Statement by Minister Noonan on Hunting Licences for Game and Open Seasons Order 2022

Minister of State for Heritage, Malcolm Noonan, a self-declared “animal rights activist” has made the following statement in respect of a consultation to determine the future of open season orders.

The Open Season for wild bird hunting will open on 1 September 2022.

Considerable work has been undertaken by National Parks & Wildlife Service to set out a range of options available for future Open Season Orders, and a wide ranging consultation with stakeholders and interest groups in relation to future orders will be undertaken over the coming months. While there is no doubt that this will be a challenging process, I am keen to listen to the views of all of the interested parties.

I would also remind the public that only certain species may be hunted, and only at certain times, as set out below. The hunting of deer species may only be done with a rifle and still requires a specific Deer Hunting Licence which may be applied for online at

The species, and dates between which hunting may take place is in keeping with previous orders. Based on the information available, the number of species under conservation threat, and our legal obligations under the Birds Directive, changes in the ambit of the 2023/2024 order are very likely. In effect, this will mean the likely removal of certain species from the order. I do, however, intend consulting with the sector on these changes in advance of their application.

It is known that the conservation status of some of the species that may be hunted in Ireland is declining. In order to continue to protect and preserve the conservation status of these species, and to support sustainable hunting practices, a new way forward is required. This must be collaborative, and based on scientific evidence.”

Full details are available on the NPWS Website.

Gary McCartney, Director of Countryside Alliance Ireland said: The statement from Minister Noonan along with his self declared position as an animal rights activist is very concerning. It already points to loaded consultation with a likely predetermined outcomes. This statement only acts to disenfranchise and serve as a slap in the face for the many who engage in country pursuits that do so much throughout the year for conservation and rural economy.”


Red Grouse

1 September to 30 September

Mallard, Teal, Gadwall, Wigeon, Pintail, Shoveler, Scaup, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Goldeneye, Golden Plover, Snipe, Jack Snipe.

1 September to 31 January

Red-Legged Partridge, Cock Pheasant, Woodcock, Woodpigeon

1 November to 31 January

Canada Geese

Countrywide: 1 September to 15 October

The counties of Cavan (exclusive of the townlands of Eonish Island, Rinn, Deramfield) and Leitrim (exclusive of the River Shannon): 16 October to 31 January

Greylag Geese

Countrywide: 1 September to 15 October

Lady’s Island Lake, Co. Wexford and Gearagh East, Gearagh West in Co. Cork only: 16 October to 31 January

Ruddy Duck

1 September to 31 January

Hares (excluding the following townlands in Co. Wexford: North East Slob, North West Slob, Big Island, Beggerin Island and the Raven).

26 September to 28 February


Red Male (Throughout the State Excluding Co. Kerry)

1 September to 31 December

Red Female & Antlerless Deer ** (Throughout the State Excluding Co. Kerry)

1 November to 28 February

Sika Male (Throughout the State)

1 September to 31 December

Sika Female & Antlerless Deer ** (Throughout the State)

1 November to 28 February

Fallow Male (Throughout the State)

1 September to 31 December

Fallow Female & Antlerless Deer ** (Throughout the State)

1 November to 28 February

Muntjac Deer (Throughout the State)

1 September to 31 August

** Antlerless deer will be construed as including any male deer without antlers, of less than one year, i.e. a calf.

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