If you would like to submit a contribution to our Readers Blog section then follow this link. Be sure to include your full name, address and contact number otherwise your submission will not be considered for publication. We will contact you prior to publication.

Drag hunting is a more humane alternative

As usual at this time of year, the papers are full of pictures and colour pieces extolling the alleged virtues of fox hunting.

Vivid descriptions of fun- loving spectators gathering in town and village squares to watch the splendidly attired ladies and gentlemen on their steaming mounts clip-clopping past, happy hounds clustered about them, tails wagging in anticipation.

Journalists and columnists conjure up images of cheery hunting folk sipping punch or burgundy from stirrup cups at the end of their cross-country adventure.

What a pity that these fawning articles don’t refer to what happens to one of the essential players in the game: The fox, the animal whose wily nature is deemed vital to a good day’s hunting. He doesn’t get to experience any of the fun. For him, the chase is a life and death run.

If caught he will have the skin ripped from his bones. If he manages to find refuge underground, the terrier men will retrieve him by dropping a dog down. The result of this encounter between hyped-up terrier and a desperate cornered fox is something you won’t see depicted on table mats, Christmas cards, or tourist brochures.

The sad part is that the exhilaration of the chase and the social camaraderie associated with fox hunting could be preserved with a switch to draghunting. It’s a humane alternative in which the hounds pursue a scent laid in advance along a pre-determined route.

John Fitzgerald

Lower Coyne Street


Co. Kilkenny


Bryan Stevenson is the American civil rights lawyer who provided the inspiration for the newly-released film Just Mercy. Esther McCarthy spoke to him in IrelandReal-life lawyer Bryan Stevenson on inspiring Just Mercy

So I’ve booked my holidays. And before you ask, yes, I’m basing it around food and wine. I’ll report back in July, but I thought readers might be interested in my plan should you be thinking about a similar holiday.Wines to pick up on a trip to France

Esther N McCarthy is on a roll for the new year with sustainable solutions, cool citruses and vintage vibes.Wish List: Sustainable solutions, cool citruses and vintage vibes

They have absolutely nothing really to do with Jerusalem or indeed with any type of artichoke, so what exactly are these curious little tubers?Currabinny Cooks: Exploring the versatility of Jerusalem artichokes

More From The Irish Examiner