Welcome to the website of the Irish Working Terrier Federation

Committee Updates. (7th December 2021)
Yesterday was a great day!!  The Alliance Party’s proposed ANTI Hunting Bill was defeated at the second stage. The IWTF Committee would to thank our trusted Membership and the thousands of people across Northern Ireland and ROI that made the effort to contact their MLA’s to protect our way of life.
The defeat of this dishonest Consultation Process and flawed Bill enables Terriermen across Ireland to continue to provide a valuable service to the farming community and defence of Irelands natural ecosystems with the protection of Crops, Livestock, Gamebirds and Rare Species under threat from predation, in a balanced humane manner. 
The IWTF Executive Committee would also like to acknowledge those MLA’s that voted to oppose the proposed legislation that would in the long term harm Irelands wildlife to the detriment and cost to Irelands Farming Community and Agricultural Economy. The Politicians that shaped informed opinions must be commended and supported in the next general election. 
The IWTF would also like to acknowledge the wider Rural and Fieldsports community, in particular Countryside Alliance Ireland for standing together in succeeding to oppose unsound legislation. 
The IWTF will continue to fight to protect the continued use of Working Terriers and provide expert opinion and education across entire spectrum of Irelands society in relation to humane Pest Control & Wildlife Management.  

Committee Updates. (13th June 2021)
***RIP Ger O’Donoghue***
It is with a heavy heart that we pass on the sad news that our Past IWTF Chairmen Ger O’Donoghue has passed away. Ger fought bravely, but finally lost his battle. Ger was a true gentlemen and honest human being. Every day in Gers company was a pleasure. An extremely knowledgeable man on so many things in life and he thought many of us to re-think plenty of the ideas we had about terriers and terrierwork.
The effort Ger put into the IWTF and protecting Terrierwork will never be forgotten. A legend in our time that many of us are lucky to have met, worked on IWTF business and spent many days out in the field working our dogs.
Our deepest condolences go to his family and friends at this sad time.
RIP Ger. You will always be remembered.  
Committee Updates. (14th January 2021)
The I.W.T.F. Committee became aware early January that moves are afoot to introduce legislation in Northern Ireland which proposes to ban all forms of hunting with dogs, including Terrierwork. Currently this legislation is at the “Public Consultation Stage” and is the form of an “Online Survey” see link below.
As you go through the Survey it is quite apparent that the questions are phrased in such a manner to present various hunting and pest control activities in the worst possible light and in doing so it is intended to lead and then mislead the general Public into responding in a particular manner.
It is essential the you, your Club Members, Family, Friends and any other like minded individuals who oppose such a move complete the survey and make their feelings known before 12th February 2021. We can be sure those groups who oppose our way of life will be doing just that, so we ALL need to act now. 


Committee Updates. (13th January 2021)
As we enter a new year the I.W.T.F. Committee would like to thank all our membership for their continued support over the past year and into the future. None of us could have predicted the outcome of 2020 and the onset of the COVID19 pandemic which has truly changed the world we live in today. Our thoughts are with those who have lost family or friends at this time.  With the arrival of the new year comes new hope and new challenges ahead. The arrival of vaccines will hopefully allow the “new normal” be surpassed by “back to normality” and enable Terriermen to continue to fulfil our role in the humane management of the countryside in support of the rural community.

Committee Updates. (10th May 2019)

Notification of the Annual General Meeting (AGM).

This is notification of the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) The venue is the Horse and Jockey Hotel, Conference Centre, County Tipperary.

The Date is Sunday the 19th May, registration for Club delegation cards will begin at 12:00. The meeting will formally start at 1:00.

All existing and New members are welcome. Note new members signing on will not be allowed delegate cards for this AGM. Voting rights only to Clubs registered 6 weeks before the AGM. Accept this as formal notification.

Each Club Representative is responsible for passing this information on to their members.

Membership can be renewed on the day.

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 Committee Updates (29 December 2018)

Irish Farmers Journal reports on issues with trespass on farmland.
















The Irish Farmers Journal reports on a major concern for farmers in Ireland. The number of reported incidents involving people entering farmland without permission has increased recently. The majority of cases seem to involve illegal hare coursing at night with lamps but also involve groups crossing farmland and landowners feeling intimidated.

Terriermen must always seek permission to enter land for the purpose of pest control. The federation stress to members that Countryside Insurance is vital to establish the confidence in farmers that their livestock and property is protected at all times.

From experience committee members can report that approaching the landowner seeking and getting new permission has proved the importance of having adequate insurance in hand. It is a game changer.

At this time of year as hunting activity is at its peak remember that farmers are our clients, allies and our friends. Treat them with all the respect they deserve.

Respecting our terriers, the quarry and the land. Happy new Year for 2019.

Committee Updates (21 December 2018)

Christmas best wishes from the Federation to everyone who works terriers.  Have a great holiday and happy new year.

Committee Updates (2o December 2018)

I.W.T.F now linked to F.A.C.E. organisation in Europe.

The Federation are pleased  to announce that membership to F.A.C.E. Ireland has been submitted and accepted. This is important at many levels but at its core it is the coming together of very different hunting groups on this island.

We would like to express our gratitude to everyone who supported us in this application.

F.A.C.E Ireland  has direct links with their partners in F.A.C.E Europe (The European Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conversation) and contribute and benefit from this arrangement. For more information click on the link below.

We will update with any progress made in the coming months.

Click the link below to get a better understanding of how powerful this organisation is.



Committee Updates (31 July 2018)

The I.W.T.F. Working Dog Show, thank you for your support.

Sincere thanks from the I.W.T.F. Committee to everyone who attended the I.W.T.F. Show in Cork on Saturday. People travelled from all over Ireland and the UK to join us for the day to enable the I.W.T.F. stay the course. We are truly grateful for the immense support and for people bringing their workers along on the day, as there cannot be a working terrier show without genuine working terriers. The quality of dogs and judging was to a great standard and the atmosphere is as it should be at all Terrier shows. Good craic! Thanks also to the men who took part in the digging competition in 27 degree heat and hard ground. Brave and mad! Fair play to you!

Special thanks must go to both judges, Jason Powell and Ollie Street for great selections on the day and the committee of the Munster Agricultural Society for their support and the use of their excellent venue.

