Massive €96 million grant for horse and greyhound racing

14 Oct

massive grant 2021 copy

There is disgust at the announcement that horse and greyhound racing are to receive a massive €96 million grant from the government for 2021. The shameful funding, detailed in Budget 2021, is a €12 million increase over last year’s figure.

It means the annual grant to Horse Racing Ireland will be boosted by €9.6 million from €67.2 million to €76.8 million. The Irish Greyhound Board (now known as Greyhound Racing Ireland) is to receive €19.2 million – nearly two and a half million euros more than last year’s €16.8 million.

In a statement, the Department of Agriculture said Minister of State Martin Heydon TD (Fine Gael, Kildare South), “welcomed the additional funding of €12 million to assist the State bodies dealing with the horse and greyhound sectors which are facing difficulties during the Covid outbreak”.

The grants are the highest ever to the two gambling activities since the start of the Horse and Greyhound Racing fund in 2001. They will bring to over €1.46 Billion the amount of taxpayers’ money channelled into racing over the past two decades.

Much of the money given to horse racing ends up as prize money in the pockets of wealthy horse owners and trainers, while the funding for greyhound racing continues despite revelations about obscene cruelty and killing and calls for a ban.

Shame on Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe and the government for disregarding growing calls for the funding to be stopped. They have ignored the results of a RED C opinion poll carried out last year which found that a two thirds majority want funding to greyhound racing stopped. The poll followed the broadcast of RTE’s shocking “Greyhounds Running For Their Lives” documentary which revealed that around 6,000 dogs are killed in greyhound racing every year because they are not fast enough to win races.

In addition to the €96 million for horse and greyhound racing, Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue (Fianna Fail, Donegal) has also announced €5 million for Horse Sport Ireland – an increase of €1 million on the €4 million HSI received last year. The money is “to assist with the strategic development of that sector, in areas such as research, breeding and identification”.

McConalogue said that the €5 million “reflects our commitment to developing the sport horse sector for the years ahead and comes off the back of funding in recent years as well.”

It is understood that the Department of Agriculture has also allocated €5 million for the development of the Irish Equine Centre.

ACTION ALERT

Contact Taoiseach Micheal Martin, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar and Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe and demand an end to state funding to horse racing and greyhound racing. Tell them to redirect the funds to the many deserving charities, health/homeless/environmental groups, sports clubs, animal rescue centres, etc crying out for funding.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin
Email: micheal.martin@oireachtas.ie; info@fiannafail.ie
Phone: +353 (0)1–618 4350 or +353 (0)21-432 0088
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michealmartintd/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@MichealMartinTD

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar
Telephone: +353 (0)1-704 3630 OR +353 (0)1-640 3133
Email: leo.varadkar@oireachtas.ie; finegael@finegael.ie
Tweet to: http://www.twitter.com/@LeoVaradkar
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeoVaradkar

Paschal Donohoe TD
Minister for Finance
Email: paschal.donohoe@oireachtas.ie; minister@per.gov.ie
Tel: 01 6045810
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PaschalDonohoe/
Tweet to @Paschald

The latest €96 million allocation to horse and greyhound racing will be voted on in November or December. Please contact your TDs and urge them to oppose the funding.

SAMPLE LETTER
(If you have time, please write your own personal letter)

Dear Deputy,

I am writing to urge you to please oppose further funding to horse and greyhound racing.

The Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations are set to channel another €96 million of taxpayers’ money into the gambling activities in 2021, bringing to more than €1.46 Billion the amount handed over in the past two decades.

Much of the money given to horse racing ends up as prize money in the pockets of wealthy horse owners and trainers, while the funding for greyhound racing continues despite revelations about obscene cruelty and killing and calls for a ban.

