Letters to the Editor: ‘Deluded’ councillors not representing majority views

January 23rd, 2023 8:00 AM

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EDITOR – A total of 36 Cork county councillors have deluded themselves into believing that hare coursing is ‘no longer cruel’ when they shamefully voted to reject a Green Party motion, calling on the government to ban hare coursing.

In defending the bloodsport, Cllr Eileen Lynch, herself an avowed courser, stated that according to a study carried out by Queens University, there were 18 times more hares where there was coursing. 

However, that study is severely compromised, as just one coursing club was surveyed, East Donegal, and the hare count was carried out by the coursers themselves! 

Not only that, but the coursers are finding it difficult to get enough hares for their barbaric cruelty. 

They snatched 5,443 hares from the wild in 2011/12, while 10 years later in 2021/22, the number caught was 3,690 – a drop of 36% (source: National Parks & Wildlife Service). Every single hare snatched from the wild to be used as live bait for greyhounds suffers extreme terror and stress, and hares continue to be injured and killed at coursing meetings. For example, at a coursing meeting in Loughrea in October 2021, three hares were mauled to death (source: National Parks & Wildlife Service).

And as for hare coursing being ‘well regulated’, all the regulations in the world and the presence of vets and NPWS officers standing by won’t alleviate the terror and suffering endured by defenceless hares running for their lives. 

There is certainly no urban/rural divide when it comes to hare coursing, and this so-called attack on rural Ireland is a total myth. In fact, a 2019 REDC poll revealed that 77% of Irish citizens want the government to ban hare coursing (78% of rural dwellers and 76% of urban dwellers). 

Those councillors are clearly not representing the views of the vast majority of their constituents.

The government is again being urged to respect the wishes of the majority and finally consign coursing to history.

Aideen Yourell,

Irish Council Against Blood Sports,


Co Westmeath.

Tears of joy for Bantry mental health news

EDITOR – I broke down in tears of joy when I read that Bantry’s mental health beds would not be reduced as suggested and that instead more money would be invested into the services. 

I cannot tell you how absolutely outstanding the staff on the ward are. They have turned my life around and regarding one particular nurse – who is probably known all over West Cork – I owe him and his smile my life for everything he has done for me over the years. He taught me that as a man, it was ok to admit that I wasn’t feeling 100% and I’ll never forget him for that. Regarding all of our West Cork politicians, please keep our services safe the same way as the staff made me feel safe. Yours, in true happiness.

Samuel O’Connell, 



Don’t shelter Holocaust deniers

EDITOR – I write to congratulate you on the two magisterial pieces in last week’s Southern Star – ‘All it takes for evil to prosper’ and ‘Never turn a blind eye to hatred’. There’s no doubt the case referred to raises issues far beyond trespass.

In my view, holocaust deniers should not only not be sheltered from ‘abusive or offensive behaviour’, but they should also be regularly subjected to it, so that none of us can ever forget – or worse, deny – the reality of the murder of millions of Jewish people, Roma, LGBT and other persecuted minorities by Germany during World War II. 

By drawing attention to this issue as you have, once more The Southern Star is shown to be the least provincial ‘provincial’ newspaper one could hope for – and that is intended as a compliment.

Peter Martin,

The Red House,


Not the ultimate price to pay

EDITOR – Damien English has resigned as a junior minister after a journalist highlighted the fact that he had provided incorrect information when submitting a planning application to Meath County Council 14 years ago.

The Taoiseach and party leader stated Damien ‘paid the ultimate price’. I do not agree. The ultimate price, in my opinion, would be either his resignation as a TD, or his expulsion from the Fine Gael party and a court order directing Damien English demolish the house. Now, that would constitute the ultimate price.

A party colleague on national TV stated Damien should be ‘commended’ for resigning. One must ask, where is the code of conduct?

In addition, one must also ask what role did civil servants play in processing the planning application and would they not have a duty and responsibility to verify the information provided. Of course we, the voting public, continue to re-elect the same politicians over and over.

Michael A Moriarty,




Rugby needs a national anthem

EDITOR – You  won’t see me watching Irish rugby. The reason is: they have no backbone. They have no national anthem. No anthem, in my opinion, dishonours the real people of Ireland, past and present. Yes, some people are still of a subservient nature in Ireland, and as such do not justify any support. The followers in Ireland are not manly. These comments apply equally to male and female players and followers/supporters. 

Michael O’Brien,


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