VIDEO: Irish greyhounds chained by neck to grotesque rotating device

23 May


There are fresh concerns about the treatment of dogs in the Irish greyhound industry after the emergence of a disturbing video showing around 20 greyhounds chained to a rotating device which forces them to repeatedly walk around in circles.
The footage, said to be from an Irish greyhound kennel, was highlighted on the Twitter page of Italian greyhound protection group, Pet Levrieri, along with the message “#Ireland #AnimalAbuse This is #GreyhoundRacing“.
Those who have seen the footage have expressed disgust, describing it as appalling, sad and sadistic.
The sight of dogs chained by collars around their necks being led around in circles is likely to repel even more people from the cruel greyhound industry. It has already experienced a 50 per cent drop in track attendance, as well as major falls in sponsorship, race meetings and betting.
This sickening video has come to light in a month when the former chairman of the Irish Greyhound Board shamefully said it was “absolutely” okay to kill thousands of dogs and the current chairman described greyhounds as “raw material.


Speaking at a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee on 4th May, IGB chairman Phil Meaney commented: “the industry supplies the raw material in the form of greyhounds to greyhound racing internationally.” Meanwhile, during an interview on RTE Radio 1’s Liveline, the chairman of the Irish Greyhound, Owners and Breeders Federation referred to greyhounds as “raw product”.
The greyhound industry is inherently cruel with dog injuries and deaths, the dumping of dogs and the disappearance of thousands of greyhounds every year.
Don’t attend greyhound races or community fund-raisers held at greyhound tracks (these are a significant source of funding for the greyhound industry).
Contact your TDs and urge them to stop giving millions of euros of scarce public money to the greyhound industry. Visit the Oireachtas website for names of TDs and their email addresses Write to your TDs at: Dail Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Tel: +353 (0)1-618 3000 or 1890 337 889. Please also arrange a meeting with your TDs at their local clinics.
Please sign and share the petitions
Irish Government: Stop Giving Millions of Euro to Cruel Greyhound Industry
Stop sponsoring cruel greyhound racing

Irish greyhound who crashed was “on the booze”, jokes commentator

23 May

An Irish greyhound who crashed hard at a track in the UK was “on the booze”, a race commentator has joked.

The joke came just after the 2-year-old dog, named “Sober Call”, fell face first into the ground and tumbled head over heels during a hurdle race at Northamptonshire’s Towcester track.

In February, another Irish greyhound suffered an agonising injury at the same track and could be heard crying out in pain. Campaign group, Greyt Exploitations reported at the time that “2-year-old white and black female Holycross Bride fell at the deadly first bend. Her screams could be heard ringing out around the track.”

Before being exported to the UK, “Sober Call” was last used in racing in Ireland in September 2016 at Shelbourne Park.

Dog injuries regularly occur in the cruel greyhound industry. In 2014, it was reported that there were 717 injuries to greyhounds at Irish tracks, arising from dogs skidding and crashing on the surfaces of tracks, and that 3-4 dogs are euthanised at each operational racing track every Saturday.

Barry’s Tea urged to stop sponsoring cruel greyhound industry

18 May

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Barry’s Tea is being urged to show compassion and end its sponsorship of the cruel greyhound industry.

The Irish Greyhound Board website reveals the tea company’s race sponsorship at a greyhound track in Cork – “Entries have been slow to come in for the €5,000 Barry’s Tea Open 750 at Curraheen Park. Geared for 36 dogs, the list is currently very short of the required figures. The first round will be run on Friday next.”

Barry’s Tea has also sponsored the “Barry’s Tea Open 750” race in previous years, including 2016, 2015 and 2014.

It is disappointing and surprising that Barry’s Tea would choose to associate with this activity. The greyhound industry is inherently cruel with dog injuries, deaths, mutilations and abandonment. Every year, thousands go missing, believed to be destroyed when deemed not quick enough to win races.

