Greens, Stag Hunt and Labour – The Real Story

The real story behind the new Animal Rights Bill is the cynical manipulation of animal rights activists to keep this Government in power.

In the run-up to the revised Programme for Govt convention, Gormley et al realised that the party membership still consisted of a core but significant group of animal rights activists. These activists were very carefully nurtured to the extent that even Gormley himself was frantically phoning them ahead of the Green Special Convention on  the revised PfG and NAMA.

As the convention got underway, as per usual, there were various proposals regarding Procedures and Standing Orders. Party chairman Dan Boyle outmanoeuvred the anti-NAMA wing and the animal rights votes swung the day on the revised Programme in return for a ban on stag hunting.

The subsequent vote on NAMA fell as it failed to receive the necessary two-third support. The Green leadership had delivered an animal rights vote in support of the revised Programme and defeated its own anti-NAMA faction in effect keeping them in Government and supporting NAMA in return for a ban on stag hunts.

The payback for supporting NAMA and keeping the Government in power was FF backbench support for a ban on the hunt.   Having a go off the stag hunt was seen as easy pickings – a select bunch of ‘tally-ho’s’ with narrow political clout. No tears would be shed by either coalition partner in plotting their downfall. Well, not until the Ward Union Hunt crowd quickly realised its predicament and proceeded to greatly widen its constituency into  a national campaign under the banner of RISE – Rural Ireland Says Enough.

This all makes the attack on the Labour Party on a point of principle risible given what many perceive as the manipulation of animal rights activists (note: fair play to them for using their votes to prise change) to remain in power.

This is trophy legislation.   Its headline lgrabbing and in football parlance,  ‘ballwatching’ while the real game goes on. It is definitely not ‘real deal’ wide-ranging animal rights legislation.

If the Green leadership were really serious about tackling bloodsports they could have negotiated a more comprehensive package, particularly with regard to the more wide-ranging pursuit of coursing.

Nota Bene: I am not an animal rights activist but I am in favour of a ban on stag hunting, puppy farms, fur farming and coursing.

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2 Responses to “Greens, Stag Hunt and Labour – The Real Story”


  1. 1 Cllr Pat Kavanagh, Independent Green July 5, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    I can’t argue with anything you’ve said here Steve, except that as a piece of legislation in its own right which protects at least one animal, I welcome it. I hope it is just one of many more pieces of legislation which will sooner, rather than later, abolish all bloodsports in the Country.

    I might add that I am VERY disappointed with Labour making this issue a political football. There are many, many areas where Labour can vote down the Govt, but if they were serious about stag hunting, they should have supported this one.


  1. 1 Irish Green Party and its future. Do they have one? - Page 8 Trackback on February 25, 2014 at 4:17 pm

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