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The Pearse family spoke out in the past against the cruelty of hare coursing

In this the year of the 1916 centenary the aspirations of the brave people behind the rebellion are the subject of scrutiny. Ideas abound as to how we should pay tribute to their heroic attempt to create a fairer Ireland.

I would like to suggest yet another way to honour their supreme sacrifice, one that may not, I concede, be the biggest priority right now but deserves consideration. I refer to the scandal of live hare coursing that continues to shame this country after many other jurisdictions have outlawed it.

According to the sister of Padraig Pearse, the patriot would have backed a ban on this cruel blood sport.

In a letter written in 1967 to actor John Cowley (best known as Tom Riordan in the RTÉ drama series The Riordans), Senator Margaret Pearse stated in reference to her brothers, Padraic and Willie: “I am certain that were they alive today, they would be foremost in condemning coursing for the sadistic spectacle it is.”

Then 89, she asserted that both brothers “would have been totally opposed to the inhuman treatment... At all times during their lives, they were kind to dumb animals and Padraic’s writings give many instances of his love for animals and birds.”

John Fitzgerald

Lower Coyne Street

Callan

Co Kilkenny

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