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FINE GAEL have stated in their election manifesto that they will keep “communities vibrant” by reversing the ban on the Ward Union stag hunt.
Their idea of “vibrant” obviously means red-coated thugs on horseback charging across country after a pack of dogs in pursuit of an unfortunate deer, with groupie road followers driving around in convoys, hogging the roads and making a nuisance of themselves.
It seems that Fine Gael are genetically disposed to bloodsports, as history will testify. According to the Kilkenny Journal of August 5, 1922, a journalist who accompanied a division of the ‘Free Staters’ on their way to recapture Callan from the Republicans, reported that they were detained on the road by a badger baiting session, which they stopped to watch for 20 minutes, with “officers, men, doctors, nurses and all the rest held up, and to tell the truth splendidly entertained by a badger’s struggle with country dogs”.
Fast forward to 1972, and at a Fine Gael Árd Fheis, Liam Cosgrave, in a blood-curdling outburst, warned his leadership rivals, ”... some of these commentators and critics are now like mongrel foxes; they are gone to ground but I’ll dig them out, and the pack will chop them when they get them.”
Let’s hope Fine Gael don’t get an overall majority. They need a civilising hand to keep their blood lust in check.
Eadaoin de Oirghiolla
Co na hIarmhaí
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