A motion brought forward by the two Green Party councillors in Cork County Council requesting that the council write to the Minister for Agriculture requesting that a nationwide ban on hare coursing be introduced was defeated at last Monday’s full council meeting.
Following a lengthy debate, the proposed motion from councillors Alan O’Connor and Liam Quaide was defeated after 36 councillors voted against the motion. It was supported by four councillors, while three councillors abstained.
Green Party Cllr Liam Quaide said hare coursing has no place in any society.
“Hare coursing is the perversion of what a sport is meant to be which is a contest between equals or near equals, where each side has the potential to succeed.
"It involves the physical domination of a small, sensitive animal by a much larger one that is being held in captivity.
"Hare coursing has no place in any society that considers itself caring and civilised,” he said.
“I don’t accept the contention by supporters of hare coursing that this gratification in animal suffering is intrinsically part of the culture of rural Ireland, or that any attempts to ban hare coursing represent an attack on rural Ireland,” added Cllr Quaide.
The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Danny Collins said he couldn’t support the motion.
Fine Gael councillor Eileen Lynch said she strongly opposed the motion as she has been part of the greyhound industry, racing and coursing all her life: “This is part of our heritage, culture, and our tradition.
"Coursing is a part of rural Ireland. Coursing clubs and people are guardians of the hare.
"Coursing provides a social outlet for many. People look out for each other; their dogs and they care for the hare. This is a further attack on rural life by the Greens.”
Fianna Fáil’s Joe Carroll said hunting was part of his upbringing and heritage.
“It was part of my youth growing up. Hares are cared for, and it is very well-regulated. It is a most enjoyable social event. The Green Party should be tackling illegal hunting.”