person and were doing that when a fox moved across onto other land. Judge Brophy said that there was no fox and if any part of a badger had been found in the set Ms Higgins clients would be going to jail for 3 months.

  He said they had dug 1.3 metres deep into the set.

  “The badger is a protected animal, this is a well known set in the area and they deliberately had two dogs and another dog in the boot. If a badger catches you he won’t let go, it is his only defence, it is disgusting,” said the Judge. The Judge added that if the Wilidlife Act permitted it, the defendants would be going to jail.

  A photograph of Maher had to be circulated to garda stations to get him identified and the other defendants allowed him to give false information to the ranger, they went along with the charade, Judge Brophy added.

  He remanded Maher in custody for a week to appear again in Trim Court next Friday.

  He imposed fines on the other defendants and in relation to Casey disqualified him from driving for 12 months using his car in connection with the offence.


Farmer anger after fox-hunting hounds killed by train

Irish Independent, 13/01/2014

FARMERS against fox hunting have expressed "extreme concern" over a pack of hounds wandering onto a railway track during a hunt at the weekend where several dogs were killed by a passing train.

  The farmers' group said it saw the incident as "yet further evidence of the havoc wrought by fox hunts" which it described as "an absolute menace to farmers and their livelihoods".

Iarnrod Eireann has confirmed that the 14.50 train from Waterford to Dublin's Heuston station hit a pack of hounds on the track at Mullinavat, Co Kilkenny, just after 3pm on Saturday.

  A spokeswoman said the rail company had not been contacted prior to the fox hunt. The train ploughed into the pack of dogs killing a number of them.


DANGEROUS

She said if they had been contacted they could have given the train timetable for the area but she also stressed that it was "very dangerous for people or animals to be on the track with trains passing at high speed".

  In most areas the track was protected by fences or hedges and to be on the track was trespassing, she added.

  Chairman of the Kilkenny foxhounds, Ned Morris, said that he was away on Saturday and "only came back, so I don't know how many dogs were killed".

  He said that the group would normally contact Iarnrod Eireann prior to hunting. The company would be good about "slowing down trains and that kind of thing" when hunts were being held, he said.

  "Dogs getting killed would be a kind of freak thing now," he added.

The Association of Hunt Saboteurs disagreed and condemned the failure of the hunters to control the pack of hounds and protect their welfare.

  "The death of hounds while hunting is not an isolated incident. Accidents in the past have involved road accidents, other train accidents and deaths of other animals caused by hounds out of control," said a spokesman.

The Farmers Against Fox-hunting and Trespass group said it believed hunting should be banned.

  "Our main objection is the damage they cause to farm property.

  "They ride through fields of crops, ripping them up and scattering or killing livestock, knocking fencing and, as frequently happens, killing family pets," the group said.



Foxhounds killed in collision with train; group calls for prosecutions

BreakingNews.ie, 12/01/2014

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has called on Iarnród Éireann to prosecute a Kilkenny hunt for trespass after hounds were killed in a collision with the Dublin to Waterford train.

  The hounds were part of a pack taking part in a hunt outside Mullinavat in Co Kilkenny yesterday, when the collision occurred.

  A number of hounds were killed and there was a small amount of damage to the train.

  Aideen Yourell of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports accused fox hunters generally of an "arrogant and cavalier attitude to trespass onto other people’s property, be it private land, roads and railway tracks".

  She called for a ban on foxhunting, saying it "clearly causes a risk to rail and road users. If they want to ride out in the countryside, they should change to drag hunting, where no live quarry is chased and where the route is pre-planned in conjunction with landowners’ wishes."

  Richard Power of the Hunting Association of Ireland said that although he could not speak to the incident in question, in general terms he said that landowners are always notified of upcoming events.

  "Landowners would all be informed and would know that there would be a hunt in their area," he said. "This is standard practice.

  "Indeed, permission would be sought from them regarding access to their land."

The name of the group whose hounds were killed is not known at this stage.



Foxhounds killed after being hit by Iarnród Éireann train

Journal.ie, 12/01/2014

A number of foxhounds were killed yesterday after an Iarnród Éireann train hit the dogs who had strayed onto the railway track.

  It is believed the dogs were taking part in a hunt along the railway tracks.


Waterford to Dublin train

A spokesperson for Iarnród Éireann confirmed to TheJournal.ie that a pack of hounds that were on the railway line just outside Mullinavat County Kilkenny were struck by the 14.50pm train from Waterford to Dublin train.

  They also confirmed that a number of dogs were killed and the train suffered a small amount of damage.

  The incident also caused the train to be delayed for a period of time.

  “We would advise that no one should cross the railway line where there is not a designated crossing,” said the spokesperson, adding “it is extremely dangerous”.


No prior notification

She also added that no hunt group had given any prior notification that a hunt was taking place and that they would be crossing the line. “There were no prior arrangements made with Iarnród Eireann,” she said.

  The Association of Hunt Saboteurs Ireland said they “wholeheartedly condemn the failure of the hunters to control the pack of hounds and to protect their welfare. The death of hounds while hunting is not an isolated incident, accidents in the past have involved road accidents, other train accidents and deaths of other animals caused by hounds out of control,” said their spokesperson.


Fox hunting

  “This is further proof that hunting with hounds is a danger to both animals and humans. Hunt hounds cannot realistically be controlled by hunt masters once they are on the scent of another animal. Hunting must be banned in this country for the welfare of all animals,” they added.

The name of the fox hunt group involved in this incident has yet to be verified. Hunt groups that operate hunts in the area have stated that they are not aware of any incident involving their group.