Some of the industry’s horrors were highlighted on RTE’s Prime Time in March – Limerick Animal Welfare’s Marion Fitzgibbon told viewers: “We believe there are probably 10,000 greyhounds put to sleep every year. They can be killed in all sorts of fashions. We’ve had so many instances of finding them shot, ears cut off, drowned.”


Urge Barry’s Tea to permanently end its sponsorship of greyhound racing.

Barry’s Tea,
Kinsale Road, Cork, Ireland
Tel: +353 21 491 5000
Tweet to @barrysteatweets

Ladies football club urged to scrap greyhound track fundraiser

19 Apr

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A ladies football team in Galway is being urged to show compassion for dogs and scrap an upcoming fundraiser at a greyhound track.

Galway Ladies Gaelic Football Club says it is “looking forward to” a Night at the Dogs fundraiser on May 6th.

In a letter to the club, the Irish Council Against Bloodsports said it was inappropriate to expose youngsters  to a gambling venue and to an industry which involves animal cruelty and killing.

We referred to an RTE Prime Time report – – earlier last month in which chairperson of Limerick Animal Welfare, Marion Fitzgibbon conveyed some of the greyhound industry’s horrors. She stated: “We believe there are probably 10,000 greyhounds put to sleep every year. They can be killed in all sorts of fashions. We’ve had so many instances of finding them shot, ears cut off, drowned.”

According to the Greyhound Rescue Association of Ireland, greyhounds are expected to live to 14 years on average but in the greyhound industry, the lifespan is just 3-4 years. Many of these dogs are either euthanised, abandoned or end up in local authority pounds. GRAI also notes that in 2014, it was reported that there were 717 injuries to greyhounds, arising from dogs skidding and crashing on the surfaces of tracks, and that that 3-4 dogs are euthanised at each operational racing track every Saturday.

While we understand the importance of fund-raising to sports clubs, we are asking Galway Ladies Gaelic Football Club to consider the plight of thousands of dogs and choose an alternative method of raising funds. Fundraisers at greyhound tracks are helping to keep this cruel industry alive, because the track takes a significant commission and also profits from food and drink sales on the day.

Once again, we same shame on the Irish Government for handing over a quarter of a billion euros of public funds to greyhound racing over the past 16 years, while genuine sports clubs around Ireland struggle for funds. Funding for the collapsing greyhound industry saw an increase in 2017 while funding for sports was cut.


Contact Galway Ladies Gaelic Football Club and politely ask them to stop fundraising at a greyhound track and choose fundraisers that don’t involve exploitation of animals.

Chairman Paul Gannon
Galway Ladies Gaelic Football Club
Comment on Facebook
Tweet to @GalwayLgfa

Please sign and share the petitions

Irish Government: Stop Giving Millions of Euro to Cruel Greyhound Industry

Stop sponsoring cruel greyhound racing

Don’t attend greyhound races or community fund-raisers held at greyhound tracks (these are a significant source of funding for the cruel greyhound industry).

Urge the government to stop wasting precious funds on this cruel and collapsing industry and instead give the money to schools, health groups and sports clubs. Email “Stop funding the greyhound industry” to,,,

Michael Noonan
Minister for Finance
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6764735

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Tweet to @EndaKennyTD

Michael Creed TD
Minister for Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: +353 (0)1-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: +353 (0)1-661 1013.
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Tweet to @creedcnw

Andrew Doyle TD
Minister of State, Dept of Agriculture
Tweet to @ADoyleTD

Contact your TDs and urge them to stop using scarce public money to fund gambling industries. Visit the Oireachtas website for names of TDs and their email addresses Write to your TDs at: Dail Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Tel: +353 (0)1-618 3000 or 1890 337 889. Please also arrange a meeting with your TDs at their local clinics.

Irish Greyhound Board chairman in photo next to handler banned for blooding

14 Apr

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A man banned from greyhound racing in Australia after he was filmed at a “barbaric and inhumane” live animal baiting session appears on the front page of this week’s Sporting Press newspaper alongside Irish Greyhound Board chairman, Phil Meaney.

