Limerick animal rights supporters deflated as Council skips circus vote

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IMG_3000LIMERICK animal rights supporters were left deflated when this week’s first scheduled meeting of the amalgamated city and county council was adjourned before councillors got to vote on a motion to ban animal-act circuses from using publicly-owned lands.

Following a peaceful rally in the city centre last weekend attended by dozens of supporters of Fine Gael councillor Daniel Butler’s motion, expectations were high that the Limerick council would follow in the footsteps of the 11 local authorities around Ireland that have already banned animal act circuses from public property.

Limerick founder of the Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN), John Carmody, and Marion Fitzgibbon of Limerick Animal Welfare, both attended the Council meeting at County Hall this Monday.

However, the meeting, described by one councillor as “farcical”, came to a close after three and a half hours, with only a fraction of the agenda being discussed.

Speaking to the Limerick Post afterwards, John Carmody commented: “Towns and cities all over Ireland have progressed the issue of animals in circuses and yet some Limerick City councillors have made a big song and dance about the issue.”

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“We’ve given them the facts; wildlife specialists have offered to speak at the meetings on the day of the vote; we’ve marched; people have spoken out; Limerick animal welfare groups are in full support and the science is on our side,” he said.

The ARAN founder went on to ponder what it would take to get Limerick in line with this “progressive, national trend”?

“It’s scary to think of the drama that councillors have brought around this very simple issue. God only knows how they deal with bigger concerns. In many ways, we’ve envisaged this would happen in Limerick, but we thank Cllr Butler for wanting to do this and for taking a progressive view on this issue,” he concluded.

Councillor Butler said he was disappointed the motion was adjourned as so many people were waiting anxiously on the decision.

“Animal welfare is an emotive and divisive subject but this motion has united councillors in other councils. I hope it will be the same here and that we see the councillors stand up to be counted and make the right decision,” he added.