The men (all members of Doon Coursing Club) were ordered by the judge to pay 350 Euro to charity. The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) against the men, all members of Doon Coursing Club in County Limerick.
This is a huge credibility blow to hare coursing in Ireland because the "sport's" governing body, the ICC (Irish Coursing Club) clams that hares are plentiful and that coursing poses no risk to the conservation status of the Irish Hare species. If this is so, we ask, why do members of a County Limerick based coursing club have to travel all the way to a protected nature reserve in Co. Offaly to find hares?
Background to case:
The incursion last November into one of the most highly rated heritage sites in Ireland has had coursing fans nationwide cowering in fear as the clocked ticked to the court case.: Lough Boora Park Bog contains a range of nationally and internationally important species including the Irish Hare. What was once the bed of a lake (Lough Boora) is now a 50 hectare wildlife reserve that is also a major tourist attraction in County Offaly.
It is an absolute scandal that a coursing club would see fit to violate this acclaimed haven for wildlife in their search for live bait to use in their barbaric event. It is bad enough in our view that they take hares from the Irish countryside for coursing, but their incursion into Boora Bog was utterly irresponsible and says something about the mentality of those involved in hare coursing, a practice banned in many other jurisdictions including Britain and Northern Ireland.
Coursing clubs claim to care about the hare’s conservation (even as they force the animals to run for their lives, to be mauled and tossed about like rag dolls) when in fact they see them merely as fodder for a cruel sport that should have no place in our society.
The Boora Bog incident strengthens the case for an outright ban on hare coursing in Ireland...