Chris Connolly, who was disqualified in Victoria until 2020, is photographed with a greyhound who won a race at Limerick greyhound stadium last weekend. Also in the photo with Connolly and the IGB Chairman is JP McManus who sponsored the race.

Footage of the horrific greyhound blooding was broadcast on RTE’s Prime Time last month. It showed greyhound handler Chris Connolly (then 21 years old) with a “greyhound trainer of the year”, Darren McDonald, at an animal baiting session. The November 2014 undercover footage, originally aired on Australian investigative news programme Four Corners, captured the moment the men remove muzzles from two greyhounds before the dogs proceed to attack a piglet who had been tied down and pulled in front of them. The piglet’s screams of agony can be clearly heard.

As reported on the Greyhound Racing Victoria website on 12th June 2015, “The independent Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board (RADB) heard the matter of Mr Christopher Connolly today. Greyhound Racing Victoria Stewards laid 6 charges against Mr Connolly in respect of allegations of live baiting at the Tooradin Trial Track on 18 November 2014. The charges were for serious offences contrary to Local Rule 18.5 and GAR 86(af). Mr Connolly did not appear before the RADB. Greyhound Racing Victoria understands that Mr Connolly returned to Ireland in February. Upon consideration of the matter and the submissions on behalf of the Stewards, the RADB found Mr Connolly guilty on all charges and imposed a penalty of life disqualification for the charges that Stewards sought a penalty on.”

At a hearing of the Victorian Civil and Administration Tribunal last May (2016) – Connolly V Greyhound Racing Victoria Stewards – this life disqualification was appealed. The outcome was that the life disqualification was reduced to “an order that the applicant [Connolly] be disqualified for a period of 10 years as from 13 February 2015 with five years of that period of disqualification to be suspended subject to the Applicant remaining of good behaviour during that total period of disqualification.” The effective period of disqualificaiton was set at 13th February 2015 until 12th February 2020.

In a document relating to the tribunal hearing, it is stated that “the practice of live baiting is understandably forbidden by the rules applicable in the greyhound racing industry. It is a practice which would be regarded as abhorrent by any right thinking member of our community.”

The tribunal noted details of the live baiting as follows: “[Greyhound trainer] McDonald produced a hessian bag containing a live piglet which he and Mills [who conducted the Tooradin Trial Track facility] then secured by leather straps to the greyhound lure device. The surveillance video showed the Applicant [Connolly] and McDonald to sequentially trial three pairs of greyhounds after the greyhound lure had been baited with the piglet. The surveillance video contained distressing material including audio where the piglet’s terrified squealing could clearly be heard. It was most distressing to view. I did not observe the Applicant at any stage handle the piglet or assist in it being secured to the lure.”

The tribunal heard that Chris Connolly “left home at age 16 to work full-time with Mr Pat Buckley of Tipperary, Ireland, a greyhound trainer.” He worked with Pat Buckley as an assistant trainer and in an affidavit, stated: “Pat Buckley has many top class and expensive racing greyhounds in his care.”

In the affidavit, Connolly went on to state: “I have been refused an International Kennel Handler’s Licence by the Greyhound Board of Great Britain which Pat Buckley applied for to enable me to travel with his dogs to England to contest in the English Derby. I understand the attitude of the Greyhound Board of Great Britain is that while I am banned in Australia I will be banned in Great Britain.”

In his findings, tribunal vice-president Judge Dyer concluded: “I do accept in this case, on the balance of probability, that the role played by the Applicant was a lesser one than that by McDonald and Mills. Nevertheless any involvement in such a barbaric and inhumane activity such as live animal baiting is abhorrent, vile and horrific. It is truly offending of a most serious nature.”

Judge Dyer went on to say that “the fact that no attempt was made by the Applicant [Connolly] to expose this appalling treatment of a sentient being, and no comment was offered to the Chief Steward when the Applicant was first approached, weighs against a finding that a person is expressing true remorse and contrition for their own participation. The Applicant’s involvement requires a harsh penalty and the concept of denunciation must be given much weight in indicating that conduct of this type involving the torture of a sentient being for the sake of potential financial gain will simply not be tolerated.”