We will update with images of the day shortly.

Committee Updates (04 June 2018)

The I.W.T.F. Working Dog Show, Saturday 21st July 2018.

The annual show organised by the Westmeath W.T.C. held in Moate, County Westmeath will not be taking place this year. The Federation will hold a working dog show in Cork on Sunday the 21st with gates open at 10:00. We are delighted to welcome terriermen and women from all over these islands. We hope the number that traveled to attend one of the best working dog shows in Moate each year will be in Cork on the 21st. Welcome all and have a great day.

Committee Updates (28 February 2018)

The Irish Terrier, how the show ring destroyed a native dog.

Since the formation of the I.W.T.F we have regularly been asked about the native terrier breeds of Ireland. The Irish, Kerry Blue, Wheaten and Glen of Imaal terrier breeds as recogonised by the Irish Kennel Club (the Show dog organisation). As people who work terriers we have never had a lot of respect for the show fraternity, this is based on our knowledge of what the show ring had done to all working dogs and terriers in particular. It does not mean that we believe that these show people do not care for their dogs, in fact we know that they have been misled by their leaders in the respective breed clubs. For people outside of Ireland who are asking these questions we should explain our case as clearly as possible.

The best way we believe is to only use factual and undisputed examples, avoiding anecdotes, legends or memories that have been published in the history of this breed and which has confused the issue to date. There are 3 points;

1;         Photographs and documents from the first 10 years that the Irish terrier first entered the show ring. These dogs are the best example of what people at that time recogonised as “An Irish Terrier”.

Data from these sources that establish the size and type that inform us of the original dogs.

Below see extracts from the Kennel Club records written at the time of the first dog shows held in 1874/1875 (the first shows) to 1884 (the earliest photograph we have in our files). The shows held in Dublin and Cork are recorded with the classes for the Irish Terrier listed as Under 12 lb or over 12 lb in Cork and under 9 lb or over 9 lb in Dublin. This is an important milestone in this breeds history. A terrier under 9-12lb is a very small terrier. Think of a present day Yorkshire terrier (Yes the toy dog that fits in a womans handbag).

Note that the bull terrier was shown as under / over 18 lb, not a large terrier either!!

The photographs from this era also show a type of dog that has a light frame. A slim dog by any standards even if we can not tell the dogs weight from a photograph. The dogs ears were cropped at the time because these terriers had large hound type ears that the show breeders did not favour (The last photograph). The reason that the dog is small is no accident, as working terrier advocates we know why and point 2 below should explain in simple terms.

1885                                                                                1895
Un-cropped  Irish terriers

Note the author is confused by the type and size of “Benedict” even though he admits he was a potent sire. He thinks he is peculiar, maybe because he is smaller than the others!

2;         The place of work (underground in a natural burrow) that defines the only type/size of irish terrier that can fit inside to do its job and earn the title “Terrier”. This is important to fully understand. Lets begin with the quarry of choice for terriers all over the world, the red Fox, a baseline to establish dimensions. Below there is a graphic of a terrier travelling through a tube underground moving up to a fox. Then check out a sequence of photographs of a red fox travelling through a wire fence. The size of the opening is approximately 415mm circumferance (16 inches around).

To visualise this as a circular shape, see the 2 litre soft drink plastic bottle found in most supermarket shelves. The barrel type is roughly 115mm diameter (4.5 inch) . Now imagine the terrier travelling through a tube underground the size of this bottle. When a working terrier is “spanned” imagine that you are placing your hands around the outside of a 2 litre bottle. This is why an Irish terrier under 12 lb in weight was required back in 1874 and is equally required to work red Fox consistently in the field today.

 (Hat-tip to P. Burns for starting this conversation)

3;         Why should people who work terriers even care about the above? the show fraternity may doubt our motives? The main reason is this can happen again, with the working terriers we care about, we must call out bad information, inform when we can so that history does not repeat itself. The Irish terrier of the show ring today is not a working terrier, it never was in the size that the show ring made it as long ago as 1915. They destroyed a terrier breed in less that 40 years, a breeder who started showing his terriers as a 20 year old in 1874 would still be in the ring in 1914, in one lifetime a dog was ruined.

These are the Irish Terrier (type) you can see in the field today, they are called Fell type terriers from the U.K. There is some evidence that the dogs back in the beginning went over and were crossed into the terriers of the North of England? That is as close as you will get to the Irish terrier dogs that walked into the ring in 1874. Perhaps they have come full circle, back home.

A final example to indicate that the show fraternity were fully aware of the changes taking place comes from a leading book on the Irish terrier. Below see how the dog Killiney Boy or Champion Erin were in the pedigree of 90% of Irish terriers by 1916. Killiney boy was actually a cross between an Irish Terrier dog and a Black and tan Welsh terrier bitch. Even as they knew their show dog was a crossbreed they drove on regardless. They knew the original dogs were 9lb  and still could not keep the size below 27lb within 40/50 years. It seems crazy to look back and see the self delusion involved.

Committee Updates (27 January 2018)

The I.W.T.F. “Contact Us” page – most popular requests.

