“And then there was Arthur Morgan…”

An RTÉ report notes that a couple of TDs have been disciplined by their parties following yesterday’s vote in the Dáil which resulted in a ban on stag hunting, but not stalking.  And Harry McGee makes a sharp observation at his Irish Times blog

And then there was Arthur Morgan. Like the Labour Party, Sinn Fein has done a complete U-turn on stag hunting. A motion was passed at the 2009 Ard Fheis calling for a ban on all blood sports. Then the hare coursing fraternity within the party got to work and managed to completely reverse the decision at this year’s Ard Fheis.

Sinn Fein’s position now? It now opposes only three or four extreme forms of blood sport – bull fighting; cock fighting and dog fighting – but is no longer opposed in principle to any other form of blood sport. It presumably judges them on a case-by-case basis.

Arthur Morgan has a very strong view on all this. He supports the ban on stag hunting passionately. He was in a bit of a quandary yesterday. He would have voted to support the Bill if there was a free vote or even if it looked like the Government had the numbers to easily psas. But if it was close and the Government looked like falling, he might have been persuaded to vote against, as a protest against all the other Government policies and decisions he opposed.

The solution?  He kicked up a racket yesterday afternoon and got chucked out of the Dáil. It essentially solved the problem at a stroke.

There was no such shenanigans in the Assembly last week, when the Assembly voted to ban hare coursing in Northern Ireland.

Here’s the vote from Hansard

Question put.

The Assembly divided: Ayes 23; Noes 18.


Mr Beggs, Mr Bresland, Mr T Clarke, Mr Easton, Dr Farry, Mr Ford, Mr Frew , Mr Givan , Mr Hamilton, Mr McCallister, Mr McCarthy, Mr I McCrea,  Mr McDevitt, Mr McFarland, Miss McIlveen,  Mr Poots, Mr G Robinson, Mr Ross, Mr Spratt,  Mr Storey, Mr Weir, Mr Wells, Mr B Wilson.

Tellers for the Ayes: Mr Beggs and Mr Wells.


Ms Anderson, Mr Bell, Mr Boylan, Mr D Bradley, Mrs M Bradley, Mr Brady, Mr Butler, Mr G Kelly, Mr Leonard , Mr F McCann, Ms J McCann,  Mr McGlone, Mr McLaughlin, Mr Molloy,  Ms Ní Chuilín, Mr O’Dowd, Mrs O’Neill, Mr Shannon.

Tellers for the Noes: Mr Leonard and Mr Shannon.

Question accordingly agreed to.

New clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.

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  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Some interesting names in Stormont.
    Jim Shannon is big into so called “Country Sports” and hosted a reception in the Long Gallery two weeks ago for enthusiasts. But only got support seemingly from his constituency colleague Bell…..and the rest being SDLP/SF.
    Yet the “yes” lobby was full of DUP types and McDevitt.
    Good to see RSPB man Jim Wells there…predictably.

    Yet before we get carried away on the morality of blood sports…….I would think that the DUP objections would be as much to do with the gambling involved as the actual “immorality” of it in itself.
    As a city boy living in the country and with friends involved in hunting……I am totally against any form of blood sport.
    But in the country, I am in a minority. as well as the sport/fun alleged to be involved in the cruelty to ducks, foxes, rabbits……there is a different “pragmatic” attitude to animals.
    But lets not forget theres a certain amount of hypocrisy in the anti blood sport lobby.
    I daresay some believe ALL animal experimentaion is wrong while many like me believe MOST is wrong. I daresay some opposed to Fox Hunting (an “aristocratic” passtime) would not have the same problem with Angling (I also think that fishing as a sport should be banned but no way would that get thru).
    And of course I am not vegetarian….while many in the anti blood sport lobby are.
    As always hypocrisy and contradiction.

  • It’s not too long ago that Sinn Féin weren’t so squeamish on ‘bloodsports’ – especially when it was their comrades in arms who were ‘at play’.

  • Cynic

    So only 41 bothered to turn up

  • The mans a wimp and a coward which does sound a lot like SF. If he believes ‘passionately’ in something he should bloody well stand up to be counted. I am against blood sports, and this objection extends from luring innocent people to a painful death, to terrorising a defenseless animal. I live in a rural area and would not hesitate to tell any of my neighbours my views, forcefully, if they supported hunting and killing within my hearing.

    Nothing to do with class, everything to do with a recognition and hatred of needless pain, especially when inflicted for pleasure or satisfaction!

