Protect the Irish Hare!
  • Petitioning Mr. Enda Kenny TD

This petition will be delivered to:

Taoiseach (PM) of Ireland
Mr. Enda Kenny TD
Minister for Agriculture
Simon Coveney
Irish Wildlife Service senior official
Gerry Leckey
Wildlife Licence official
NPWS official
Kevin Cahillane
Emer Mc Geough
NPWS official
Orlando Verrecchia (NPWS official)
Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland
Joan Burton TD
Minister for Arts and Heritage
Ms. Heather Humphreys TD
Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
Minister Humphreys

Protect the Irish Hare!

    1. John Fitzgerald
    2. Petition by

      John Fitzgerald

      Kilkenny, Ireland

Because the Irish Hare is an endangered species that is cruelly exploited in hunting, coursing, and trapping practices.


Mr. Enda Kenny TD, Taoiseach (PM) of Ireland
Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture
Gerry Leckey, Irish Wildlife Service senior official
Wildlife Licence official
Kevin Cahillane, NPWS official
Emer Mc Geough
Orlando Verrecchia (NPWS official), NPWS official
Joan Burton TD, Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland
Ms. Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Arts and Heritage
Minister Humphreys, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
I just signed the following petition addressed to: The Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland, Mr. Enda Kenny TD.

----------I call upon you to use your influence to bring about an end to all cruelty to hares in Ireland and to ensure that this iconic creature receives full protection under Irish law.------


[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. Catholic clergy photographed BLESSING hare coursing venue!

      John Fitzgerald
      Petition Organizer

      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:

      Catholic priest BLESSES venue used for cruel hare coursing event - Indymedia Ireland

      I have to ask: does the Catholic Church have a death wish? Hare coursing is a horribly cruel "sport" that is a crime in many jurisdictions. It's bad enough that the Irish government allows it...but this week pictures circulating on social media (twitter and facebook) clearly show a Catholic Priest officially BLESSING a hare coursing venue.

    2. New hare coursing season in Ireland...campaign to ban it continues.

      John Fitzgerald
      Petition Organizer

      A new hare coursing season has just got underway in Ireland, so the campaign to abolish this cruelty to a gentle creature that threatens nobody continues.

      Muzzling of greyhounds does NOT protect the hares, as the brief film clip shows (they can be struck, mauled, and tossed about by the dogs) so the only acceptable response from government is ban on this appalling activity.

      Cruelty Ireland - Hare Coursing

      A hare is chased and severely mauled at a hare coursing meeting in Ireland. Proof that the muzzling of greyhounds does not eliminate the suffering from coursing. Every year, thousands of hares are forcefully netted from the wild and used as live bait for greyhounds.

    3. August 2014...still campaigning to protect the Irish Hare

      John Fitzgerald
      Petition Organizer

      Each autumn, the Minister for Arts and Culture must decide whether to license the capture of thousands of hares for use as live bait in coursing. If the Minister grants the license, the gentlest creatures of our verdant Irish countryside will have to face almost five months of abject terror and suffering, starting in late September. They will be snatched their natural habitat by gangs of men and boys using nets, manhandled and thrown into small crates, conveyed to places of detention, and after weeks of captivity they will be forced to “perform.”

      None of this activity serves any scientific or pest control purpose. Nor are the animals captured for food. The sole purposes of coursing are gambling and entertainment. The hares are mere pawns in a deadly and one-sided game that bears comparison with Russian roulette: Some hares make it through the escape hatch...but others die as a direct result of being coursed, either from being struck forcibly by the larger and faster dogs, or from stress-related ailments arising from their unnatural captivity or the chase itself.

      Reports from National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) rangers that attended a number of coursing events last season have become available in the past week under FOI. They show that hares continue to suffer in coursing despite muzzling of greyhounds. The reports refer to hares being struck, mauled, and horribly injured at coursing events held in different counties. Interesting, these latest NPWS reports quote coursing officials referring to hares that have been savaged by greyhounds as “requiring assistance”. A sickening euphemism, but in keeping with their bizarre, repeated claim that hares enjoy being coursed, and that coursing benefits the hare population.

