We wish to thank our members and supporters for what can only be described as an avalanche of messages of support over the past week. We are overwhelmed by the response. Some of the messages have understandably expressed great anger with the government, the Department and Minister for Justice and the Gardai variously – but mostly with the Gardai. Your messages are clear – fight the current proposals to the bitter end and hold those who are responsible for the licensing debacle to account. One cannot but be struck with the great sense of unity and determination among the vast majority of shooting associations and their members (with some unfortunate exceptions who have not supported us).


Inevitably, a very tiny number of people (4) have queried, and even taken issue with, the origin and content of the suggested comments circulated to members of shooting clubs. We wish to make clear that while obviously, some people will have a different perspective on this issue and we respect that, we must point out that the suggested comments which we have circulated are no more than a collection of what have been repeatedly made to the various shooting associations over the past number of months by members of the shooting public. We have simply collated the most repeated ones (not all of them) and we suggest that they be made more appropriately to the legislators following the forthcoming Prime Time programme.  Among literally hundreds of comments received, not even one comment disagreed with our approach.  As we have now received four comments in response to recent circulations from the Sports Coalition, of which one was from a member of An Garda Siochana, we feel it is appropriate to clarify that the suggested comments are in fact the most common ones submitted by you – the shooting public. We also wish to make clear that it is An Garda Siochana who have escalated this issue unnecessarily and who continue to do so.  The inflammatory and misleading press release issued two days ago by AGS about firearms being stolen accompanied by a photograph of a collection of guns, none of which are licenceable in this state is a particular case in point.  But the implied message was that they were stolen from licence holders! So misleading was the press release that yesterday the Minister was forced to qualify the statistics on the floor of the Dail where she confirmed that a very significant number of the guns involved were taken from a variety of other sources – firearms dealers; Gardai/Army, vets, and that the firearms listed included blank firing guns, de-activated; antique etc.


And lest we be accused of demonising the Gardai, the spokespersons of the various associations which comprise the Sports Coalition are all on the public record on many occasions acknowledging that the ordinary members of the Gardai are not the problem and we continue to acknowledge that.  They are as frustrated and as annoyed as we are. The problems have been exclusively created and escalated by the senior Garda management at Garda HQ.

Des Crofton

National Director – NARGC
Spokesperson for the Sports Coalition


27th February 2015



  1. Peter Byrne

    Thank you des for you’re hard work on behalf of the shooting community without people like yourself to talk for us we are doomed

  2. hi guns should not be taking from the hunting man they should have more interest in the drug dealer