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Gardaí investigate after threatening leaflets posted to locals near greyhound stadium

A number of flyers were posted to residents in Ringsend last Saturday.

Image: Google Street View

A GARDA INVESTIGATION is underway after residents living near Shelbourne Park in Dublin were threatened with “severe measures” if they did not join ongoing protests against the greyhound racing industry.

The Alliance for Animal Rights (AFAR), which holds bi-weekly demonstrations outside the stadium, says it has nothing to do with the threats and condemned the move as an attempt to discredit the group.

The threats featured on flyers which were posted to residents living on South Lotts Road in Ringsend on Saturday 23 November.

It read:

We are a group dedicated to ending greyhound racing in Ireland [and] we are seeking the help of residents of Shelbourne Park [sic] to come forward and end this cruel sport…the residents have sat on the fence far too long, it is now time to act.
If you fail to act severe measures will be taken against you, your property and your neighbours…

Protests have been ongoing outside the stadium since an RTÉ investigation revealed in June that almost 6,000 greyhounds were killed for not racing fast enough in 2017.

However, AFAR’s Bernie Wright said the group was not responsible for printing and posting the flyer, which called on residents to join protests outside Shelbourne Park “every Saturday night”.

She told TheJournal.ie that AFAR had a good relationship with local residents and described the flyers as an attempt to alienate protesters and locals.

“A few people were very irate when they got the flyer through the door,” she said.

“We absolutely condemn it. We can deal with it, but the problem is that a lot of elderly people were very upset because what was said was pretty brutal.

“From our point of view, you don’t threaten people to try to get them on your side. We have nothing to gain from this kind of tactic.”

A spokesman for the Irish Greyhound Board said it was aware of the flyer and that the board condemned the threats “in the strongest possible terms”.

The board also said it respected the right to peaceful protest and had accommodated protesters at its venues, but also said that members of the public who wished to attend greyhound racing meetings were entitled to do so without facing threats or intimidation.

A Garda spokesman confirmed that Irishtown garda station had received a number of complaints from residents on South Lotts Road in relation to the flyers, adding that the matter was currently under investigation.

Gardaí also asked that anyone who may have witnessed anything suspicious in the area between 6pm and 8pm on Saturday 23 November or who had other information about the flyers contact Irishtown garda station on at 01 666 9600.

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