The “Contact Us” page has produced some typical requests over the last 5 years, some are detailed below and clarification is necessary.One of the recurring requests has been for breeder contact details. The federation works with affiliated clubs each with its own representative. We DO NOT keep contact details for individual members in these clubs. Please note that we wish you well in your search for a working terrier pup BUT we are unable to help you with your quest.One piece of advice we offer, if you are paying hundreds of euro, pound or dollars for a pup, you are probably dealing with a puppy peddler. Real working terrier kennels do not charge crazy prices for pups. These kennels are driven by the need to get these pups into the hands of working terrier advocates. Working in this context means “earthwork” not above ground hunting. These pups are usually gifted. If they ask for silly money,…walk away.Another request that comes through are for specific breeds (usually Kennel club pedigree breeds). The federation has no bias against pedigree dogs in general, breeds such as Border, Lakeland, Bedlington etc. to name just a few. We believe that the people who keep these pedigree dogs mean well for there charges but they have very little idea of what terrierwork entails.Let us be clear that there are VERY FEW working pedigree dogs in the hunting field. The dog strains worked today in Ireland are 1; Patterdale/Fell (usually Black or red colouring), 2; Russell/Sealyham type (usually white colouring) or 3; various crossbred dogs (usually involving Bull terrier blood in the distant bloodlines). These working dogs are not pedigree, and we will do everything in our power to keep them that way. That is not to say that the breeder does not record the lineage over many generations going back decades but it is the working ability that defines the dog.The last request is generally about “Irish terrier breeds” meaning kennel club pedigree Irish, Kerry Blue, Glen of Imaal and Wheaten terriers. The truth is that if these dogs every worked underground, it was over 100 years ago and the dogs from that era bears absolutely no resemblance to the dogs that the public know today. For example the first Irish terrier (The Red devil of the show ring today) when first introduced had classes for under 9 lb and over 9 lb. The Kerry Blue/Wheaten/Glen of Imaal all came from the same root stock around the same time circa 1900. They are show ring inventions. At their peak they were used as strong dogs at the end of a dig, after the small “working terrier” had done all of the work and the game was exposed, hardly a definition of terrierwork. That task diminished over time and has no use in the field today.Other miscellaneous requests are for general practical information which we try our best to either answer directly or recommend another source that may have more expertise or experience that we possess.We hope this will clarify and simplify the contacts in the future.

Committee Updates (21 December 2017)

Seasons greeting to everyone for 2018.

Wishing all our members and everyone who supports the federation a merry Christmas and a happy new year. We hope that you are having a good season and your terriers are working well. During the break it would be good to remember that social media is a tool that can be used for good and bad. People are starting to realise that Facebook and the internet can be turned against them. Stay safe and keep hunting.

Committee Updates (04 October 2017)

Facebook and Internet issues for terrierwork.

At this years AGM we decided to start taking the I.W.T.F website in a slightly different direction. There are a number of important issues that have caused us concern over the last five years that we feel we should address these in a more pointed way going forward.Firstly the use (or misuse) of Facebook and the internet must be something we take very seriously. It still amazes true terriermen as to the stupidity of some individuals and the things they post on social media. It may be a mixture of ignorance or naivety but the damage these posts can cause if taken out of context is immense.Secondly the amount of incorrect terrier history on the internet and in print is only getting worse. A case in point is an article in “The Countrymans Weekly – November 1 2017” Titled “Laal Tommy Dobson and his game terrier”, it contains so many untruths that it is almost laughable. We as terriermen must have a fierce conversation about this fake history. As part of this we are asking members who have accurate information about the breeding of the main working terrier strains to contact us.We have in our possession photographs of Tommy Dobson through several decades when he was huntsman and they show that he had no particular strain of terrier. Definitely no strain in which he crossed a bedlington. This false history if left unanswered will only corrupt the true methods of breeding and keeping working dogs. These are myths for the show dog and pedigree brigade and have no place in hunting kennels.As a third issue we discussed conservation and wildlife management in general. There is much common ground between the hunting field, wildlife activists and the farming community. We should develop strategies ourselves and learn from organisations around the world where their models have been successful. In particular in regard to the nonsense that the Vegan, Anti lunatics are promoting.These are just some of the items we will try to address in the coming months.We welcome you comments and contributions.

Committee Updates (29 September 2017)

I.W.T.F. stand at the Irish Game Fair in Birr 2017

It was a very productive day for the federation at Birr, County Offaly on 26th August. The chance to discuss working terriers with the general public is one of the areas that we must continue to pursue. It has always been beneficial to answer questions about our sport and how our code of conduct defines our work.This year we received further support from Albert Titterington and the Irish Game Fair committee. The work that this group do to advance the cause of field sports is fantastic.We will always be grateful for their backing.
Our stand was positioned next to the Birr castle telescope. In the early 1840’s, the Third Earl of Rosse designed and built the largest telescope in the world. It is good to consider and respect our history and how it translates into the 21st century.New clubs joined up and members also had a chance to discuss issues that effect them.We must stay the course.


Committee Updates (12 August 2017)

The Westmeath W.T.C. Annual working dog show 2017

Another year and another great day in Moate, County Westmeath.

The Westmeath Show has become one of the best working dog shows in Ireland and credit must be go to Kevin, Pat and their families for the enormous effort that they put into the event. While working dog people know of the limitations of dog shows there is no better opportunity in the summer to meet up with like minded people and enjoy the dogs and sport we love.
Sunday the 16th saw two excellent judges in Mr. Gary Morgan (terriers) and Mr. Lee Walker (Lurchers) select from some of the best working kennels that these islands have to offer. The contingent of people who travelled from the U.K. was much larger this year and they bring a broad range of hunting experience to share. The discussions into the small hours of the morning are where new friendships are forged and terriers and terrierwork can only benefit from these meetings.

The photograph below says more than words can, to have the high caliber of these men in the your company is a learning experience.

Jerry Allen, Dave Robert and John Park

In the “About Us” –“Events” tab at the top of this page see just a sample of the photographs from the day.

The digging competition proved as popular as ever, those lads can shift some earth!

All proceeds from this show go to the I.W.T.F. and help defend our way of life. The Westmeath club should be proud of the work they do. We thank them all.

This year as before we delayed posting about the show to allow the Westmeath W.T.C Facebook page become the focus for comments, congratulations and feedback. Click the link below to see additional images and videos.
Fantastic support from our sponsors was encouraging and it is heartening to receive such staunch backing for a day that goes from strength to strength. Roll on next year!

Committee Updates. (14th July 2017)

Westmeath Working Terrier Club Working Dog Show 2017.

Just a couple of days to go for the annual show in Moate, County Westmeath. The date is Sunday the 16th with gates open at 10:00. The Westmeath working terrier club are again running this day for the benefit of the Federation and we are grateful for their continued support. We are delighted to welcome terriermen and women from all over these islands. The number that travel to attend one of the best working dog shows in Ireland is a testament to the work that Pat and Kevin have put in and their commitment is greatly appreciated. Welcome all and have a great day.


Refer to the Clubs FACEBOOK page to make contact with Pat or Kevin and get any details required.  Click the link here

Facebook 2016

You can download the Show poster here moate-poster-2017-01

Committee Updates. (21th June 2017)

Annual General Meeting 10th June 2017.

