Sports Coalition calls for more integrated management of Ireland’s wild deer resource

With growing deer populations in many areas of the country and a growing interest in deer stalking the Sports Coalition believes the time has come for the development of a national management plan to enable the better management of Wild Deer on the Island of Ireland. All relevant statutory agencies, farming representatives and Deer Stalkers should work together to seek to balance the conservation of an important protected species with the need to protect habitats and reduce agricultural damage.

 

Key components of any management plan should include:

  1. Recognition of the important role that recreational stalkers play in humanely managing wild deer populations. The Sports Coalition believes that recreational stalker’s skills and knowledge are currently under-utilised and that a conversation should now take place around the greater involvement of recreational stalkers in the management of wild deer. The Sports Coalition believes that large scale professional culling, paid for by tax payer’s money must always be a last resort.
  2. Whilst a more integrated approach to the management of our wild deer population is developed we believe the Minister for Agriculture should allocate a fund to compensate farmers and landowners for damage created by wild deer. This fund will allow the important consultation process with all parties to take place without the background of financial loss to farmers and landowners.

 

Sports Coalition Chairman Paul Walsh commented, “In recent times there has been a number of articles in the press in relation to wild deer in Ireland. We have read about diseases and damage caused by deer. We have read about the damage done to landowners, crops and livestock resulting in financial losses for farmers and landowners. We have seen advertisements for large scale professional culls in some areas. We have heard almost daily allegations of illegal hunting of deer. What we have not heard are any substantive or coherent proposals to address any of these issues.

 

We now call upon the Minister for Agriculture, to immediately set aside an emergency fund, to compensate farmers and landowners for damage caused by Wild Deer. This fund will allow all stakeholders to come to the table for talks concentrating on the welfare of Irish Deer and farmers alike.

Sports Coalition delivers Submission to Justice Department 23/3/2018

Paul Walsh, Chairman,  delivers the Sports Coalition proposals on the future direction of the Firearms Consultative panel to the Department of Justice on Friday, 23/3/2018.

 

 

 

Press Release – SPORTS COALITION BOYCOTTS FIREARMS CONSULTATIVE PANEL – 20/2/18

Chairman: Paul Walsh, Fia Rua, Ballinclare, Ballycanew, Gorey, Co Wexford

Tele: 086-828 2700                   Email: paul.a.walshpc@gmail.com

 

 

SPORTS COALITION BOYCOTTS FIREARMS CONSULTATIVE PANEL

 

The Sports Coalition, an organisation representing the interests of varied groups of countrysports people, has served notice of its boycotting meetings of the Firearms Consultative Panel (FCP) and the Department of Justice because the Minister and his Department continue to sit around the table with people who are representing the interests of those who are the subject of a Garda investigation in relation to illegal use of firearms. This has arisen as a result of one NGO member’s unlawful use of the Garda logo, which is a criminal offence under the Garda Siochana Act and its acknowledged indemnity protection of illegal use of firearms while failing to report such incidents to the appropriate authorities. The Chairman of the Sports Coalition, Paul Walsh, said that it beggars belief that the Minister is prepared to encourage input in relation to the administration of firearms licensing policy from an organisation which has been caught condoning and covering up the illegal use of guns. Mr Walsh said, “This is crying out for the Minister to demonstrate the kind of moral leadership which citizens are entitled to expect. The people concerned should be excluded from any official meetings while criminal investigations are ongoing. The illegal acts identified are ones which would debar a person from owning a gun due to public safety concerns.” He said that the failure to report and the failure of the Minister to respond appropriately gives comfort to firearms offenders.

 

 

ENDS

20/2/2018

 

 

For further information contact:

Paul Walsh

Email:    paul.a.walshpc@gmail.com

Mobile:             086 828 2700

 

 

 

 

Press Release – Centre Fire Sporting Handguns

Press Release

 

SPORTS COALITION SCORES IMPORTANT ACHIEVEMENT ON INTERPRETATION OF THE LAW GOVERNING CENTRE FIRE SPORTING HANDGUNS.

