Justice Committee Meeting, 21st January 2015

The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality.

The Sports Coalition, represented by Des Crofton, together with other shooting representatives, Nick Flood, Kaz Balinsky, Damian Hannigan, Declan Keogh, Mick Tope, Mark Dennehy, Philip Slattery, Jeff McCann, Brian Conroy and Kealan Symes, appeared before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on 21st January to give evidence to the Committee in relation to the Report and Recommendations of the Joint Working Group on Firearms licensing.

The representatives diligently and clearly set out the true position in relation to sports shooting in all its forms.  They clarified and corrected all of the misleading and false information laid before the Committee by the Joint Working Group on 17th December.  Des Crofton told the Committee that the statistical data quoted by the Gardai and Department of Justice to justify and support the Report and Recommendations is false, selective, self-serving and biased. He explained in great detail how that is so. The Committee put many questions to the shooting representatives, all of which were answered in full and with great clarity.

It was clear that the Committee members learned much from our presentations and it is noteworthy that not only had the Gardai failed to provide answers to statistical data enquiries made in the Dail which are relevant to the arguments for and against the current proposals, but even the Committee Chairman volunteered that he too had sought this information through Dail questions and hadn’t received it. To view the debate and questions and answers click on the links below:

Justice Committee 21st January 2015 – Session 1



Justice Committee 21st January 2015 – Session 2



It is clear that we very successfully countered much of what the Joint Working Group had previously told the Committee. There is little doubt that we managed to change the course of the game in that the risk data will have to be produced for the recommendations to succeed. We are not at all concerned about this and in fact we look forward to having an opportunity of doing a proper analysis.

In the meantime, our campaign continues and we continue to urge every shooting enthusiast and supporter to sign the petition online:

Petition to the Minister for Justice:

We, the undersigned being 18 years and over, support the Sports Coalition in its opposition to the proposals contained in the Report of the Working Group on Review of Firearms Licencing dated November 2014 and call on the Minister for Justice and Equality to set the report aside and enter into meaningful consultation with the representatives of the Sports Coalition.


Ask friends and family to support us!


Or Download Petition forms, available here and submit the signatures to the NARGC Office at Ferbane Business and Technology Park, Ballycumber Road, Ferbane, Co Offaly.

We appeal to everyone to keep up the pressure, maintain contact with your public representatives and tell them that these proposals have no credibility and must be dropped.


Best regards,

Des Crofton

1 Comment

  1. Stayed up all night watching both meetings. Thank you