The AGM was held on Saturday the 10th June, thank you to everyone who travelled to share the committee updates and plans for the coming year.

We believe that those who attended left with a better understanding of what happened behind the scene during the last twelve months but more importantly are familiar with our plans to broaden the scope of the federation in the years ahead.

Two procedural items to note were voted on at the meeting, two new members were elected to the committee and a transition in the position of federation secretary.

Conservation of our countryside is vital to our way of life. Below see an article form Country Life magazine. Hunters have always been involved in managing the countryside, Foxes were saved from certain extinction in Britain in the 19th century due to the work of the hunting field. A fact lost on the Anti’s and Vegans who would clear every hedgerow to grow their food.

Download the article here. Country Life Nov2016_1


Committee Updates. (30th May 2017)

Notification of the Annual General Meeting (AGM).

This is notification of the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) The venue is the Horse and Jockey Hotel, Conference Centre, County Tipperary.

The Date is Saturday the 10th June, registration for Club delegation cards will begin at 12:00. The meeting will formally start at 1:00.

All existing and New members are welcome. Note new members signing on will not be allowed delegate cards for this AGM. Voting rights only to Clubs registered 6 weeks before the AGM. Accept this as formal notification.

Each Club Representative is responsible for passing this information on to their members.

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Committee Updates. (28th March 2017)

Terrierwork and Social Media article in “The Countrymans Weekly”.

As an ongoing goal of the Federation to minimise adverse publicity with regard to terrierwork and hunting in general, the committee submitted an article to The Countrymans Weekly magazine. We would hope that the message would reach those people that need to learn of the problems that they create for most of us when they post inappropriate images online. For IWTF members, spread the message whenever you can, it could just make a a difference.

Click here to read the full article.  CMW Article 20170306

 We have added this page under the “About Us” tab for future reference.

Committee Updates. (7th February 2017)

Fantastic subscription team up between The Countryman’s Weekly and Countryside Alliance

There is a fantastic new subscription offer The Countryman’s Weekly is launching alongside the Countryside Alliance (please see PDF attached). This is probably most appropriate for our members in Northern Ireland. Both CMW and CA have been staunch supporters of the federation since the beginning.

Please feel free to share this with any friends or colleagues you think may benefit from it.

Click here for the PDF. The Countryman’s Weekly and CA offer

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Committee Updates. (22nd January 2017)

Westmeath Working Terrier Club Working Dog Show 2017.

Planning for the Westmeath WTC show is underway and members wishing to attend should start to make arrangements as soon as possible. Demand for accommodation is high and local venues were  sold out within 30 minutes of the shows announcement.

This year the Judges selected continue the high standard we have grown to expect. In the terrier ring for example names like Roberts, Cocker, Park, Cashmore and  Morgan are at the top of this sport.

Refer to the Clubs FACEBOOK page to make contact with Pat or Kevin and get any details required.  Click the link here
Facebook 2016

You can download the Show poster here moate-poster-2017-01


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Committee Updates. (21st December 2016)

Christmas best wishes from the Federation to everyone who works terriers.  Have a great holiday and happy new year.


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Committee Updates. (30th November 2016)

F.A.C.E. organisation in Europe.

Another year and a fresh application for membership to F.A.C.E. Ireland has been submitted. This is important at many levels but at its core it is the coming together of very different hunting groups on this island.

F.A.C.E Ireland  has direct links with their partners in F.A.C.E Europe (The European Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conversation) and contribute and benefit from this arrangement. For more information click on the link below.

We will update with any progress made in the coming weeks.



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Committee Updates. (29th October 2016)

Working terriers tails – Reason prevails.


Over the last couple of months the committee have worked in the background to put the case for working terriers and the need to dock the tails of certain strains for the welfare of our dogs. We now feel more upbeat that the approach that Veterinary Ireland had chosen to champion was seen as the cynical and unprofessional stance of an Animal Rights faction.

The federation have always believed that the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine (DAFM) hold a balanced approach to the welfare of all animals under its control. We feel confident that this approach will continue in the years ahead.

After the announcement from the Scottish Government to reverse the 10 year old ban on the docking of working dogs tails, the committee felt the tide turn on the influence that the animal rights groups have held for too long. Hopefully it will not be too long before the ban on hunting in the UK is repealed and animal rights groups are exposed for the  extremists that they are.

There is now a consistent approach to this issue for working dogs across the 4 jurisdictions on these islands. A few details still need to be worked out by terriermen in Scotland but we know they will press forward and they will prevail.

We will keep you updated as events continue to develop.

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Committee Updates. (16th September 2016)

Veterinary Ireland – (argumentum ad ignorantiam )

Veterinary Ireland refer to an “Expert Group” report that they believe supports their political campaign to control animal treatment in Ireland. Take a look at the report below.


The misuse of the tag “Expert” is strange in relation to this panel. Veterinary Ireland stopped training students in the procedure for tail docking years ago. They also know absolutely nothing about working dogs as is evident from the report. It is hard to imagine what part of this process they are “expert” in. This is an argument from ignorance, it lacks basic scientific principles. It is embarrassing to the profession.

One of the main activists on this group is a Mr. Alan Rossiter. Take a look at his comments below to a news article. This makes it clear that Veterinarians “Will not dock a working dogs tail” even if it is legal and necessary for the welfare of the animal. It is obvious to rural Ireland that activists like Alan Rossiter are only beginning their campaign with dogs, Next on the agenda will be Lambs and Pigs. The Farming community are starting to come to terms with this east coast, urbanite, skinny latte drinking, vets for pets guild. These activists are bringing the profession of veterinary medicine into disrepute.


Lets be clear, they do not want to do it and we do not want them to do it. It may be time to distance the rural community from a profession that has been taken over by a small clique of animal rights extremists.

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Committee Updates. (11th September 2016)

Annual General Meeting – Where we stand.

The annual general meeting continues the work that was started over 4 years ago. Members attending were brought up to date with the issues and success stories of the previous year and the focus of our attention heading into 2017. There is as always a series of items which need review but this could be a very challenging year ahead.