 

Following representations and written submissions from the Sports Coalition over a period of time, the Department of Justice has communicated today to the Sports Coalition that it is in receipt of confirmation from the Attorney General that licence holders who hold firearms certificates for centre fire handguns can make substitutions, the same as for any other category of firearm, contrary to the policy adopted by An Garda Siochana since the firearms legislation was amended in 2009.  This follows a detailed analysis of the provisions of the legislation by the Sports Coalition and its legal advisors which resulted in a compelling submission to the Department of Justice based on that analysis.  The Coalition urged the Department to seek the advice of the Attorney General which has now produced this very satisfactory result for all centre fire handgun owners.  Appeals by some organisations and individuals previously, including the NASRPC, to the Gardai were met with a blanket refusal.  The current outcome should underline for all the benefit of working through the Sports Coalition, an organisation which has the expertise, strategic vision and an excellent record of achievement in delivering on firearms licensing issues for all sports shooters.  It was achieved by systematic steps undertaken solely by the Sports Coalition on behalf of not only its own members, but to the benefit of members of other organisations also.

 

The Chairman of the Sports Coalition, Paul Walsh, in expressing his satisfaction in being able to resolve what had become a festering problem, noted the effectiveness of dealing with conflicts through the Sports Coalition and the medium of the Firearms Consultative Panel on the basis of cooperation rather than through the courts has had been the norm in years gone by.  He further noted that this positive outcome will have a knock-on benefit for the gun trade.

 

ENDS

22/12/2017

 

 

The Sports Coalition is an umbrella organisation whose member associations represent 120,000 sports people on the entire island of Ireland who are involved in countrysports, including sport fishing. 

It is a political lobby group registered with the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO).

 

For further information contact:

Paul Walsh Chairman Sports Coalition (086-8282700)

Or

Des Crofton Spokesperson (087-4634137)

European Parliament votes on firearms directive – 15/3/17

Safe and fair gun law

European Parliament votes on firearms directive

Yesterday, the European Parliament has approved the revision of the EU directive on the Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons. Karl-Heinz Florenz, President of the parliamentary Intergroup Biodiversity, Hunting, Countryside explains: “The main goal we wanted to achieve during the negotiations between the Commission, the Parliament and the Council was to ensure safe and fair provisions on firearms that would not adversely affect hunters and sport shooters. The Parliament was able to change some excessive demands of the initial Commission proposal such as standardised obligatory medical tests, while still closing some dangerous loopholes in the existing legislation. Therefore I highly welcome the outcome of yesterday’s final vote on this matter.”

In detail:

  • Semi-automatic firearms remain in category B unless the magazine capacity exceeds 20 rounds for short firearms or 10 rounds for long firearms. Firearms with magazines exceeding these limits now fall into category A7 and are no longer allowed. However sport shooters, collectors, re-enactors and other groups can receive an authorisation to purchase category A weapons if they can demonstrate a legitimate need for such equipment (e.g. practicing for or participating in shooting competitions).
  • Automatic firearms that have been converted into semi-automatic firearms (category A6) are no longer allowed. The conditions for category A authorisations apply.
  • In the future, the purchase of high capacity magazines will only be possible with a category A authorisation. However the possession of high capacity magazines is not prohibited as long as they are not inserted into a firearm.
  • The technical requirements for the deactivation of firearms will be standardised in the EU. Deactivated firearms will be categorised in category C (Firearms subject to declaration).
  • Salute and acoustic firearms will remain in their original category if they have been converted from any working firearm into blank firing.
  • The trade with firearms via distance contracts remains possible for private persons, as long as the identity of the buyer and his authorization to purchase is verified beyond doubt.
  • The EU Member States will be given 15 months for the transposition of this directive into national law. The new legislation will not come into force retroactively. Legitimate owners of firearms of any category will not be dispossessed or criminalised for any purchase made before the entry into force of this directive. Legitimate owners will continue to be able to legally own and use their firearms, including the sale to other people with a corresponding authorisation.

Overview of firearms categories

  • Category A – Prohibited firearms
  • Category B – Firearms subject to authorisation
  • Category C – Firearms subject to declaration
  • Category D – Other firearms

Press Release – 22/2/2017 – UPDATED 24/2/2017

UPDATE:
Further to the release posted to the Sports Coalition website regarding an accord between the NARGC and An Garda Siochana at a recent meeting between the two sides, I am relieved to advise all gun owners that following an unsolicited phone call which I received yesterday evening from Inspector Paul Greene of the Firearms Policy Unit at Garda HQ, and who attended the meeting between the two parties, that he emphatically denies that any such accord as has been published by NARGC was reached with An Garda Siochana. Inspector Greene emphasised in our telephone conversation that NARGC members would not be treated differently to any other gun owners.

Paul Walsh
Acting Chairman Sports Coalition