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Dear Sir... Readers' Views (07/07/16)

Your letters, your views...

Regulated coursing not a blood sport

Fergus Finlay’s article (Irish Examiner, Opinion, July 5) demonising regulated hare coursing only echoes many of the same inaccuracies that have been circulating for years and also overlooks the well established evidence to support it.

His portrayal of regulated coursing as a “blood industry” is a dramatic use of language when the fact is that regulated coursing does not aim to kill the hare. Surely he must be confused with the menacing act of illegal hunting, a true blood sport, where the only aim is to chase wildlife for hours with packs of dogs and let them kill their prey once caught. In stark contrast, regulated coursing involves the Irish Hare being chased for about 20 seconds by two muzzled greyhounds in a field where there is an escape hatch for the hare. Regulated coursing and illegal hunting are worlds apart, and the release statistics from last season demonstrate this, whereby 99.33% of hares were released back into the countryside in a fit and healthy state. Surely this is not the statistic or evidence of a blood industry.

Mr Finlay citing the hare as a “naturally timid” creature suffering from “stress and terror” fails to recognise this animal is one of the most successful prey species on the planet for several million years. He ignores the physiology and genetic make-up of the hare which ultimately ensures regulated coursing does not present the hare with any situation it is not familiar or unequipped to deal with. Seeing this as “bound up with money and profit” and being “a blood industry” closely linked to greyhound racing is another example of Mr Finlay not having more closely checked the facts.

For clarity, coursing is not in receipt of any funding from the Horse and Greyhound Fund or any other state agency, despite this fact all conservation work conducted by clubs is on a voluntary basis. He names Tom Hayes as “Minister of State for the Dogs”, more lack of research given there is a new appointment.

Most importantly, the vote by Deputies to maintain coursing was not due to “deeply twisted logic” but to the well documented contribution regulated coursing has made to Irish Hare conservation. He clearly has not read the independent study done by the environmental research unit Quercus at Queen’s University Belfast, nor has he taken the time to read the dramatic results of banning coursing in the UK, as reported by its agriculture department, DEFRA.

I do, however, agree with Mr Finlay on one point: that we are a civilised, hospitable and decent people. I wish he had taken the time to find out.

DJ Histon

CEO Irish Coursing Club
Davis Road
Co Tipperary

Downsized charity industry is required

In light of the recent financial travails involving a national charity, would it be fair to opine that too many human-welfare charities exist in Ireland?

As a nation, we enjoy suckling on the human-misery teat and are at our happiest helping those who wallow in the milk of ‘woe is me’.

High-profile human-welfare charities are addicted to their public self-important image and avail of numerous opportunities to pontificate on the fragility of the human condition.

Not for them the aim of every charity, which is to disband, having achieved what they were set up for: to solve a recognised human need and then to put in place a support structure.

The existence of so many human-welfare charities is impacting on the non-human charity sector.

Local animal-welfare charities are drowning in a sea of financial distress, under a torrent of animal abuse that gets more vicious daily and a belief that human-welfare charities must come first.

Given the dominance of human-welfare charities, who fundraise on an industrial scale and have the resources to suck up the available money, there is little an animal-welfare charity can do, other than mop up financial crumbs.

The Irish charity industry is in need of downsizing and of the realignment of resources and personnel.

Maybe the vehicle for this is to close one’s purse until human-welfare charities get this message.

John Tierney

Waterford Animal Concern
157 Larchville

Illicit drugs like a ‘pharmar market’

Should the illicit street sale of prescription drugs be called ‘pharmars’ markets’?

John Williams

Co Tipperary

Enda supporters by another name

Since coming into government, Enda Kenny has done a great job of turning Independents into Endapendents.

Anthony Woods

Marian Avenue
Co Clare

We should make it easy for Easyjet

UK-based airline, Easyjet, has announced that it is in talks with EU governments to secure incorporation and an AOC (airline operating certificate) in an EU member state. This would allow it to continue to operate within the single-aviation market with ease. This is just one example of how Brexit will affect UK companies. The effect of Brexit on Ireland is well-documented, but we must seek opportunities. Ireland is a centre of excellence for aviation. The Government needs to court companies such as Easyjet, to offset negative consequences of Brexit.

Killian Brennan

Corofin House
Clare Village
Malahide Road
Dublin 17

We need good reason to stay in EU

I heard Olivia O’Leary, wise woman that she is, say, at the end of her usual excellent talk on RTÉ’s Drivetime radio programme, with regard to Brexit: “Britain is gone, now the European leaders must give good reasons for the rest of us to stay.” Yes, indeed, Olivia, yes, indeed.

Brian McDevitt

77 Ardconnaill
Co Donegal

Minister ignores Ireland’s sacrifice

July 1 saw the Somme commemoration attended by our President, Michael D Higgins, and Minister of Department of Regional Development, Rural Affairs, Arts and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys.

The latter was responsible for the continued dereliction and dilapidation of our battlefield site in Moore Street, and also plans to appeal a High Court judgement to halt the building work. Surely, this is the height of hypocrisy. To actively work against the most important site in Ireland’s recent history while, on the other hand, attending a ceremony that commemorates the blood sacrifice of tens of thousands of men.

The men who left Ireland to serve in the British army, and for the imperialist cause, did so in the pay of the king’s shilling.

Those men and women who gave their lives for the cause of Irish freedom did so for no reward.

Rory O’Callaghan

McDowell Avenue
Ceannt Fort
Dublin 8

Battling Boris

Boris Johnson: ‘Battle of the Gom?’

Mattie Lennon

Co Wicklow

Bottling Boris

Boris has bottled it. Like the story of the dog chasing the bus, now that Boris has caught it, it seems he didn’t quite know what to do with it.

Of course, the next English Prime Minister has a very tough gig. He or she will go down in history as the PM who triggered Article 50 and probably caused a recession in the UK.

That’s why David Cameron ran. He wasn’t putting his signature on that particular journey.

Damien Carroll

Dublin 24

Dara’s accusations smack of irony

It is ironic that Dara Calleary is accusing Europe of “walking away from Ireland during the financial crisis” and accusing the European Commission of ramming through an austerity programme both here and in Greece.

Most of the EU and Eurozone countries did not bankrupt themselves.

The governments in Ireland and Greece, however, made reckless decisions which eventually bankrupted both countries in 2010.

Dara Calleary is a member of the government party that voted these decisions through the Oireachtas during the boom.

The financial institutions aided and abetted bankrupting the country.

A lot of Irish media also cheer-led the decisions and rubbished anyone who raised questions.

We were, therefore, liable for the consequences of the decisions of our own most powerful citizens.

The self-inflicted calamity of 2010 was one of the biggest disasters to hit this country.

Europe stood by us when that happened and when this bankrupt country needed a bailout.

We are lucky we have recovered even as much as we have.We should, therefore, thank Europe, rather than blame them, as Dara Calleary does.

A Leavy

Shielmartin Drive
Dublin 13


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