Two anti hunt campaigners who attempted to film a hunt on the Hill of Tara last Tuesday were set upon and viciously assaulted by staghunters.
Film Footage has become available of the tense moments leading up to the vicious assault on two anti hunt campaigners who attempted to film a hunt on the Hill of Tara in County Meath on Tuesday last.
The footage is from the camcorder that Declan Bowens of Johnstown, Navan, County Meath, had been using to film the hunt. The activists were concerned at persistent reports in recent months that carted stag hunting is still taking place in certain parts of County Meath and North County Dublin despite the ban imposed on the blood sport in 2010 by the FF-Green government.
Declan, his colleague, and three other witnesses saw a stag being harassed by hunters and hounds. The two activists were anxious to film this in order gather evidence that the stag hunt ban is being breached. Declan estimates that there were about eighty hunters and up to forty hounds involved in the hunt.
When riders in full hunting regalia and hunt followers on foot noticed Declan filming, a number of them proceeded to attack the two anti hunt activists.
Declan continued filming up to a few seconds before being knocked to the ground and subjected to repeated punching and kicking. His female colleague was also assaulted and a set of car keys wrenched from her possession, causing a serious injury to one of her fingers in the process. The tyres of their car were also slashed. The camcorder kept recording through the earlier stages of the assault
Declan called Gardai and reported the assault, and he was driven away in an ambulance to receive hospital treatment for his injuries. Gardai at Navan are investigating the incident.
Here is a link to the footage of the clearly identifiable hunters… just seconds before the violent assault took place. Though the final part is sound only, it is quite disturbing and demonstrates the frightening nature of the incident.