Veterinary Ireland have displayed a lack of professionalism that defies belief. They have pulled off a “Bait and switch” on tail docking of working dogs that demonstrates their loss of contact with rural Ireland. They entered discussions apparently in good faith with all parties, that they were only targeting cosmetic tail docking of show dogs. Having achieved the concession for 90% of dogs they now change their tune.

Their arguments are un-scientific and the committee are in the process of countering and exposing their flaws. Take a look at the policy statement here. (Click to download)


We will keep clubs updated in the months ahead.

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Committee Updates. (12th August 2016)

Annual General Meeting – Saturday 20th August 2016.

WEBtext Notification and details of the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) have been sent to club representatives.
Maldron Hotel LOGO

The venue is the Maldron Hotel, Portlaoise just off the M7.

portlaoise-map-smallportlaoise-map-big Junction 17The Date is Saturday the 20th August,
Registration for Club delegation cards at 11:30.

The meeting begins at 12:00 Closing session at 2:00.

New officers will be elected and developments occurring over the last year will be discussed in detail.

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Committee Updates. (7th August 2016)

The Westmeath W.T.C. Annual Dog Show 2016

Best entered Terrier went to Shane Gilmartin

Under the “About Us – Events” tabs, see a selection of photographs from the show this year, the event goes from strength to strength and this years stands offered advice on Countryside insurance, micro-chipping for working dogs and membership benefits of the Federation.

The All-Ireland digging competition was held in Moate and it brought some of the best teams together for this fantastic title.  Kevin and Pat put enormous effort into this day, the work that happens in the background so that everything runs smoothly should not be underestimated.

The judges Darren Cashmore (Terriers) and Jed Donagh (Lurchers) were excellent and selected from a very diverse range of dogs, we appreciate the difficult job they did and deserve our respect and gratitude.

Our sponsors were again outstanding, from the main companies who understand working dogs to individual contributions from genuine hunting people. Thank you for making the prizes second to none and making this event so memorable.

Take a look at the FACEBOOK page of the Facebook 2016Westmeath WTC (Click the link on the right) and enjoy the videos and comments of the digging competition and entertainment that was enjoyed into the early hours of the following day.

We delayed posting this update so that the Westmeath WTC Facebook page could be the focus for comments and feedback, congratulations to the Club members for a very successful day.

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Committee Updates. (9th July 2016)

IFAcountryside insurance for members.

IFAcountryside have confirmed that they will have a stand at the show in Moate on Sunday the 17th. Anyone looking for top class insurance will be able to join on the day. Well done to Owen for the hard work in securing this opportunity for our members.

Countryside insurance provides peace of mind for the landowner/farmer and the hunter. It is a large part of the future of terrierwork in Ireland. Below see how to select the I.W.T.F. page on the IFAcountryside website and just some of the benefits available when you are insured.

IFAcountryside Show 2016 01 IFAcountryside Show 2016 02

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Committee Updates. (4th July 2016)

Hypocricy of the ANTI hunting groups.

For some time we have been monitoring the chaos that has overtaken the leadership of the Anti hunting organisations. We gave our own view on the slippery slope that these organisations would take as they attracted power hungry people to lead them, refer to “Terriermans Countryside” here  for our view some years ago.

We take no comfort from the turmoil that frontline members of these organisations are suffering, we have always felt that we have more in common with the hard working members who deal with animals in the real world than with the power hungry and hypocritical leadership. Below see a flavour of these leaders.

Stephen Philpott Hypocrite 01

USPCA fire Stephen Philpott.

It turns out that the £80,000 salary was not enough for Mr Philpott. The USPCA discovered “Management issues” and sacked Stephen after an “Internal investigation”. Let us hope that the door does hit him on the way out.

Read more here Stephen Philpott USPCA 2016 01


May Deer Hypocrite Brian May hires hunters to cull his deer.

You really could not make this up, the lead campaigner against culling Badgers calls in a hunter to cull deer on his land. He claimed that he inherited the culling as a tradition to protect his trees.

Read more here Brian May Deer Cull 2016 01


Jeremy Cooper Hyprocite 01

Jeremy Cooper new boss U-Turns at the RSPCA.

Jeremy has taken over a charity in decline after multiple bosses and accounting staff left abruptly. He has made several conflicting statements in his first months in charge. His future does not look too bright.

Read more here RSPCA 2016 01

Bill Oddie Hyprcrite 01

Bill Oddie (Celebrity Conservationist) hires “a Man” to cull rats on his Property.

This is just embarrassing for poor old Mr Oddie. His followers attacked him after he admitted doing a little “Pest Control” on a plague of rats in his back garden.

Read more here. Bill Oddie Aug 2014 01


We will continue to keep an eye on these ANTI-Hunting groups, more updates to follow.

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Committee Updates. (30th June 2016)

Westmeath W.T.C. Show 2016Rosettes 01

Just a couple of weeks to go before the highlight of the summer in our calendar.
Advanced planning for the show on the 17th of July in Moate, County Westmeath is ongoing and we are delighted to welcome terriermen from all over these islands. Of course none of this would happen without the work of Kevin, Pat and their families from the Westmeath Working Terrier Club. The Westmeath Show was up and running long before the I.W.T.F. was formed and the federation are privileged that the club donate the proceedings to the defence of terrierwork and our way of life. Below see just a selection of prizes on the day.

Glassware 01

True Grit Book 01
Watch 01
All Ireland Digging 01 

The digging COMPETITION has some serious interest this year, Kieran Young has allowed us to host the All Ireland Digging Championship. Thanks to Kieran, this is the prize for the All Ireland winner. Please note that a working dog show is just that, rosettes are handed out based on the judges individual preferences for a type of dog. It is just a bit of fun in the summer months, meeting friends, exchanging ideas and a bit of craic later that evening.

Working dogs are ONLY tested in the countryside doing what they were bred for, that is where the champions are found.

Dog Show Poster 2016 - 12

We are looking forward to meeting all of you on the day.

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Committee Update. ( 7th June 2016)

A great day out for Field Sport enthusiasts

Shanes castle 2016 01

Ireland’s largest game and country fair

Shanes Castle, Antrim, 25th & 26th June 2016
10.00am – 6.00pm each day

Shanes Castle 2016 02Shanes Castle 2016 03

 The federation would like to take the opportunity to wish our friends on the Irish Game Fairs committee every success with the Fair on the last weekend in June. A great day for the family and a positive way of supporting Irish field sports.

