30,000 sign petition to block bullfighting ring in Kilkenny following spoof article
By COLIN BARTLEY
ALMOST 30,000 people have signed up to a petition to stop a bullfighting ring from being built in Kilkenny – even though there are no actual plans to construct a controversial arena of its kind.
The online petition, which was created on the campaign website www.change.org, urges people to ‘Stop Ireland from Bringing the Cruel Bullfight to Kilkenny, Ireland!’
The petition follows the publication of a spoof article on the satirical website www.meanwhileinireland.com which was headlined: ‘Ireland’s first Bullfighting arena to be opened in Kilkenny.’
It went online two weeks ago and has since gone viral, amassing just under 30,000 signatures by yesterday evening. The petition even goes as far as to urge President Michael D. Higgins and legendary Kilkenny manager Brian Cody to get involved and block the construction of the bullfighting ring.
The fake article claimed the arena would be built beside ‘Nolan (Nowlan) Park’ as a joint project between Kilkenny County Council and Kilkenny GAA. It said the arena “would be used to teach Kilkenny hurlers the art of bullfighting as part of their training schedule”.
It quoted a fictional ‘Mayor of Kilkenny, Tommy O’Shea’ – who is also named on the petition – and also poked fun at the Cats’ All-Ireland final hurling defeat last month.
The author of the article wrote: “Although we seem to have lost that ‘killer instinct’ over the last few years, what better way to get it back than to have our senior squad do a bit of bullfighting? It can’t do them any harm.”
The article even jokingly quotes Brian Cody, claiming “two matadors” were being added to the Cats coaching ticket.
The article is filed under the ‘CRAIC’ section of the website, but this apparently hasn’t been enough to prevent almost 30,000 people (and the figure is rising) from taking the bait.
The woman who set-up the petition, who is from Pennsylvania in the US, said she is mystified as to why Ireland would want to participate in what she describes as a form of “animal torture”.
She writes: “When one thinks of Ireland, one thinks of a happy place with friendly people, rolling green hills where cows and bulls roam freely, Irish dancing, and some pub crawling too, but certainly not the torturing of bulls to death in an inescapable ring of jeering fans.
“When we think of magical Ireland, we think of poets and writers, and kind people – not brute savages who torture animals for entertainment purposes!”