Cork county councillors want pheasant shooting and open coursing to be allowed under level 5 Covid-19 restrictions

Cork county councillors want pheasant shooting and open coursing to be allowed under level 5 Covid-19 restrictions

"If you’re out at open coursing or pheasant shooting, there is a distance of nearly 20 metres between each individual,” Mr Hegarty said.

FIELD sports such as pheasant shooting and open coursing should be allowed under level five, a number of county councillors have argued this week, with a letter going to the Government from the council urging them to allow these activities to go ahead.

The issue was brought to the fore by Fine Gael councillor Micheal Hegarty who said the sports were well managed and naturally incorporated social distancing.

"If you’re out at open coursing or pheasant shooting, there is a distance of nearly 20 metres between each individual,” Mr Hegarty said.

“The councillor urged the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste, Minister for Environment and Minister for Agriculture to relax this situation.

“We talk about mental health, we are talking about people who live in areas where they have very little contact with others and this is the only contact they would have with others.

“I would ask my colleagues that we would send an email immediately to the powers that be, to have this ludicrous situation amended and reversed as soon as possible.” 

His message was supported by Fianna Fáil councillor Ian Doyle who said he had been inundated by people complaining about this situation.

“There are restrictions that make absolutely no sense. In light of our mental health and country field sports are for young and old and they contribute to the environment, much to the contrary of public opinion.

“People have been raising pheasants and hares right throughout the summer and I think it defies logic that these sports have been eliminated under level five even from a mental health point of view.” 

Fianna Fáil councillor Joe Carroll said people are very angry over this. 

“This is more than sport, this is health. People would love to get out of their houses on a Saturday or Sunday morning, go way out into the hills and have an ould hunt and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, it is a healthy past time. It’s lunacy.”

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