Last year winner and runner were both owned by John Hendricks 2015

Last years Five Nations Working Terrier winner and runner up were owned by John Hendricks (on left holding the winning Black smooth terrier) with his friend Jim O’Meara (holding the Cork white line terrier). Both men are members of the I.W.T.F. since the beginning.

These terriers are proven working dogs.

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Committee Updates. ( 1st June 2016)

Schedule for the Annual General Meeting.

The AGM is approaching and the closing date for nominations is the 1st of July. The coming year will present an opportunity to consolidate what we have achieved over the last 4 years. We would encourage members to go forward for these positions. The Northern Clubs in particular should nominate members onto the committee to drive the issues affecting them directly in that jurisdiction. Please encourage fellow members to consider these posts.

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Committee Updates. (26th May 2016)

DWTC – Tom Barry’s working dog show, 8th May 2016.

Tom Barry’s show in Banbridge Northern Ireland is the perfect start to the true working dog shows this summer.

Picture  shows a Dublin Working Terrier Club member Jed winning the Tony Lee perpetual shield for the second time with his smashing Wheaten dog, a great dog in the field and the ring.

In the history of strong dogs in Ireland Tony Lee was a genuine terrierman. It is good to see his name being honoured.

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Committee Updates. (30th April 2016)

Committee Meeting prior to a busy summer schedule.

Meeting 29042016

A committee meeting was held in the Maldron Hotel, Portlaoise on Friday the 29th April. Several items were up for discussion and we will shortly make contact with Clubs representatives regarding decisions to be made.This summer will be busier than previous years as we are expecting a very large attendance at the Westmeath WTC show in Moate on the 17th July.As a consequence the AGM will now take place in early August, more details to follow.
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Committee Updates. (20th March 2016)

Final Report of the review of Animal Welfare Legislation Northern Ireland

Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill and Justice Minister David FordOn the 29th February the Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill and Justice Minister David Ford together launched the Report of the Review of the Implementation of Animal Welfare Legislation in The Stormont Hotel in Belfast.

The Irish Working Terrier Federation as one of the stakeholders who had previously been invited to discussion sessions and respondended to the consultation on the Interim report attended this launch.

Stormont Views 01The Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011 (the 2011 Act) replaced the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 1972, which had allowed intervention and prosecution only after cruelty or unnecessary suffering had occurred.

The report makes 68 recommendations aimed at enhancing communication between the enforcement bodies, improving processes and highlighting the Animal Welfare Service to the public.

However, at its heart, it advocates tougher sentencing for the more serious offences and new powers for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to challenge sentences for undue leniency.

Ashley Graham, CAI, and Tom Barry, Irish Working Terrier Federation

The Federation welcome this report and take animal welfare very seriously. We promote and expect the highest of standards of animal welfare in all our rural activities.

However, there are still those who would wish to bring our legitimate country sports into disrepute by playing the animal welfare card. We will remain vigilant and will not accept any attempt to ban our rural pursuits.Well done to committee members Mark and Tom for bringing some balance to this review with other pro hunting organisations in attendance

Photographed at the launch were Ashley Graham, CAI, and Tom Barry, Irish Working Terrier Federation

Regarding Hunting the 2011 Act specifically exempts from its provisions the coursing or hunting of any animal, other than a protected animal, except under certain circumstances such as the animal being released in an injured state or into a confined space from which it has no reasonable chance of escape. Therefore DARD has no powers to regulate, or ban, hunting or coursing with dogs.

DOE has responsibility for the Wildlife (NI) Order 1985, although again, that does not include powers to ban hunting.

Any ban on hunting would require additional powers to be taken in primary legislation.

Read the full report here (Click to download), also check out the organisations attending in Appendix D page 130.


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Committee Updates. (19th March 2016)

What are Kennel Clubs about?

In previous articles, newcomers to the world of working terriers and the I.W.T.F. site might wonder why terriermen and women are against Kennel Clubs and Kennel club shows. Considering that we support working dog shows the public might question the difference. There are two distinct worlds of dogs, dogs bred for work where the only standard to judge against is “How does the dog perform?” and then there is the world of dog shows as organised by the Kennel Clubs around the world. Here the standard that is used is “How does the dog look?”.

When breeders are selecting for looks, important qualities of the dog (intelligence, courage, stamina etc..) can be ignored and what eventually happens is that the health of the dog is also sidelined. Breeders of all animals have understood for hundreds of years that breeding close relatives (father-daughter for example) can “lock in” any attribute. This is called inbreeding and things like coat colour, or coat type can be selected,  Inbreeding of closely related dogs can also compound any underlying medical issues.

For example dwarfism can be selected and future generations of pups can be guaranteed to be born as dwarfs. Many Kennel Club dog breeds were created this way, Dandie Dinmont and Sealyham terriers, Dachshund and Basset hounds etc..,

Working terrier breeds like the Patterdale, Jack Russell and Fell terriers when selected for performance and work avoid such problems. They can be crossbred across many different strains and this diversity in their gene pool gives them a hybrid vigour (a core healthy system).

This is why people who work terriers are against the Kennel Club in Britain pulling dogs like the Jack Russell Terrier into their system of closed inbreeding. Hopefully the JRT clubs in America will support the JRT Club of Great Britain in its fight to keep these dogs safe. Take a look at Patrick Burns (terrierman.com – click the banner below) for more information on this battle.

RSPCA keep hunting 03

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Committee Updates. (18th March 2016)

“The Countrymans Weekly” (CMW) terrier special feature.

CMW Cover March 2016 01

The Federation were delighted to participate in the Terrier special feature in the March issue of the Countrymans weekly newspaper. Terriers are an essential part of pest control and it is important that we educate the general public of the necessity of their role.

Read the feature below and support printed media like CMW , The Field and others which promote our way of life.

CMW 201603 Terriers 01

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Committee Updates. (18th March 2016)

Article in “The Field” magazine regarding JRT’s.