  • hoboroad

    Kenny says ‘IRA and army council are no more’
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    FINE GAEL leader Enda Kenny has said he accepts the “IRA and its army council are no more”.

    His comments follow remarks he made 10 days ago in Belfast when he said he would not sit in government with Sinn Féin partly because the IRA army council had not been stood down. The Independent Monitoring Commission reported in 2008 that the IRA army council was “no longer operational or functional”.

    In the Dáil yesterday during a debate on the Saville inquiry report, Mr Kenny said he had had a difficulty with Sinn Féin for many years “on the issue of the army council of the IRA. In my presence, following questions, both the president of Sinn Féin Gerry Adams and the Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness confirmed that from every perspective they could see, the IRA and its army council are no more. I accept the Deputy First Minister’s statement in that regard”.

    Mr Kenny said he would be writing to Mr McGuinness “in due course about several other matters”.

    Four relatives of victims of the Bloody Sunday shootings, guests of Taoiseach Brian Cowen, attended the Saville report debate. They left the public gallery during a speech by Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin in which he said “it is a disgrace that the Irish Government has cut funding for the only victims’ group in this State, Justice for the Forgotten.

    “It is equally disgraceful the Taoiseach has failed to raise with the British prime minister this Dáil’s unanimous call for the British government to furnish to an international judicial figure all files in its possession relating to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings and the other fatal acts of collusion in this jurisdiction. It is almost two years since the Dáil passed that resolution on July 10th, 2008. I call again on the Taoiseach to act.”

    Mr Ó Caoláin said the Taoiseach “could not wait for the ink to dry on the Saville report before inviting the English queen to visit but he made no effort to progress that unanimous Dáil resolution by pressing the issue with the British government. We know from the history of the Bloody Sunday relatives’ campaign how the British system works so assiduously to conceal the information in its possession.

    “Persistence has paid off before and it is required again to vindicate the families who have been campaigning so long and hard under the banner of Justice for the Forgotten.”

    Opening the debate, Mr Cowen said that for the Bloody Sunday families, “the scars and the pain of their unspeakable loss were made worse by the inquiry chaired by Lord Widgery which blackened the names of innocent men.

    The campaign to repudiate the Widgery report’s status as the official version of events lasted 38 years. It ended on June 15th. The families can now say that the world knows their loved ones are innocent, that their killings were unjustified and unjustifiable.”

    In a sometimes emotional speech Mr Cowen read into the Dáil record the names of all 14 men and boys fatally injured on Bloody Sunday. He said “their innocence is forever inscribed on the pages of the history of Ireland. It is fitting that their innocence is today formally placed, once again and for all time on the record of Dáil Éireann.”

    Labour leader Eamon Gilmore said that for the three decades after Bloody Sunday “the only politics in Northern Ireland was the politics of the last atrocity.

    “And the only common experience in an increasingly divided community was the pain and suffering of the bereaved and injured on all sides.”

  • Henry94

    More progress. Well done Enda!

  • Rory Carr

    I wonder where the modern Trots stand on the issue of blood sports. Their guru, Trotsky was an ardent advocate of all things involving the bloody pursuit of game and indeed it was this passion that may have been in part responsible for his downfall when he alienated potential allies because he couldn’t be arsed to turn up for Lenin’s funeral claiming that he was too busily enjoying himself hunting grouse in Siberia.

    He had a habit of such insensitive brusqueness. Willie Gallacher, the Scottish Communist records that when he went as a delegate to the conference in Moscow where Trotsky’s fate within Bolsheivism was to be determined he approached him to hear his side of the debate seeing him looking around as though lost.

    ” Comrade Trotsky,” asked Gallacher, ” are you looking for something?”

    “I am looking for a place to hang my hat and coat and a Bolsheivik,” replied Trotsky, “but I doubt that I shall find either in this place,” thus assuring himself of the loss of yet one more potential ally in Gallacher.

    Those fed up with the revelations of Jordan yet yearning for a tome high in self-regard and short on introspection could do worse than to pick up a copy of Trotsky’s My Life for their summer redaing on the beach.

    But don’t say I didn’t warn you !

  • Rory Carr

    Thaqt should read “reading”, of course. The term “redaing “, I believe, relates to an obscure form of sexual perversion among outcasts from the Lost Tribe of Israel, wherever they may be found.

  • HeinzGuderian

    Having waded through that inane twaddle,I am still at a loss as to your view of shinner hypocrisy ?

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    I was actually commenting on MY OWN hypocrisy and general hypocrisy which surrounds animal welfare issues.