Limerick Greys Candlelit Vigil Cork 2013

The bodies of seven greyhounds, who were shot and left to decompose, were discovered in a Limerick quarry in April 2012. To mark the anniversary of this tragedy, vigils were held in Limerick, Cork and Dublin, organised by various groups, including Compassion for Irish Greyhounds and Limerick Animal Welfare (LAW). SOS Levrieri, who home many LAW greyhounds in Italy, also held vigils in Milan and Pisa.

We attended the Cork vigil – and I have to say it was a thoroughly miserable night – the wind so strong our candles wouldn’t stay lit! I arrived to find the vigil group standing at a distance from the main entrance – they knew from the previous year’s vigil that they weren’t allowed to stand directly in front of the doors. Keep in mind this was a commemorative vigil to highlight the illegal killing and dumping of racing industry greyhounds and to mourn their passing – not a protest.

I have to say this bamboozled me – surely the racing people would want to support the commemoration of the deaths of racing greys in this manner – they couldn’t possibly condone this kind of treatment of animals in their industry. Could they? I mean, apart from anything else, it’s illegal!

But not long after my arrival (and much fussing by all of us, trying to get the blasted candles to stay lit) a very non-confrontational (female) security guard turned up to move us further away (distance from stadium highlighted in pic). Outside the stadium grounds in fact. Weird. It really seemed like they were condoning the shooting and dumping of greyhounds involved in the industry. Why else would they object to our vigil? So I went back up to the stadium to take some photos and ask some questions. I spoke to about four security guards in all. And wasn’t allowed to speak to the owners. All but the pleasant lady who moved us on initially, couldn’t seem to look me in the eye – my left ear, and the view behind me, was apparently fascinating. And no smiling. Deary me, miserable bunch!

Before I could even open my mouth I got the “You can’t stand there. You have to move outside.” And when I did get a word out to query their stance on the killings they said “It’s nothing to do with us.” … ??? But it’s everything to do with the greyhound industry. Cork stadium no doubt has grey owners who kill and dump their animals when they’re of no more use to them. Surely Cork Stadium representatives would want to take the opportunity to condemn this practice? It would appear not.

“But,” says I, “you sound like you’re condoning the practice of shooting and dumping racing greys.”

“It’s nothing to do with us,” repeated.

Finally, when I clarified the situation for them a bit more, they did say that they didn’t condone the behaviour. But when I pointed out that moving us on would appear to signal the opposite, they repeated the ‘Nothing To Do With Us’ and ‘You Can’t Stay Here’ refrains. *sigh* I didn’t push it. But it struck me that they couldn’t care less and just wanted to sweep everything under the carpet. Jest saying.

Which is not only sad, but also disturbing on a number of levels. There is a huge correlation between those who instigate animal neglect and cruelty, and those who instigate child abuse and domestic violence (see this article for example). Condoning one also implies condoning the other. And I find the whole sweepingeverythingunderthecarpet attitude around all these issues hugely scarey.

I don’t have the words tonight to expand on the issues raised here. Instead I give you some of my favourite quotes from Mr King, illustrating more eloquently than I ever could:

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.

Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Anyway, back to the vigil – despite our distance from the stadium, Bronwyn managed to hand out loads of leaflets to arriving cars through sheer persistence (hat of to ye!). And it never ceases to amaze me the number of people who have no idea about the animal welfare issues involved in racing and animal industries generally (see more info here). At least a few consciousnesses were raised as a result of the vigil. What more could we ask? (Apart from some sort of support from the stadium management, but no chance of that!)

So we set off home. Remembering all the non-human animals who’ve suffered at the hands of their human counterparts. And hoping we’ve initiated change, at least in some small way.

Finally, I understand the perpetrators of the killing and dumping of the Limerick greays are awaiting trial in the near future. Keep an eye on the Irish greyhound rescue pages (see related links below) for updates.

What You Can Do

Related Links

Vigil Gallery

Posted in Activism & Protest, Animal Welfare Issues, Breeds & Breeding.

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