      As if this noble creature that survived the last Ice Age required the “assistance” of people who set it up to be hounded, terrorized, and battered by dogs.

      The NPWS reports are backed up by video recordings made by animal welfare volunteers at other coursing fixtures that show hares being mauled or tossed into the air by salivating dogs. The damning footage can be viewed on

      There is no excuse for the use of live lures in coursing. In Australia and Europe, hares have been replaced by mechanical lures and this has in no way diminished the enjoyment of the fans: Recently the European Coursing Championships were held in Italy, drawing thousands of spectators from across the continent and beyond…and not a single hare was subjected to the horrors that Irish coursing clubs inflict on these animals.

      Minister Humphreys could make history by refusing the hare capture license. This is 2014, not the Dark Ages. Live hare coursing is way past its sell-by date.

      A video clip from a hare coursing event in Co. Limerick:

      Further Details of the NPWS reports referred to:

    4. Reached 2,500 signatures
    5. Great speech during parliamentary debate on animal welfare

      John Fitzgerald
      Petition Organizer

      Here's one of the best speeches made during a Dail (Irish parliament) debate on a new animal welfare bill:

    6. Reached 500 signatures
    7. Live Hare Coursing: The Clock is ticking...

      John Fitzgerald
      Petition Organizer

      Share your lateLive hare coursing apologists claim that their “sport” is thriving in Ireland. In fact, it has been in decline for many years, thanks mainly to the campaign exposing the horrific cruelty to hares that is integral to the practice. Every professional opinion poll conducted since 1978 has revealed that an overwhelming majority of Irish people want it banned. The pathetic attempts by some politicians to defend the blood sport have only served to further undermine its diminishing credibility, as shown in this brief film:
      Just look at the following two lists. The first is of coursing clubs that staged live coursing events in Ireland in 1935. The second is a list of the live coursing events scheduled for the 2012/2013 season. The decline is obvious, with many coursing clubs defunct and relegated to the eternal Hall of Shame…

      Active live hare coursing clubs holding events in 1935:
      Abbeyfeale Club Castlepollard and Collinstown
      Adare Cl

    8. Reached 250 signatures
    9. Two Irish politicians press for protection of hares...

      John Fitzgerald
      Petition Organizer

      Here are two Irish politicians who are fighting to PROTECT the hare from cruelty and loss of habitat. Deputies Maureen O' Sullivan and Clare Daly can be heard here pressing for legislation to end the hare's sad plight in Ireland:

    10. Reached 50 signatures
    11. Let's Protect the Irish Hare from Man's Inhumanity!

      John Fitzgerald
      Petition Organizer

      The Irish Hare is considered a “living link” with the ice age fauna of 10,000 years ago and as such is a treasured part of Ireland’s multi-faceted wildlife heritage.
      It is also fast becoming an endangered and declining species.

      Despite this, Irish law permits cruel hunting and baiting of this iconic creature. The hare can be hunted with hounds and ripped to pieces for “sport” after a prolonged and exhausting chase.

      It can be captured with nets and then either used in coursing, a barbaric practice banned in most of Europe, or utilised in so-called blooding sessions that involve feeding the animal LIVE to greyhounds as part of their training.

      Here is an Irish government minister “defending” hare coursing, one of the cruel practises to which this gentle and inoffensive creature is subjected in the name of entertainment:

      Please sign the petition calling on the Irish Government to extend full protection to the hare.

    12. Reached 25 signatures


    Reasons for signing

      • 1 day ago

      As an owner of three wonderful house rabbits, one of which was a wild Irish rabbit, I know how intelligent and wonderful these little creatures are. They are every bit as wonderful and intelligent as a dog or a cat, and they need our protection.

    • 50 Cent Layne DOWN TOWN, PAKISTAN
      • 8 days ago

      Because as a wabbit the more running wild the better chance i have of living

      • 12 days ago

      because once they are gone they are gone

    • joan Sharkey KENMARE, IRELAND
      • 15 days ago

      Forest and habitat must be curtailed to preserve all our native species. I have seen both red deer and hare in the woodland where I live.

      • 17 days ago

      Pour le Respect de l'Animal et l'Abolition de la Cruauté !


    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.