Earliest Records of Hunting

Mr Thomas Pakenham MP for Longford and owner of Pakenham Hall (now Tullynally Castle) kept hounds and also had a fine stable of horses for hunting in 1738.

About 1802 the Sonna Harriers were started by Mr Hugh Tuite, the kennels were located at Coolnahay. They hunted a circuit from Lough Owel to Ballynacargy and south of Sonna.

Mr. Hugh Morgan Tuite, MP for Westmeath from 1826-1830 and again from 1842-1847 succeeded his father and maintained the Sonna Harriers until the time of the Famine in the 1840's.

Mr Sam Reynell, the son of Richard Reynell of Killynon, was responsible for the establishment of a scientifically bred pack of hounds at Clonderlever and Archerstown and was the first to hunt in an organised way in the early 1800's effectively establishing the Westmeath Foxhounds in 1835.

During the years of Famine and distress which changed the whole landscape of the country, people thought little of hunting and were more concerned with keeping themselves and their neighbours alive.


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