“Particularly unacceptable” remark from greyhound board chairman

14 Jul
The chairman of the Irish Greyhound Board has been forced to apologise after being told that a flippant reference to wife beating is “particularly unacceptable”.
 
The offensive statement came during a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee last month when the IGB chairman, Phil Meaney, was being pressed for an answer on whether or not he considered it a loss that the greyhound board’s former CEO, Geraldine Larkin, resigned in December.
 
“Was she a loss? Would you have preferred her to stay?” asked Labour Party TD Alan Kelly. “It’s not a trick question. Just a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer.”
IGB chairman Phil Meaney remarked: “It’s a question like ‘Do you still beat your wife?'”
 
As colleagues of Mr Meaney smiled and laughed, Deputy Kelly stated: “No, it’s not”.
 
Later in the meeting, Galway West politician Catherine Connolly TD (Independent) denounced the comment.
 
She said: “Mr Meaney, I hate to go back on this but your comment in relation to ‘are you still beating your wife?’…I know we say comments – and I’ve been known myself – but it’s particularly unacceptable.”
 
“I unreservedly withdraw it…I felt it was a difficult question, but I unreservedly withdraw the remark and apologise,” the IGB chairman replied.
 
ACTION ALERT
 
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). If you know anyone who is considering holding an office party, hen party or fundraiser at a greyhound track, please encourage them to choose a different venue.
 
Contact the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed and all your local TDs and demand an end to the funding of the greyhound industry.
 
Email “No more funding for cruel greyhound industry” to michael.creed@oir.ie, leo.varadkar@oir.ie, frances.fitzgerald@oir.ie
 
Visit the Oireachtas website for names of TDs and their email addresses
 
Please sign and share our petition
 
Irish Government: Stop Giving Millions of Euro to Cruel Greyhound Industry
 
Transcript
 
Phil Meaney: Geraldine [Larkin] came in in 2014. We had regulatory problems and legal problems – lots of problems – and her skill sets, we felt, were ideal for where we were. A lot of progress was made over the next couple of years. Deputy Burke referred to the board not being freshened up. That actually is not true. Two new board members came on – those two gentlemen – so the board was freshened up.
 
Alan Kelly TD (Tipperary, Labour): Was she a loss, in your opinion? Were you disappointed that she was leaving?
 
Phil Meaney: She was very good when she was there but the focus now is changing. The debt had to be dealt with. The turning point was that we decided we would advertise the position, as was part of the contract. We just wanted to see what was out there in the context that we hope we are a bit further down the road now with the sale of Harold’s Cross. We were becoming very focused—–
 
Alan Kelly TD (Tipperary, Labour): Was she a loss? Would you have preferred her to stay? It’s not a trick question. Just a “Yes” or “No” answer.
 
Phil Meaney: It’s a question like “Do you still beat your wife?”
 
Alan Kelly TD (Tipperary, Labour): No, it is not.
 
 
Catherine Connolly (Galway West, Independent): Mr Meaney, I hate to go back on this but your comment in relation to “are you still beating your wife?”…I know we say comments – and I’ve been known myself – but it’s particularly unacceptable.
 
Phil Meaney: I unreservedly withdraw it.
 
Catherine Connolly (Galway West, Independent): Okay.
 
Phil Meaney: Just Let me explain. The question as I interpreted it was – and my colleague, Frank, answered it well and I was not quick enough on my feet. Dr. Brady was beside me. He has come in and he’s done a good job. Geraldine, I felt, did a good job. I felt it was a difficult question, but I unreservedly withdraw the remark and apologise to the Chairman.
 
See full transcript of meeeting at
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