Campaigners against blood sports have been informed by a former well known hare coursing fan who no longer approves of the practise that Mr. McManus’s decision has been known to the Irish Coursing Club, the governing body for the blood sport, and to Limerick-based coursing clubs, for several months, but kept quiet for fear of the embarrassment it would bring to their “sport”. They want to keep this “completely out of the local and national media”, the ex coursing informant assures us.
Animal protection organisations and anti blood sports campaign groups had launched online petitions urging the gambling high flier to stop offering financial support to a blood sport that many other jurisdictions had banned, including Britain and Northern Ireland.
Video footage of the “JP McManus Irish Cup” coursing event that was secretly filmed by the Irish Council Against Blood Sports and posted online sparked international outrage.
The next hare coursing season will be different...it won’t have the high profile backing of its one time super sponsor. The JP McManus Irish Cup is now just a fond memory for hare baiting fans, as it was in the past a nightmare for animal lovers.
Hare coursing will face another challenge: Maureen O’ Sullivan TD (member of Irish parliament) has published a Private Members Bill to outlaw the practise that will be debated shortly and given make-up of the new Dail there is a chance that it could pass if a free vote on the measure is allowed by the parties.
· Here is a link to one of the online petitions (launched by the Irish Association of Hunt Saboteurs) appealing to Mr. McManus and other financial backers of the blood sport to quit sponsoring hare coursing:
· And here is some of the footage of the Irish Cup hare coursing event…a former major fixture on the coursing calendar that will never again benefit from Mr. McManus’s “philanthropy”: