The Irish Council Against Blood Sports (ICABS) has lodged a complaint with the Catholic Bishop of Limerick about the recent BLESSING of a hare coursing field.
At Glin Coursing club’s official venue (in County Limerick) a priest blessed the new arena where the cruel baiting of vulnerable hares then took place. The coursing club referred in the media to this venue as a “field of dreams”.
Field of Nightmares would be a more apt analogy!
That hare coursing is legal in Ireland is bad enough, but the involvement of some members of the clergy in the bloodsport is scandalous.
ICABS says on its website:
The identity of the priest is currently unknown, but he is to be seen performing the grotesque blessing with holy water and wearing liturgical garb.
ICABS has made a complaint to the Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy, pointing out to him that this is a gross misuse of a blessing, and that this priest is in direct contravention of the official Catechism of the Catholic Church which clearly states that "it is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer and die needlessly." We also pointed to the part of the Catechism which says that “animals are God's creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory. Thus men owe them kindness.”
"The blessing of a hare coursing field by a Catholic priest is a gross misuse of a blessing and should not be permitted in your diocese," ICABS stated in a message to Bishop Leahy. "It is even more inappropriate, given the fact that this coursing meeting took place last weekend, which not only coincided with World Animal Week but also with the feast day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.
We have also sent a tweet to Pope Francis, asking him to "act to stop clergy involvement in Ireland's cruel hare coursing."
The hares used at Glin coursing meeting were trapped from the wild in nets, kept captive in compounds and on the days of coursing, used as bait to run before two greyhounds. Hares that are struck by the dogs can be mauled and severely injured, resulting in death. Every year, hares die at coursing meetings from such maulings, and every hare is subjected to stress and terror.
This priest should be thoroughly ashamed of himself, giving his blessing and that of the Catholic church to this barbarity.
This is the latest in a long line of Irish clergy association with bloodsport activity.”
Articles on blessing of hare coursing venue: