Saccharine reporting masks cruelty of coursing
SIR, A facebook video clip of hares in captivity at a County Offaly coursing compound has attracted more than 96,000 views (at the last count) in recent days and hundreds of vociferous comments expressing outrage at the fact that this gentle inoffensive creature can be netted in our countryside for use as live bait in public festivals of organized animal cruelty.
Sadly, this depiction of hares, awaiting their performance of a lifetime for human amusement, does not represent some long forgotten sinister reminder of Ireland’s Dark Age past. They point to a practice that is fully legal, thanks to cowardly, vote conscious and utterly unscrupulous politicians.
Live hare coursing, outlawed in almost all the jurisdictions that once allowed it, is not only permitted in the Republic of Ireland; it is backed by high profile commercial sponsors, eulogized in the sports pages of national newspapers, and is the subject of detestable so-called colour pieces penned by scribes who call themselves journalists but are in fact nothing less than a sickening and perpetual disgrace to their profession.
No genuine sports journalist would write about a GAA hurling or football match or a soccer game without alluding to fouls, injuries or other egregious anomalies... serious or minor, yet this is exactly how hare coursing is ‘reported’ in our national and provincial media.
These so called reporters attend coursing events where they witness captive wild animals being terrorized, mauled, struck at high speed by dogs, or having their bones crushed. Then they file saccharine censorious accounts that make no reference to any of this. How does the NUJ stand over such a perversion of true journalism? Why is it tolerated by the profession generally? It is an affront to journalistic integrity that cries out for rectification.
And when people like me draw attention to this excuse for sports journalism our protests are also censored, in deference to those who promote and defend this despicable form of cruelty to defenseless wild animals.
Lower Coyne Street,