At 1.15 p.m. on Sunday 26th August, thousands of supporters of the rural lobby group RISE (Rural Ireland Says Enough!) held a monster protest at the Irish Game and Country Fair at Birr Castle, County Offaly.
Fine Gael, in a pre-general election pact with the National Association of Regional Game Councils (NARGC) gave a firm commitment to repeal John Gormley’s legislation which outlawed the Ward Union Hunt in return for electoral support from all hunting associations but since coming into office the Party has reneged on the deal. In the meantime, other issues which have given rise to further concerns have arisen, such as the administration of firearms licensing and animal welfare legislation.
RISE spokesperson, Des Crofton stated: “These are seen as the hallmark of a general attitude by Government towards rural Ireland, where sceptic tank charges, closure of Garda Stations and cessation of Hospital services are also giving rise to rural anti-government sentiment”.
Philip Donnelly, Chairman of the Hunting Association of Ireland stated that: “RISE is sick of broken promises and is appealing to all Government TD’s to support the reasonable requirements of its large rural support base”.
RISE is supported by:
National Association of Regional Game Councils NARGC
Irish Coursing Club ICC
Irish Masters of Fox Hounds Association IMFHA
Irish Deer Society IDS
Ward Union Hunt Club WUHC
Irish Masters of Mink Hounds Association IMMA
Irish Foot Harriers Association IFHA
Countryside Alliance Ireland CAI
Federation of Irish Salmon and Sea Trout Anglers FISSTA
Irish Masters of Beagles Association IMBA
Irish Game Protection Association IGPA
Wild Deer Association of Ireland WDAI
Irish Masters of Harriers Association IMHA