A Letter from The Irish Council Against Blood Sports

The late John O’Connor (left) and the late Anthony Cronin will be remembered at the Scart leg of the annual hunt. Photographs: John Reidy

I got the following letter from a Mr. Philip Kiernan of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports taking The Maine Valley Post to task for publishing an item about the annual Abbeyfeale Harriers Hunting Festival which is due to start on Sunday, February 10th.

The article in question came in as part of a list of notes on the date of publication.

As an activity which is legally held with regularity in rural Ireland I published the notice without reservation.

It would be ridiculous to suggest that there isn’t an element of cruelty involved in hunting and I’m made no such suggestion by publishing the notice.

I’m aware also that Mr. Kiernan’s group has a right to reply and to have its views published and that I’m doing with an eye on balance rather than on the polarised facts at the core of the issue.

It is in the interests of balance that I include his letter here for readers to consider its merits, or otherwise, for themselves.

Dear Editor
We are disgusted to see your publication publicising a foxhunting
festival in which foxes will be cruelly chased to exhaustion and ripped to pieces when caught by packs of hounds. You can’t be unaware of the cruelty involved in this activity, particularly as you point out in your article that “the quarry is fox”.
You may be interested to know that the Irish Cancer Society, due to the cruelty involved, has moved to disassociate itself from this shameful
event, so it is not accurate to list the “Supported Charity” as the The Irish Cancer Society.

Yours sincerely,
Philip Kiernan
Irish Council Against Blood Sports
PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland.

Dates and Venues for Abbeyfeale Harriers Annual Hunting Festival

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