Belfast drag queen Delishus O’Tool is attempting to raise awareness of animal abuse by swimming in the polluted River Liffey at O’Connell Bridge wearing items bought from Marshes Shopping Centre in Dundalk.
Marshes Shopping Centre is one of the remaining sponsors of Greyhound Racing in Ireland.
The protest will be incorporated into a march from the Spire to Leinster House where those involved intend to leave empty collars and leads at the gates in memory of the scandal involving 6,000 missing greyhounds which was exposed recently in an RTÉ documentary.
Protesters also campaigned for an end to the Rose of Tralee Festival’s association with The Irish Greyhound Board. They ended their relationship earlier this week following reports that Roses were receiving threats.
Alisa Rose Publicity, who was behind the social media campaign to end the relationship between the two organisations has disputed claims that their campaign encouraged “malicious threats or comments”.
They said: “People were encouraged to contact all involved in the festival to voice their opinion and, to my knowledge, there has not been one comment of a malicious nature.
“It would seem conveying (sic) an opinion and educating (sic) people of facts is now considered abusive”.
Speaking ahead of the demonstration, which takes place on Saturday, July 27, drag queen Delishus O’Tool said:
“I love animals but it wasn’t until I started doing fundraising events with my promoter, animal rights activist Amanda Large, that I fully understand the level of cruelty that goes on under our noses. When she showed me the RTÉ documentary about the horrific fate of the greyhounds in Ireland I was sick to my stomach and knew I had to do something.
“I don’t do things by halves so I wanted to do something shocking, even Amanda asked if I was absolutely sure I wanted to do this and I am. I want the Roses to know that no matter how beautiful you look if you attend this event you will be dirty and polluted just like I’ll be when I emerge from the river. I’ll be wearing clothing that was previously bought from the Marshes Shopping Centre and then disposing of them as anything bought from there subsequently supports animal abuse and in my opinion is already dirty.”
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