Running With The Hare



Peter Curran travels to the County Tipperary town of Clonmel, besieged in the 17th century by Cromwell's forces, but today overrun by the thousands of fans who come for the Irish National Hare Coursing Meeting each February.

While the ancient yet controversial sport of hare coursing was banned in the UK some time ago, it continues to thrive in the Irish Republic where a rich social, gambling and sporting culture climaxes at this event, now in its 85th year.

Said to be worth millions to the Irish economy, the Clonmel gathering unsurprisingly also finds itself under attack from a vociferous animal rights lobby.

For his three days at the races, Peter Curran finds himself battling through a sea of fanatical dog owners and trainers, applauding an all-women betting syndicate that bursts into song with little provocation and meeting a family dynasty of bookmakers whose whole lives revolve around the National Coursing Meeting.

And all of this for a set of races, each of which lasts.a paltry fifteen seconds.

Producer Conor Garrett.

Peter Curran mingles with dogs, owners and punters at Ireland's top hare-coursing meeting.