A species is defined as ‘the basic category of biological classification, composed of related individuals that resemble one another, are able to breed among themselves, but are not able to breed with members of another species’.
The Irish hare (Lepus timidus hibernicus) is not classified as a separate species. It is a sub-species of the mountain hare (Lepus timidus). The European brown hare (Lepus europaeus), introduced to areas of Northern Ireland, is a completely separate species from the Irish/mountain hare.
Thus the comment in your editorial ‘is the Irish hare to go the way of the red squirrel — out muscled and out-bred to the edge of extinction by grey hordes from their own species?’ is erroneous.
Although interbreeding does sometimes occur, the European hare and the Irish/mountain hare are completely separate species.
To compound this mistake, the red squirrel is a separate species from the grey squirrel.
Grey and red squirrels cannot interbreed to create dusky brown squirrels any more than a dog can breed with a cat.
Amateur naturalist, Lurgan