Robert Troy wants funding for greyhound track fire escape

21 Dec

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Shame on Fianna Fail TD Robert Troy for pushing for funding for Mullingar greyhound track at the end of a year in which the greyhound industry’s cruelty, doping and killing has received unprecedented media coverage.

According to a report in this week’s Westmeath Examiner, the Longford-Westmeath politician recently met with the CEO of the Irish Greyhound Board to ask about “investment in fire safety [at Mullingar track] as there are restrictions on the number who can be there at any one time because a new fire escape is needed”. This, he pointed out, “would help the track increase attendance figures and overall performance”.

In calling for money to be pumped into the Mullingar track, Deputy Troy is turning a blind eye to the suffering and death of dogs at this location. Recent Irish Greyhound Board statistics show that in the first ten months of the year, the Mullingar track was the worst in the country for on-track injuries. A total of 66 greyhounds suffered injuries there, with 14 of these destroyed.

It is particularly appalling that Robert Troy is seeking funds for greyhound racing, given that he is well aware of the suffering endured by the dogs used and abused in this industry. In a January 2016 parliamentary question, for example, he asked the then Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney “if he is aware of animal abuse suffered by greyhounds in the racing industry which includes lenient sanctions for persons who have committed grave abuses”.

This is not the first time that Robert Troy has used his position to push for funding for racing. In September, he lobbied the government to increase the amount of public funds being handed over to Longford greyhound stadium, a track privately-owned by a Scottish businessman.

In a parliamentary question, he asked Agriculture Minister Michael Creed “if he will provide financial assistance to [Longford] stadium”.

It emerged in the reply he received that the operational costs of the Longford track – which came close to closure this year due to a massive drop in track attendance – are being paid for with taxpayers’ money.

“I understand that Longford Greyhound Stadium are in receipt of annual operating grants of €40,000 along with grant assistance towards operating costs, specifically veterinary fees,” Minister Creed stated. “The Irish Greyhound Board has recently received a request for additional financial assistance from the supporters club of Longford Greyhound Stadium which is scheduled for Board consideration at their next board meeting.”

The government has already squandered €16 million on the cruel greyhound industry in 2017 (that’s over €300.000 every week of the year), bringing the total handed over since 2001 to around a quarter of a billion euro. The government is poised to hand over another €16 million for 2018.

ACTION ALERT

Contact Robert Troy TD and urge him to consider the suffering and deaths of dogs and stop pushing for funding for greyhound tracks.

Email: robert.troy@oireachtas.ie
Tel: +353 (0)1 618 4059
Mobile: +353 (0)87 797 9890
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/roberttroytd/
Tweet to @RobertTroyTD

WESTMEATH EXAMINER REPORT

Troy wants money invested in local greyhound track
Westmeath Examiner, December 9th 2017

An appeal for increased expenditure by Bord na gCon at the greyhound track in Mullingar has been made directly to the board boss by Deputy Robert Troy.

“I asked about investment in fire safety as there are restrictions on the number who can be there at any one time because a new fire escape is needed,” said Deputy Troy, following last Wednesday’s meeting with Gerard Dollard, who has been at the helm of the organisation since the second half of this year.

This, Deputy Troy pointed out, would help the track increase attendance figures and overall performance.

Deputy Troy met with Mr Dollard at Dail Eireann and explained that in recent times, the track at Mullingar had been advised that action was needed on an improved fire escape route.

“Bord na gCon has sold Harold’s Cross Stadium and when they clear the debt they have from this, they will be looking to invest the money left over,” said Deputy Troy.

“Mr Dollard couldn’t give a commitment, but he said certainly, Mullingar will be in the mix.

“However, any money spent is going to have to be approved by the Department of Public Expenditure.”

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