CORK county councillors have called for the sport of coursing to be allowed during level five restrictions.
Deputy Mayor Joe Carroll said as a rural county, councillors have a duty to rural Ireland and to look after their constituents.
“Coursing and point to points are a big part of Cork county. We can’t let people just take things, if you want to find a sport that is more remote than point to point and coursing, they have gone way overboard with this thing, I’m afraid it is an attack on rural Ireland and I think we have to be strong and not accept it
“There are people suffering a big loss with horses and dogs, it just can’t be sustained.”
Concluding, Mr Carroll said:
Fianna Fáil Councillor Frank O’Flynn there is nothing better in rural Ireland for people than getting out in the fresh air.
“The biggest losers here are the trainers, the owners, jockeys, transport, it is part of rural Ireland Kanturk-Mallow Councillor Pat Hayes said he thought it was wrong that point-to-point races are closed down.
“It is run 100% safe. To remove coursing as an elite sport was wrong. It is a rural pastime, we are a rural county and I think that this is part of our heritage and it has to be supported.”
Fermoy Councillor William O’Leary said he thought that some people with an agenda against coursing and point-to-points were benefitting from the ongoing pandemic and subsequent restrictions.
“Covid has suited some people well, there are some people out there with an agenda against these sports.” Mr O’Leary said there were livelihoods at stake.
The council made the decision to write back to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue regarding the cessation of coursing during Level 5 restrictions, as they did in the second lockdown.