Irish greyhound industry “on the brink of extinction”

21 Dec

The Irish greyhound industry is now “on the brink of extinction”. That’s according to the vice chairman of the Irish Greyhound Owners and Breeders Federation (IGOBF).

In a message posted on the GreyhoundData website, Anthony Walsh said “I am vice chairman of the Greyhound Federation and I have been involved in greyhound racing for a long number of years and if you read the IGOBF website you can see all that we have been trying to do to save this industry, which as we all know is on the brink of extinction. We have virtually achieved nothing.”

Last December, Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill (nominated to Seanad Eireann by the Irish Greyhound Owners and Breeders Federation) similarly signalled the end of the greyhound racing, calling for action “to save the future of this great industry from its near collapse position at the moment.”

The Evening Echo’s greyhound racing correspondent recently provided a damning insight into the state of greyhound racing in County Cork. In a series of tweets, Barry Drake commented that greyhound racing “has a rotten image” and is “in serious trouble”.

After attending greyhound racing in Cork’s Curraheen Park track, he tweeted “Shocking crowds, poor tote-pools, zero atmosphere, game in serious trouble. Something needs to be done quickly!”

In September, we reported that the Curraheen Park track cancelled racing on Thursdays. The fall in interest in racing at Curraheen Park has previously been highlighted by the Evening Echo newspaper. A report in March outlined that “due to a lack of entries”, a race at the track had to be delayed by a week “in the hope that extra entries materialise”. A track manager was quoted as saying: “It is disappointing that such an event has failed to fill”.

This week, the greyhound track in Clonmel was scheduled to hold an “important meeting” to discuss the future of the track.

Earlier this year, the privately-owned Longford greyhound track apparently came close to closure, saved only after a fundraising drive and continued cash injections of over €40,000 from the Irish Greyhound Board.

In another sign that greyhound racing is in decline, a race shamefully sponsored by Red Mills had to be “deferred by a week” due to what was described as a “shortage of entries”.

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