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A massive row erupted over pig racing in a Santry pub on Liveline this afternoon

The Comet pub is holding the event as part of its 4th of July festival this Saturday.

THE SUMMER IS in full swing as is Joe Duffy’s Liveline which discussed the topic of pig racing. The row centred around The Comet Pub in Santry’s 4th of July Festival which takes place this weekend.

One of the main events of the weekend is the piglet racing event which takes place on Saturday and will be raising money for 2 charities according to the Facebook event.

In typical Joe fashion, Joe got representatives from both sides of the debate to air their views on the matter.

Dermot Allen is a member of the Irish Pig Society and owns Sue the pig from the Vodafone ads. He argued that the event could be a great thing for kids but emphasised that he didn’t know the full story behind the event.

Joe Duffy then genuinely asked Dermot whether ‘Sue was alive or whether she was in a pack of rashers?’ and Dermot happily informed us that Sue is very much alive and well and that Ray D’arcy had spent nearly 2 hours with her at the Ploughing Championships.

Local residents soon came on the show to express their anger at the event. Local resident Pamela said a number of residents have objected to the event on a continous basis and said it wasn’t a suitable event for children as it ‘encouraged the thought process of gambling in children’s minds’.

Pig breeder Peter came on to say the event was cruel. It turned out that Peter and Dermot actually knew each other as one of them had given the other a lift to a wedding years earlier. What a way to reconnect.

The objections stemmed from the heat which is set to be around 26 degrees at the weekend. There are legitimate concerns of the harm that could be done to the piglets by forcing them to run in the heat.

A representative from the Comet wouldn’t come on but according to Joe they did say that they have the full backing of people like the Gardaí, Dublin City Council and Dublin Fire Brigade and that a vet from the Department of Agriculture comes out to check the event and make sure it’s ok. They also said that no pig is forced to take part.

Barman Tom who used to work in The Comet then came on to say that he had witnessed the event when he worked there.

It’s done in fun, it’s not done in a dangerous way. There’s a mat put down and it’s cushioned. I’ve been abroad and piglets used over there that are race, they love to run, they love to jump, they love to do what dogs do.

Joe meanwhile was asking the important questions.

While the wider point of animal welfare is obviously not something to be joked about, the argument did descend into madness.

At one point Dermot said ‘If we don’t eat rashers, our pigs will become extinct’ and then went off on a tangent about an Irish breed of pig which went extinct in the 1960s. Peter the pig breeder spent a few minutes giving out about someone who wanted him to take a picture of him putting suncream on a pig which he refused to do.

That’s why we have vegetarians.

Just another day on Liveline.

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Rachel O'Neill

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