The Field Cover March 2016

The Jack Russell Terrier (JRT) embodies all of the attributes we have come to associate with working terriers and the variety of types within the strain has kept it useful to terriermen for over 2 centuries. Because of this it is disheartening to hear that the Kennel Club (KC) in Britain has set its sight on pulling this healthy dog into its world of deformity and sickness.

For people new to the world of working terriers this might seem an innocent endeavour. Nothing could be further from the truth, The Kennel Club has done so much damage to working dogs in particular and all dogs in general that in decades to come this will be seen as the shameful act it really is. Having decimated the existing terrier breeds (over half of which are on the endangered list) they now wish to complete the task by damaging this working dog as well.

Read the arguments in the article below, there seems to be no limit to the destruction that the KC is willing to impose on dogs even with the science stacked against them. It is good to have “The Field” championing working dogs in this way.

The Field 201603

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Committee Updates. (12th February 2016)

Bookings for the Westmeath W.T.C. Show 2016.

All accommodation for the show on the 17th of July is completely booked up in Moate. Anyone staying on the Sunday night, the nearest place is the Creggan Court in Athlone. Book now for the terrier event of 2016 and support the Westmeath W.T.C. and the I.W.T.F.’s work. This is far more than just a great working dog show, it is the chance to strengthen the network of people supporting terrierwork and hunting in Ireland. The gathering afterwards and the craic into the early hours is really something to look forward to, like minded people enjoying the performance of working dogs.

Sponsors - terrier 01Winner in the Terrier Ring in 2015 with Mr John Park judging

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Committee Updates. (12th February 2016)

General Election in R.O.I. 2016.


As we approach the general election in the coming weeks in is important for members to know where their local candidates stand when it comes to voting on hunting issues.
The only party that does not deserve any consideration is the Green Party.
As a reference take a look at the list of names below and note how they voted on an amendment to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which would have outlawed terrierwork a few years back. Remind them of their stance during such a crucial stage of the legislation if they call to you door.
The 108 TDs who defeated an amendment to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to outlaw fox hunting, terrierwork,  ferreting, badger culling and the use of animals in circus performances. 
Check them out carefully, they may not be totally on our side. These politicians learned what the party Whip means and possibly even where the term came from!

Bannon, James.
Barry, Tom.
Breen, Pat.
Bruton, Richard.
Burton, Joan.
Butler, Ray.
Buttimer, Jerry.
Byrne, Catherine.
Byrne, Eric.
Calleary, Dara.
Carey, Joe.
Colreavy, Michael.
Conaghan, Michael.
Conlan, Seán.
Connaughton, Paul J..
Coonan, Noel.
Costello, Joe.
Coveney, Simon.
Creighton, Lucinda.
Crowe, Seán.
Daly, Jim.
Deenihan, Jimmy.
Deering, Pat.
Doherty, Pearse.
Doherty, Regina.
Donohoe, Paschal.
Dowds, Robert.
Doyle, Andrew.
Durkan, Bernard J..
Ellis, Dessie.
Farrell, Alan.
Feighan, Frank.
Ferris, Anne.
Ferris, Martin.
Fitzgerald, Frances.
Fitzpatrick, Peter.
Flanagan, Terence.
Griffin, Brendan.
Harrington, Noel.
Harris, Simon.
Hayes, Tom.
Healy, Seamus.
Healy-Rae, Michael.
Heydon, Martin.
Hogan, Phil.
Howlin, Brendan.
Humphreys, Heather.
Humphreys, Kevin.
Kehoe, Paul.
Kelly, Alan.
Kenny, Enda.
Kenny, Seán.
Kitt, Michael P..
Kyne, Seán.
Lawlor, Anthony.
Lowry, Michael.
Lynch, Ciarán.
Lynch, Kathleen.
Lyons, John.
Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
Maloney, Eamonn.
McConalogue, Charlie.
McDonald, Mary Lou.
McGinley, Dinny.
McGrath, Mattie.
McGrath, Michael.
McGuinness, John.
McLellan, Sandra.
McLoughlin, Tony.
McNamara, Michael.
Mitchell, Olivia.
Mitchell O’Connor, Mary.
Mulherin, Michelle.
Murphy, Dara.
Nash, Gerald.
Neville, Dan.
Nolan, Derek.
Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
Ó Cuív, Éamon.
Ó Fearghaíl, Seán.
Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán.
Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
O’Brien, Jonathan.
O’Donnell, Kieran.
O’Donovan, Patrick.
O’Dowd, Fergus.
O’Mahony, John.
O’Reilly, Joe.
O’Sullivan, Jan.
Perry, John.
Phelan, Ann.
Phelan, John Paul.
Pringle, Thomas.
Rabbitte, Pat.
Reilly, James.
Ring, Michael.
Ryan, Brendan.
Spring, Arthur.
Stagg, Emmet.
Stanley, Brian.
Stanton, David.
Timmins, Billy.
Twomey, Liam.
Varadkar, Leo.
Wall, Jack.
Walsh, Brian.
White, Alex.

The 13 TDs who voted to ban hunting: These are the usual suspects that will do anything to get another 2 minutes in front of a camera. The media love them…..they are the Donal Trump of Irish politics, loud, ignorant and dangerous because they would impose their views by force, we think of  them as political mouth pieces of the Irish Taliban Anti Hunting groups.

Boyd Barrett, Richard.
Broughan, Thomas P..
Collins, Joan.
Daly, Clare.
Donnelly, Stephen S..
Grealish, Noel.
Higgins, Joe.
McGrath, Finian.
Murphy, Catherine.
Nulty, Patrick.
O’Sullivan, Maureen.
Shortall, Róisín.
Wallace, Mick.

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Committee Updates. (30th January 2016)

Early bookings for the Westmeath W.T.C. Show 2016.

The committee would recommend that everyone interested in attending the Westmeath show and the events afterwards this year should book early.  Accommodation is at a premium in and around Moate even at this early date. A WEBtext has been issued to all club representatives. We will post further updates in the coming weeks.

Dog Show Poster 2016 - 12

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Committee Updates. (18th December 2015)

Wishing all working terrier owners a Happy Christmas.

