Dog night fundraiser sparks parent protest

12 Nov

Dog night fundraiser sparks parent protest
Killarney Today, November 12, 2018
by John O’Mahony

A MEETING has taken place this Monday between the principal of a Killarney primary school and a concerned parent who has questioned the wisdom of organising a Night at the Dogs fundraiser for the school given that it involves gambling and raises issues for some about animal welfare.

St Oliver’s National School is to benefit from the fundraising event at the Kingdom Greyhound Stadium which will help offset rising costs incurred in running such a busy educational facility.

The event is being organised by the School’s Parents’ Association and it is scheduled to take place at the Tralee track on Friday, November 23.

But parent, Phillipa Christie, has served notice that she and others plan to stage a protest outside the stadium on the night as she doesn’t believe it is an appropriate activity for a school to hold.

She told that it doesn’t give a positive message in terms of animal welfare concerns and she doesn’t agree with either greyhound racing or gambling on dogs. She was further upset that the school sent out notes promoting the event in the children’s schoolbags.

“I don’t think it is right to expose children to gambling in this way. It’s a bad idea. They are offering free admission to children under 14 with bouncy castles and face painting,” said Ms Christie who has a daughter attending St Oliver’s.

She added that she has written to the school principal to outline her concerns and she donated the €10 price of a ticket for the event to the school. Her message to other parents is donate – don’t participate.

Ms Christie said a Christmas craft fair would have been a much more appropriate fundraising idea for the school and she offered her services to organise an event of that kind.

The concerned mother, who lives in Killorglin, said she will hold a peaceful protest outside the greyhound stadium on the night and she has been contacted by a number of groups and other parents who plan to join her.

St Oliver’s Principal, Rory D’Arcy, told that he was meeting with Ms Christie this Monday and that the school would engage with her and examine the issues raised.

“We will ensure that we are well verses on what fundraising events like this actually entail,” he said.

Mr D’Arcy said he is aware of a number of GAA clubs, community organisations and, indeed, children’s charities, like St Gabriel’s Respite School and Centre in Limerick, that have held similar Night at the Dogs fundraisers and that Bord na nGon is a reputable body that runs its operations very professionally.

The principal said all children that attend on the night of the fundraiser will have to be accompanied by an adult.

Early this afternoon, Ms Christie posted a message on Facebook saying she had a meeting with the school and the event is still going ahead as they feel it is too short notice to cancel.



Don’t attend greyhound races or fundraisers/hen parties/office parties held at greyhound tracks.

Join us in urging St Oliver’s School to recognise how inappropriate it is to fundraise at a gambling venue where animals suffer injuries, cry out in agony and are killed.

Mr Rory D’Arcy
St Oliver’s School
Co. Kerry
Phone +353 64 6632047

Contact the Minister for Children and ask her to urgently intervene to stop the Irish Greyhound Board targeting children.

Katherine Zappone, TD
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs
43-49 Mespil Rd, Dublin 4
Phone: 085 2196189 OR 01 647 3000

Sign our petition – Irish Government: Stop Funding Cruel Greyhound Racing Industry

Watch our campaign video
Why you should say NO to greyhound track fundraisers

The cruel and crumbling greyhound industry has received nearly a quarter of a billion euros of taxpayers’ money since 2001 (including €16 million for 2018 and €16.8 million for 2019). Urge Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe to end funding to the greyhound industry and instead direct the money to charities and other deserving causes. Email “Stop funding the cruel greyhound industry” to,,,

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion St, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Tweet to: @campaignforLeo
Leave a comment on Facebook:

Paschal Donohoe TD
Minister for Finance
Phone: +353 (0)1 6045810
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Tweet to @Paschald

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