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Protesters face-off with drag hunt in Northern Ireland village

Protest against hunt in Northern Ireland on New Year's Day 2018 [photos] Close

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

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Protesters including members of The Green Party and Sinn Fein, stage a New Year's Day protest in opposition to a drag hunt taking place in a Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Protesters have gathered to meet an annual drag hunt taking place in a Co Down village.

The New Year's Day hunt in Crawsfordsburn was met by a crowd including members of the Green Party - who coordinated the event - and Sinn Fein.

Signs held aloft in the crowd called for fox hunting to be banned, with one reading 'It's not sport - it's violent murder'.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK which has not outlawed fox hunting.

The Hunting Act introduced in 2004 banned it in all other parts of the United Kingdom, and outlawed a number of other activities including deer hunting, hare hunting and coursing, dog fighting, and badger baiting.

Speaking about the protest, Green Party chair Ricky Bamford said: "We feel this dignified and peaceful protest in Crawfordsburn on the morning of New Year’s Day will be an opportunity to show our objection to the fact that these people enjoy hunting and killing defenceless wild animals."

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