Fine Gael politicians’ greyhound used in cruel coursing

12 Jun

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed and Finance Minister Michael Noonan are owners of a greyhound used in the cruel bloodsport of hare coursing, the Irish Council Against Blood Sports can reveal.

As highlighted last year, Ministers Creed and Noonan were part of a 14-man syndicate of Fine Gael politicians who bought greyhound “Swift Starlet”. It has emerged that the dog was not only used in greyhound racing but also in coursing.

Such was the exploitation of the dog that on at least one occasion, she was used for both hare coursing and greyhound racing in the same day. Information uncovered by ICABS reveals that Swift Starlet was entered into the “All Age Bitch Stake” at Gorey coursing meeting on Saturday 26th October 2013. Afterwards she was transported 190 km to race in the “Ghoulish & Ghastly A3 525” at Dundalk greyhound track. Records show that she finished in 4th position, with winnings of €0.00.

The Irish Coursing Club website lists Swift Starlet as being owned by the Oir Syndicate – made up of 14 Fine Gael TDs. Along with Minister Michael Creed and Minister Michael Noonan, the other co-owners include pro-coursing TDs Joe Carey (Clare), Brendan Griffin (Kerry) and then Environment Minister Phil Hogan as well as current Senator Jerry Buttimer who recently defended massive government subsidies to the greyhound industry.

The Irish Greyhound Board website shows that Swift Starlet was entered into 65 races between July 2012 and August 2014 and won 7. The total prize money is listed at €2,179 – €1,321 less than the €3,500 the politicians paid to purchase her.

The last record of Swift Starlet is at Mullingar greyhound track on 30th August 2014 where she came last. What happened to her next? Emails and tweets asking if she is alive or dead have been sent to Ministers Creed and Noonan, and to the other co-owners of the dog, but all have gone unanswered.

In the year that Finance Minister Noonan joined “The Oir” greyhound syndicate, €11.3 million was paid out by the government to the Irish Greyhound Board. In December 2016, Minister Noonan approved the latest grant of €16 million, bringing the total to around a quarter of a billion euro since 2001. Minister Creed continues to refuse to stop the use of public money to prop up a dying industry with inherent cruelty, massive debts, declining sponsorship and falling attendance. Responding to calls for the funding to be scrapped, he recently said: “the greyhound industry is part of the social fabric of our country…I have no plans to reduce funding of the sector.”
Please sign and share our petition
Irish Government: Stop Giving Millions of Euro to Cruel Greyhound Industry

Join us in asking Minister Creed, Minister Noonan and the other Fine Gael politicians what happened to Swift Starlet. Email “Where is Swift Starlet?” to,,,,,

Michael Noonan (Limerick City, Fine Gael)
Minister for Finance
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6764735

Michael Creed TD (Cork North West, Fine Gael)
Minister for Agriculture
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: +353 (0)1-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Tweet to @creedcnw

Joe Carey TD (Clare, Fine Gael)
Tel: +353 (0)1-6183337
Tweet to @joecareytd

Brendan Griffin TD (Kerry County, Fine Gael)
Tel: +353 (0)1-6184480
Tweet to @BGriffinTD

Senator Jerry Buttimer
Tel: +353 (0)1 6183380
Tweet to @jerrybuttimer

Phil Hogan
European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development
Tweet to @PhilHoganEU


Given the ongoing fall in attendances at tracks, it is clear that the general public has little interest in greyhound racing. Tell the Irish Government to stop wasting precious funds on this dying industry.

Email “Stop funding the dying greyhound industry” to,,

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