In outlining the period of disqualification, Judge Dyer said that while the Tribunal has no jurisdiction to order disqualification or suspension from activities involved with greyhound racing conducted outside of the State of Victoria, “it is the intention of the Tribunal that the orders proposed by it should be acknowledged by the parties as expressing the firm intention of the Tribunal that the Applicant [Connolly] will not be involved professionally in the greyhound racing industry in other states of the Commonwealth of Australia or its territories where greyhound racing is legally conducted, nor within the United Kingdom, the member states of the European Union or the United States of America.”

The photograph of Chris Connolly in this week’s Sporting Press features a greyhound trained by the aforementioned Pat Buckley.

This is not the first time that Irish Greyhound Board chairman Phil Meaney has posed for a photograph alongside Chris Connolly. In June 2016 (the year after the live baiting scandal was first aired on Australian TV), both men appeared in a Kerryman newspaper photograph taken after a Boylesports-sponsored race.

According to the Irish Greyhound Board website, Christopher Connolly’s last recorded race as a greyhound owner was on 24th March 2017 when his greyhound, Ballymoney Lass (trained by Pat Buckley) finished second at Limerick greyhound track.

Political Focus: Joan Burton, TD (Labour Party, Dublin West)

29 Mar

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In June 2016, Joan Burton was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan’s bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, she voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers’ money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In March 2013, Joan Burton voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland’s worst acts of cruelty to animals – foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circuses.

“There are a range of occupations, including those in the hunt sports sector, that some people may find objectionable for one reason or another. Other examples include aspects of the meat or fishing industry, or those related to gambling. In these cases, as long as the occupation is valid, the activity is not illegal and the internship offered complies with the general terms and conditions of the JobBridge scheme, the Department cannot preclude it from availing of the JobBridge.” Minister Joan Burton, 22 March 2016, in response to Dail questions from Ruth Coppinger TD and Clare Daly TD calling from Joan Burton to stop foxhunts from using the JobBridge internship scheme.


Contact Joan Burton TD and urge her to reconsider her stance on animal cruelty issues. Ask her to support future legislation which aims to ban foxhunting, hare coursing, fur farming, wild animal circuses, etc

Tel: 01 6184006
Tweet to @joanburton
Comment on Facebook

Government prioritising horse and dog racing over ill children

27 Mar

Government prioritising horse and dog racing over ill children
Letter to the Editor, Irish Independent, Monday 27 March 2017

We have heard a lot lately about the heart-breaking plight of families battling the Government to secure funding for life-saving cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi.

Distribution of the drug is delayed due to an annual cost of around €80m. This, coincidentally, is the exact amount paid out by the Government this year to horse and greyhound racing, bringing the total handed over in the past 15 years to more than €1bn.

As revealed recently in the Dáil, a significant portion of the horse racing grant goes into prize money for “very rich owners and trainers”, while the €16m for dog racing is propping up a cruel and collapsing industry which the public is overwhelmingly rejecting – evident in a 50pc drop in track attendance and a 58pc fall in sponsorship.

Claims that the industry deserves cash injections because of related jobs are being increasingly challenged, with one politician saying the employment figures are “such an over-estimate, it’s almost laughable”.

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed has declared that “the greyhound industry employs over 10,300 people” but this month, it emerged that in the Irish Greyhound Board, there is only 128 full-time staff.

In December, as cystic fibrosis patients waited, Health Minister Simon Harris was among the 105 TDs who approved the latest massive racing grants, prompting a distraught parent to ask if dog and horse races are more important than suffering children.

How obscene that politicians enthusiastically squander scarce public money on rotten racing industries, but when it comes to providing vital medication there is suddenly a focus on cost-effectiveness and getting value for taxpayers.

Philip Kiernan
Irish Council Against Blood Sports