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The Hunting Association of Ireland

The HAI is the national body, which coordinates and promotes hunting with hounds. It comprises six constituent and autonomous bodies, which represent and control the six hunting disciplines active in Ireland.

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IMFHA Seminar

Irish Masters of Foxhounds Association
The foxhound association seminar held recently in the Keadeen Hotel Newbridge organized by chairman Rupert Macauley and hard working secretary Sonia Purcell . The event attracted a large attendance drawn from every corner of the country . There were over hundred forty packs resented from as far a field as the East Down to the Muskerry in west Cork.
Proceeding were opened by IMFHA Chairman Rupert Macauley master of the East Wicklow who welcomed all and introduced the first speaker Damian McDonald Chief Executive, Horse Sport Ireland who was deputizing for Prof. Pat Wall who was absent due to family bereavement.
Damian spoke about the success of the Irish Horse which contributes €708 Million annually to the Irish economy with twenty nine thousand people fully employed in the industry. In the non-thoroughbred sector hunting makes up by far the largest portion but the horses involved are largely un-recorded. With over eighty packs holding 2600 meets throughout the country every year. HIS are actively looking to produce a register of hunters whose breeding would be recorded and help develop a premium market for the Irish Hunter both in the UK and America. HSI has 25 affiliate organizations including the HAI with David Lalor (Laois) being the hunting delegate. The growth of foreign blood lines remains a worrying trait in competition horses with 73% of horses having some foreign element in their pedigree
The Irish Horse Register grows in stature year by year with more and more horses being registered . However the number of horses of un-recorded breeding who are only eligible for a white book remains a huge problem.

Guest Speaker was Tin Easby who runs the Hunting Office in the UK. This was set up by all hunt organizations in the UK to counter the challenge posed by organized hunt groups such as The League against Cruel Sports who wage a relentless war on hunting. They have moved on from the old “Sabs” who would appear at meets and attempt, often violently, to disrupt hunting on the day. The antis now employ professional under-cover investigators, usually ex policemen who will stakeout a rural area and attempt with long range cameras to sustain a prosecution for illegal hunting. While the number of successful prosecutions remains very small usually in low single figures per season, it remains a constant threat under which UK hunting must continue with no immediate prospect of relaxation or repeal.
This has resulted in hunts no longer publishing hunt cards in an effort to counter the actions of these very well funded animal rights activists. It make one appreciate the freedom we enjoy and the importance of guarding it into the future

This led us into our final speaker Gavin Duffy who was at his flamboyant best speaking on media relations which is his forte being Ireland’s leading public relations consultant. In a wide ranging and entertaining address he spoke of role of Hunt PRO’s and how to deal with incidents which may occur in the course of a days hunting and result in unwelcome interest from the media. He emphasised the importance of facing up to issues, dealing on a one to one basis with reporters who are more interested in filling column inches than issue involved.
He went on to speak of the success of the RISE campaign culminating with the mass rally of field sport enthusiasts in Waterford which dwarfed the tiny numbers attending the Green Party conference in a city hotel. He felt the success of the rally sent a message to the world of politics that it doesn’t pay to interfere with country pursuits

The evening finished with refreshments with autumn hunting being discussed eager anticipation of the season to come

I am sure you will join me in congratulating our friends in the field sports community who appeared on RTE 1 tonight as part of “Hector Goes Hunting”.
Chris Ryan, Rupert Macauley and Paul Kerr did us proud, well done to all involved! What could have been a tricky assignment was turned to our advantage and the best side of hunting and shooting in Ireland was shown.
Next stop Hollywood…

Philip Donnelly
Chairman HAI

For those who missed the program you can catch up by visiting


Best couple of entered bitches
Ballymacad - Bounty and Bobbin 08
Photo by

Best couple of entered bitches Ballymacad - Bounty and Bobbin 08 Photo by

Stradbally Hound Show 2014

National HAI Harrier Show Championships

At IMFHA Show at Strandbally, Co Laois on Sunday 6th July 2014.

National IMHA Harrier Show Championships

At IMFHA Show at Strandbally, Co Laois on Sunday 6th July 2014.

Over 1,500 Euro in prizes & Trophies
Plus:- the Geary Perpetual Cup to the “All Ireland Harrier Champion” the IMHA Perpetual Cup to the “National HAI Hound Champion”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ RESULTS
For foxhound results

... read more

Hunt Directory

We are currently up-dating details on the directory section of the web-site
Hunt secretaries who wish to have their listing of personelle etc for the coming season up-dated should forward detais to or click on the contact button

HAI Elect new Chairman

HAI is pleased to announce the election at a recent meeting in Durrow of John Flannery MH as chairman of HAI for the 2014/2015 season. He takes over from Philip Donnelly of the IMBAA (Irish Masters of Beagles Association)
John is chairman of the IFHA (Irish Foot Harriers Association)
Having hunted all his life he is Joint Master of the Nenagh Harriers in Co Tipperary.
I�m sure all hunting people will join with me in wishing well

HAI Chairman Philip Donnelly with Lyle Plant of Copuntryside Alliance Ireland

HAI Chairman Philip Donnelly with Lyle Plant of Copuntryside Alliance Ireland

HAI Chairman's Message

“Season’s greetings to hunting folk everywhere. As another year draws to a close we look forward to Christmas and time spent with family and friends relaxing at home in front of a blazing fire and maybe a glass or two of port. We reflect on a season half way gone and anticipate the New Year with a sense that the page is turning again. Perhaps most of all we keep our fingers crossed for a lightly frosted morning on St Stephen’s Day, when we will gather with our local hunt to celebrate traditions that go back though the centuries. The HAI has been tireless in meeting the challenges posed to these very traditions in our defence of hunting with hounds during 2012 and I am in no doubt we will have more hard work ahead in the years to come. After all, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Now more than ever in these tough times of economic hardship we understand the value of our field sports in giving us stability through that which is familiar and much loved – the cry of hounds echoing down a hillside and the blast of the hunter’s horn – when the wider world seems to be in a state of constant and unwelcome change. We can console ourselves that whatever the pinstriped pirates of Wall Street or the technocrats of the Bundesbank have in store for us in 2013, in the green valleys of Cork and the glens of Antrim, from the stone walls of Galway to the pastures of Meath; we who hunt with hounds will have our boots, hunting crops, hip flasks and the feel of a brisk easterly on our faces as we watch the hounds making the first draw of the morning. May the blessings of St Hubert be on you in the year to come and remember – close that gate!”
Philp Donnelly

Horse Sport Ireland

Horse Sport Ireland

HAI Affiliate to Horse Sport Ireland

The Hunting Association of Ireland affiliates to Horse Sport Ireland

Horse Sport Ireland has confirmed that the Hunting Association of Ireland (HAI) has been accepted as an Affiliate body to Horse Sport Ireland.

Horse Sport Ireland Chairman Joe Walsh said:

“Hunting is a hugely significant aspect of the Sport Horse Sector and it is a very important market for Irish-bred horses,” he said.

Last year over 6,000 horses hunted in Ireland and Horse Sport Ireland is keen to work with the HAI to record more breeding details for these horses.

“With our new online database ‘CapallOir’ now in place we are keen to record details of our hunting horses. We believe that this information would be of interest to prospective purchasers of Irish horses and would add value to our mare herd,” he said.

David Lalor of the Hunting Association of Ireland said that the organisation was pleased to affiliate to Horse Sport Ireland.

“It is vital for hunting to be at the heart of the Sport Horse Sector and we will be attending our first meeting of the HSI Sport Sub Board next Monday in Horse Sport Ireland and we are looking forward to playing our part in the sector,” he said.


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