Sligo county councillors have voted 8 to 2 against a ban on fox hunting.
The vote followed a passionate discussion between two councillors at yesterday’s January monthly meeting of the council.
At yesterday’s council meeting, Solidarity People Before Profit Councillor Gino O Boyle proposed that the council call for a ban on fox hunting.
He described it as a ‘barbaric tradition.’
But Independent Councillor Michael Clarke described reports of foxes ‘being torn apart’ as ‘fake news.’
He said fox hunting was an all-age, inclusive sport, a tradition, a pastime, and an industry looking after horses and dogs.
He said for the past 40 years the Sligo Hunt has never been involved in killing a fox.
He added that he had foxes on his own land which killed sheep but he said the foxes had not been shot.
He said the next thing is that fishing would be banned.
However, Cllr O Boyle insisted fox hunting is not a sport, adding that the animal is ‘torn to shreds’ by dogs.
Supporting Cllr Clarke, Independent Councillor Joe Queenan complimented the North Mayo Harriers which, he said, operated in his area in which he never saw a foxing having been killed.
He asked where was rural Ireland going?.
‘We are the custodians of the rural wildlife, we did a good job and now we have ‘experts’ coming in and telling us what to do,” he said.
In a vote on Cllr O Boyle’s motion calling for a ban on fox hunting, two councillors voted in favour, Cllr O Boyle himself and Sinn Fein Councillor Chris MacManus.
Eight councillors voted against: They were Cllr Clarke, Cllr Queenan, Fine Gael Councillors Martin Connolly and Tom Fox, and Fianna Fail Councillors Donal Gilroy, Rosaleen O Grady, Paul Taylor and Tom MacSharry.
Following the defeat of his motion, Cllr O Boyle gave his reaction to Ocean FM News:
Cllr Clarke outlined why he is opposed to a ban on fox hunting, insisting it was a sport involving people who care for horses and dogs.