Minister Escalates campaign against Sports Shooters

Hi All,

As many of you will have heard yesterday, the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice will hear evidence from the stakeholders on Wednesday, January 21st.  They have also requested a visit to Harbour House Range on 12th February and this is now confirmed.

However, the campaign of lies continues!  Please see the clip on the link below from yesterday in the Dail between Niall Collins and the Minister for Justice.  We want to know who is responsible for this campaign of misinformation and downright lies?  What the Minister said is absolutely false and we need to rebut her statements vigorously.  No judge has expressed a difficulty in interpreting the legislation and we need to debunk that assertion.  We challenge the Minister to identify by name the judges whom she asserts have expressed such difficulty and the words they used in doing that.  We strongly assert that no Judge has expressed such difficulty.

In addition, Judges have not refused 1,363 licences.  This is an outrageous falsehood!  The Minister, having made this statement on the floor of the Dail, must substantiate the allegation and we challenge her to do so.  She says the Gardai using PULSE are unable to say how many licenses were appealed to the courts and how many were granted and in the next breath she comes out with this figure! The Gardai know full well the statistics which are available.  For example, the Garda Commissioner was able to confirm by letter to the PAC on 14th September 2014 that 268 firearms licenses were revoked during the period under review.  They can give statistics for firearms stolen and in a form which suits their agenda, but cannot give a breakdown.  This is simply not credible.  They must know for example, how many guns and by which category were reported stolen by license holders.  To get an accurate and correct figure, they must read the notes on PULSE for every firearm recorded as stolen because it is common knowledge that any component part of a firearm which may be lost by a licence holder e.g. a shotgun fore-end, a bolt from a rifle, a sight etc., is recorded on PULSE as a stolen firearm even though the firearm to which the part was attached is not stolen and no theft of any nature is involved.

In view of these escalating developments, I am now announcing that the RISE Campaign has been authorised to activate behind our cause and it will now start coordinating meetings nationally.  Please visit the Sports Coalition website regularly for updates on regional meetings and developments.  We are calling on all clubs and individual members to again visit their public representatives and acquaint them with the above facts.  The Minister has stressed that no decisions have been taken and that we are (incorrectly) anticipating decisions.  But this flies in the face of what has already happened, what is happening with current license applications and I invite all to listen to her own language in the clip on the link.  The proposals “will only affect 6% of all firearms”.  Also “94% will be unaffected”.  Their mindset is clear.

Please keep signing the petitions – we NEED to reach our target of 200,000 before the end of February.

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.


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Des Crofton


  1. In fact I think the minister is “bending the truth” here,but thats not unusaual for Iirsh politicans. In one case in Limerick in 2013. The Judge O Kelly stated ” That this is very” wishy washy” legislation that does not serve either the judicary,the appellents or the defence very well.”
    In May 2014 in another Limerick district appeal[mine personally] Judge Lucey stated “we are where we are with this legislation and the fact that these firearms exist now in Irish society and that we must deal with the legislation good,bad or indifferent as it stands.”
    If Min Fitzgerald is stating that those two judges were confused or are twisting their words she should be pulled on this on the Dail floor.She already has MIISLED THE HOUSE oon Dec 14 2014 in stating in a question that the courts and aGS are unable to provide costings of what this has already cost the state.
    The AGS ows thirty thousand euros already under the new district court rules for six failed district court appeals in Limerick on Oct 10th 2014,and a conservative estimate of 4.5 million euros for the still unpaid high court cases..
    Will someone please pull this woman on these figures in the Dail??

  2. Great news about RISE! Let’s get out on the streets, the last thing this lot needs is another protest group!

    Our club has indeed already received a call from the Garda firearm officer in our area to make arrangements to meet us so that he can inform us of our obligations for WHEN the legislation passes! Our club secretary asked him if he was so sure it would pass, he replied “Yes, there is a big push from the top”

  3. Sean Cassidy

    Why do they appoint senators and T.Ds to sit on committees that don’t bother turning up I noticed you were talking to a lot of empty chairs yesterday. We are trying to get our points across on a very serious issue and they weren’t there to ask the relevant questions and get the correct answers to them, now the people who are supposed to make an informed decision are going another week and maybe the rest of their lives in ignorance of what sports shooters are all about.