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category galway | animal rights | press release author Sunday March 04, 2007 17:25author by Bernie Wright - Association of Hunt Saboteursauthor email berniew at esatclear dot ieauthor address po Box 4734. Dublin.1 Report this post to the editors

Badger Setts interferred with by Galway Blazers Fox Hunters

Galway Blazers Foxhunters have returned to hunt on the Bishop of Clonfertís farm in Loughrea, Co Galway, they spent two hours there on Saturday last.. Members of the Galway Blazers hunt were spotted on the church land again by an observer who rang the hunt saboteurs. Apparently badger setts were also disturbed according to the observer.We are investigating this and are urging our members ring or write to the bishop. We have photos of the hunters on the land.

We do not know whether the hunt had permission from the bishop to be on the land .We appeal to the Bishops compassionate nature(if he has one) to take steps to protect wildlife on the Catholic Church lands. We will also be contacting the Wildlife Officers regarding the protection of Badgers.

'Press Officer Bernie Wright ' we are disgusted at the apathy and lack of compassion towards sentient creatures displayed by the Catholic Church, its obvious the blazers were not denied access after a similar incident a few years back.'


Most Rev John Kirby DD, Bishop of Clonfert
Born 1938; ordained priest 23 June 1963;
ordained Bishop of Clonfert 9 April 1988
Residence: St Brendan's, Coorheen, Loughrea, Co. Galway
Tel: (091) 841560 Fax: (091) 841818
Email: clonfert@iol.ie and info@catholiccommunications.ie
Website: http://homepage.eircom.net/~clonfert

Bishop John Kirby

Please write to Bishop John Kirby at St Brendanís, Coorheen, Loughrea, Co Galway. If you have written already, please write again. Alternatively you can telephone him on 091-841560. or email details Residence: St Brendan's, Coorheen, Loughrea, Co. Galway
Tel: (091) 841560 Fax: (091) 841818
Email: clonfert@iol.ie and info@catholiccommunications.ie
Website: http://homepage.eircom.net/~clonfert

HISTORY to Date.


Bishop caught in hunting controversy (Ireland on Sunday.) Dara Defaoite 24/9/00. The Bishop of Clonfert, Rev John Kirby, is to review the use of his land by the Galway Blazers Foxhunt during its annual foxhunting season after wildlife on his Loughrea estate was maliciously interfered with. Bishop Kirby was alerted to a deliberately blocked badger sett, where up to 20 badgers once lived, by Duchas, the wildlife and heritage service, after a complaint was lodged by a local man and former hunter.

"I wasn't aware that there were any badger setts on my land and, until this controversy arose, I had no way of knowing about it one way or the other," said the bishop. "I am concerned and will have to take a look now at how the land is being used by the hunt and local farming interests," he said. The blocked badger sett, where 11 of the 12 entrances were deliberately closed, was brought to the attention of Duchas by former hunt member and retired farmer, Tom Hardiman.

Hardiman pointed out that it was tactic within the hunting fraternity to practise "earth-stopping" so that the hunted animal wasn't allowed the opportunity to go to ground. Bishop Kirby stated that he didn't suspect it had anything to do with hunting on the land "but may in fact be farmers who see badgers as a threat to livestock, with the risk of tuberculosis."

"Predecessors of mine never had a problem with the Blazers, but now a case has been made and I'll just have to look at it," said Dr. Kirby.

"When I initially gave permission 12 years ago, I specified that there was to be no digging out of any fox once it went to ground and that dens or setts were not to be closed," he said. A spokesman for the Galway Hunt which used to hunt the land for 40 years told Ireland on Sunday, "There was no way we interfered with any badger sett and we are looking forward to meeting the Bishop regarding the issue."

Hardiman has launched a public campaign against his former hunt, stating that he was "so appalled by the cruelty meted out to the fox over the years, that he had to speak out."

He told Ireland on Sunday that he was infuriated after the Department of Agriculture referred a complaint he made against the Galway Blazers to the Hunting Association of Ireland (HAI) for investigation. "This association is an umbrella group for the hunting fraternity, so the Government has effectively allowed these people to investigate themselves," said Hardiman.

The HAI replied to Hardiman's complaint last month, stating: Allegations in your letter could not be substantiated and it has Been recommended that no action be taken against the Galway Blazers Hunt." Bishop Kirby commented: "It appears somebody has closed a number of the badger setts on the land and I will now be looking into the matter further. The land is let to a tillage farmer. I'm not a rural person and I don't know whether they are opened yet, but I will be leaving it in the hands of Duchas and the authorities," he

Related Link: http://www.huntsabsireland.org
author by Catladypublication date Sun Mar 04, 2007 19:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It will be interesting to see what the bishop has to say on this one... and to find out if he gave permission on this occassion, or if the hunters, with their habitual lack of respect, just decided to use his land anyway....

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