Sir, - I note from the letters column of December 10th that the Irish Council against Blood sports is providing readers with a less-then accurate account of its real policy position on countrysports. Not for the first time has an ICABS spokesperson failed to draw readers' attention to certain aspects of the council's agenda.
Readers should be aware that this so-called animal welfare group seeks the abolition of all countrysports, including fishing and game shooting. This is an aspect of their agenda which they have attempted to conceal from the public.
However misguided this group's cause, it is of course perfectly entitled to seek public support for its position. Equally, however, the public has a right to be informed of all aspects of its policy, as opposed to those which suit ICABS' short-term agenda. To date, ICABS has failed miserably to honour this duty to the public. I challenge ICABS to inform your readers of its true policy objectives in all future public statements.
The public should also be aware that ICABS is very much a minority group. On its own admission, its national legal membership is a mere 18. This is in sharp contrast to previous claims of a membership of 6,000!! Is it not ironic that a group of 16 people would seek to deny 300,000 members of Ireland's countrysports community from exercising their right to hunt, shoot and fish?
For its part, the National Association of Regional Game Councils will continue vigorously to defend the right of countrysports participants to engage in their chosen and lawful activities. The association will continue to highlight the fundamentalist agenda of the minority animal-welfare lobby. The association is confident that countrysports will remain an integral part of the Irish rural way of life, long after the minority countrysports lobby is but a dim and distant memory. - Yours, etc.
National public relations officer, NARGC, 6 Sandford Road, Ranelagh, Dublin 6.