Christmas 2015 Russell Pups

As we approach the end of the year it is time to reflect on success so far and challenges ahead. The progress to date has exceeded our targets when the I.W.T.F. was formed over 3 years ago. We have formed alliances with many friends along the way and also been surprised by others. The challenges ahead while daunting for farming and hunting in general, we will face them head on and succeed, as we are stronger when we stick together. The committee feel that terrierwork is in good hands with our members today. We wish you a very Merry Christmas, happy New Year and enjoy your hunting over the holiday break.

We Are, Making a Difference.

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Committee Updates. (28th November 2015)

The Irish Country Sports and Country Life Magazine

In the Autumn edition, editor Derek Fanning has written a very positive article putting a strong case for the I.W.T.F. and terrier work in general. This magazine  is at the forefront of defending field sports in Ireland and we are proud to consider its professional team as our allies. Mr. Titterington, Fanning and Pringle are gentlemen who have the best interests of hunters at heart.

ICSCL Headline 20151127


ICSCL 20151129 Cover

Terrier puppies 01

Read the article here; IWTF Article ICSCL 20151119

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Committee Updates. (31st October 2015)


The federation congratulate the ICC on completion of the application process for establishing a database for microchipped dogs.

icc-logoMICROCHIPPING of all pups born from June 1, 2015 has commenced since September 1, 2015 and all dogs born prior to June 1, 2015 must be micro chipped by March 31, 2016. The Irish Coursing Club T/A Micro Dog ID is a Department of Agriculture-approved database providing a full microchipping service to all dog owners as per the Microchipping of Dogs Regulations 2015.

The ICC understand the needs of the hunting field and the committee recommend that all working terrier owners should use this database as their first choice.
ICC control stewards are authorised implanters as per the Regulations and will perform this function in conjunction with tattooing.

Microchipping Procedure:

The authorised implanter will be provided micro-chip details for each pup and an ISO Standard 11784 compliant micro-chip by the Au- thorised Database. On completion of the implantation of each pup, the breeder is provided an application form to be forwarded to the Da- tabase, whereby a “Certificate of Registration” is issued.

The information to be entered on a dog identification database is (to be held for 20 years):

  • the unique identifier of the microchip inserted in the dog,
  • the date of insertion of microchip, the date of birth of the dog,
  • description of the dog which may include breed, colour and markings,
  • the sex of the dog,
  • the address of the premises where the dog is normally kept,
  • the name, address and contact details of the owner
  • and, if different, person having possession or control of the dog,
  • the identity (including a unique identifying code assigned by the Database operator) of the person who microchips and registers a dog,
  • details (cause, date and place) of the death of the dog,
  • and details of the loss of a dog.On completion of the microchipping procedure, the breeder is provided a certificate of registration application form as per the Microchip- ping of Dogs Regulations 2015. The breeder or the new owner (purchaser of pup) will submit this form to the Database with a fee as out- lined on this form and a certificate of registration will issue to the owner and all relevant details logged on the Database. The certificate of registration form will also contain a naming form for each pup.Microchipping: What you need to know Microchipping backgroundTHE “Microchipping of Dogs Regulations 2015” is now in force in the ROI. They have been in the offing for the last number of years and open to consultation for input by all stakeholders during the drafting phase. Microchipping has been occurring in pet dogs for well over 20 years, so it is not new. There are numerous databases holding information on millions of dogs throughout the world. It is now a requirement under law in the ROI that all dogs, including greyhounds must be microchipped and this is consistent with other greyhound racing jurisdictions such as the NI (2011), UK (2009) and Australia (2011). It is also necessary to have your dog chipped in the event of travelling outside the country.What is a microchip?A microchip is the size of a grain of rice that contains computer circuitry that holds unique information. It has a sterile non-active bio-compatible casing and the antennae are made of coiled copper wire. The chip itself is passive and has no power source at all and is on- ly energised by a scanner. Because of this they have a very short range, in that they need to be close to the scanner to become energised and to be read. Once the scanner energises the antennae, the power passes to the circuit which creates the signal, which is sent back to the scanner via the same antennae (different types of microchips activate at different frequencies).Where to implant the dogThe microchip is placed in a specific position subcutaneously (under the skin), dorsal midline between the shoulder blades at an angle of 30 to 45 degrees and is completed in a matter of seconds.How to scan a dogTo scan correctly, the scanner must be close enough to energise and read the chip. You must move slowly enough to give the chip time to energise and you must cover the area where the chip should be along with the surrounding area.MICROCHIPPING SERVICE
  • Download the following information sheet which includes contact numbers for the control stewards in your area.
  • MicroDogID Logo 01Microchipping-Website

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Committee Updates. (27th August 2015)

Irish Game & Country Fair this weekend

On the 29th and 30th August 2015 at Birr Castle, Birr, Co Offaly,

GGFOI Birr CastleGGFOI banner


Now coming into its ninth year under the management of the Great Game Fairs of Ireland team the fair has rapidly grown and is now recognised as the ROI’s national game fair.

Irish Working Terrier Federation at the Fair

The federation will have a stand on both days at the game fair this year

The Irish Game Fair at Birr Castle is the perfect forum for the I.W.T.F. to meet and engage with our members and supporters. We will be exhibiting with other country sports and angling organisations in the ‘Woodcock & Salmon ‘ Pavilion, on Saturday and will move to the terrier ring on Sunday.

Members should use the opportunity to renew or obtain insurance from the IFAcountryside stand, there is no better way to cement the working relationship we have with the farming community.

IFA Cover 01

For previous updates refer to the Archive Page.

The IWTF has been formed to give a voice to the thousands of people across both Ireland and Northern Ireland who engage in pest control with their terriers.

Our main aims are as follows –

– To identify, maintain and promote the best, most humane and efficient practices in relation to the use of working terriers for pest control purposes.

– To improve public awareness of the manner in which properly conducted terrier work is carried out.

– To encourage new participants to join a recognised working terrier club and to learn from more experienced members.

– To assist, advise and educate the newcomer or less experienced person.

– To unify the working terrier clubs under one umbrella organisation and thereby provide a single reference point and centre of excellence on matters relating to terrier work.

– To counter the activities of any individual or organisation that by their actions, or intent, would bring terrier work into disrepute.



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