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February 13 2015 6 13 /02 /February /2015 17:01

         An internal Irish Coursing Club document advises:


* ...It's better to kill greyhounds than give them away...

* Injured greyhounds may be run if a coursing club steward so decides...

* A ban on "unauthourised photography" to be enforced at all hare coursing events...

* "Dispatchers" (the men assigned to finish off injured hares or rescue them from the dogs)

to be positioned "at the side of the field furthest away from the crowd."...

* Coursing clubs and their members to refrain from "verbally abusing" public representatives

who attend coursing events "even if they are opposed to coursing..."





An internal Irish Coursing Club (ICC) document offers a chilling insight into the attitude to both hares and greyhounds of this politically well-connected “sporting" elite.



The document is titled:


A Summary of Directives, Instructions and Guidance Notes  

Issued by the Executive Committee of the Irish Coursing Club to  

Club Secretaries, Control Stewards Judges and Slippers, Through the  

Secretary of the Irish Coursing Club (embodying the years 1969-2013) 


While much of the document is taken up with administrative issues, the rules of hare coursing etc, it contains evidence of the shocking attitude of coursing clubs generally, and of the ICC itself, which is the governing body for the blood sport, towards the welfare of both hares and greyhounds.


Here is a link to the entire document: http://irishcoursingclub.ie/pdfs/A%20Summary%20of%20Directives,%20Instructions%20and%20Guidance%20Notes%20.pdf


Here are the extracts referred to:  


Clubs should ensure that they have a sufficient number of capable and active personnel available to
intervene and rescue a hare in difficulty with muzzled greyhounds.   Such hare should be placed in a box
and inspected,
where possible, by a Veterinary Surgeon after coursing, and the appropriate treatment given. Dispatchers should be on the side of the field furthest away from the crowd.


In the event of being approached by any television crew for permission to televise proceedings at a
coursing meeting, club secretaries should refer such television crew to the Secretary, Irish Coursing Club
All clubs are advised that elected public representatives attending coursing meetings, even if they are
known to be opposed to coursing or other field sports, should be treated with courtesy and decorum 
Please advise your members that it is not in the best interests of the image of our Sport to verbally abuse such people.


The following notices should be inserted on programmes for all meetings 
Unauthorised Photography is Strictly Forbidden at this meeting


Do not give away unwanted greyhounds. It is far better to put them painlessly to sleep. 


As the implementation of a rule to cater for the running of injured greyhounds in order to qualify for prize money would be difficult, the Executive Committee ask that the stewards of meetings use their judgement in relation to the matter. 

 ...end of extracts...


Dispatchers are the people who put hares out of their misery when the animals are mauled, forcibly struck, or otherwise injured by the pursuing greyhounds. A dispatcher can be seen in the following footage from the Irish Cup coursing event held at County Limerick:




They are referred to euphemistically as men who are there to help hares that find themselves “in difficulty.”  This window-dressing is designed, we believe, to hoodwink the general public and our legislators into believing that coursing clubs are engaged in a long drawn-out love affair with our hare population. This is far from being the case.


Note the admonition: Dispatchers should be on the side of the field furthest away from the crowd. Hare coursing depends for its survival on concealment and cover-up.


Re the advice on “TV and Media Coverage” and “Notice for programmes”, we ask: why is it necessary for a sporting organization to advise its affiliated clubs to 1) prohibit “unauthorized photography” at its fixtures, and 2) not to verbally abuse politicians who attend its sporting events?  Such paranoia would be unthinkable with, for example, hurling, tennis, or rugby.


Hare coursing has a lot to hide. Banned in many other jurisdictions, it must be wary of those who would look too closely at what occurs before, during, and after the meetings.

Here is footage showing what happened when two people tried to film last year’s National Hare Coursing fixture in Clonmel:




The advice in the document re greyhounds is also disturbing: The ICC is suggesting that these dogs, which make wonderful pets, should be killed rather than given away, and permits the coursing of injured greyhounds at the discretion of “stewards” at coursing events.


This demonstrates the obvious and utterly breathtaking contempt with which coursing clubs regard the animals they depend on to create their so-called “sport” and entertainment.”



John Fitzgerald,

Campaign for the Abolition

of Cruel Sports





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