If you saw the “RTE Investigates: Greyhounds running for their lives” documentary, you will understand why there should be absolutely no support given to this shameful industry. The programme revealed that around 6,000 greyhounds are killed every year simply because they are not fast enough to win. We were shown horrifying scenes of greyhounds being delivered to knackeries to be shot in the head. One dog was seen writhing on the ground in agony as his merciless owner drove away https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYTb2qBjlMM

The programme also highlighted the illegal practice of doping dogs to make them run faster or slower to influence the outcomes of races. Also shown were greyhounds with their ears chopped off or burned with acid (to remove identity tattoos before being dumped) and the hellholes that await Irish greyhounds exported to China and Pakistan.

The Irish public is shocked and disgusted at the revelations, which have sparked multiple protests outside tracks.

A RED C opinion poll commissioned by the Irish Council Against Blood Sports and Greyhound Action Ireland shows that two out of every three Irish adults want the government to stop funding greyhound racing [66% Agree, 16% Disagree, 18% Don’t Know] Petitions urging the government to stop the funding have attracted over 400,000 signatures.

It is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE that scarce public funds have been pumped into horse and greyhound racing. It is time for this to be stopped and for the money to be redirected to the many deserving charities, health/homeless/environmental groups, sports clubs, animal rescue centres, etc crying out for funding.

Thank you. I look forward to your positive response.

Yours sincerely,

[Name/Address]

Email the letter to all Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Green Party, Sinn Fein and Labour Party TDs.

Fianna Fáil TDs

john.mcguinness@oireachtas.ie; niamh.smyth@oireachtas.ie; brendan.smith@oireachtas.ie; aindrias.moynihan@oireachtas.ie; michael.moynihan.td@oireachtas.ie; micheal.martin@oireachtas.ie; michael.mcgrath@oireachtas.ie; Charlie.McConalogue@oireachtas.ie; sean.haughey@oireachtas.ie; jim.ocallaghan@oireachtas.ie; darragh.obrien@oireachtas.ie; jack@jackchambers.ie; anne.rabbitte@oireachtas.ie; eamon.ocuiv@oireachtas.ie; james.lawless@oireachtas.ie; sean.ofearghail@oireachtas.ie; sean.fleming@oireachtas.ie; barry.cowen@oireachtas.ie; willie.odea@oireachtas.ie; niall.collins@oireachtas.ie; Robert.Troy@oireachtas.ie; dara.calleary@oireachtas.ie; thomas.byrne@oireachtas.ie; marc.macsharry@oireachtas.ie; jackie.cahill@oireachtas.ie; mary.butler@oireachtas.ie; james.browne@oireachtas.ie; jennifer.murnaneoconnor@oireachtas.ie; cathal.crowe@oireachtas.ie; james.oconnor@oireachtas.ie; padraig.osullivan@oireachtas.ie; christopher.osullivan@oireachtas.ie; paul.mcauliffe@oireachtas.ie; john.lahart@oireachtas.ie; cormac@cormacdevlin.ie; normafoley1@eircom.net; joe.flaherty@oireachtas.ie; Stephen.Donnelly@oireachtas.ie

Fine Gael TDs

JohnPaul.Phelan@oireachtas.ie; Heather.Humphreys@oireachtas.ie; joe.carey@oireachtas.ie; david.stanton@oir.ie; colm.burke@oireachtas.ie; michael.creed@oireachtas.ie; Simon.Coveney@oireachtas.ie; joe.mchugh@oireachtas.ie; richard.bruton@oireachtas.ie; Eoghan.Murphy@oireachtas.ie; Paschal.Donohoe@oireachtas.ie; Alan.Farrell@oireachtas.ie; emer.higgins@oireachtas.ie; neale.richmond@oireachtas.ie; josepha.madigan@oireachtas.ie; colm.brophy@oireachtas.ie; leo.varadkar@oireachtas.ie; jennifer.carrollmacneill@oireachtas.ie; Ciaran.Cannon@oireachtas.ie; hildegarde.naughton@oireachtas.ie; Brendan.Griffin@oireachtas.ie; bernard.durkan@oireachtas.ie; Martin.Heydon@oireachtas.ie; charles.flanagan@oireachtas.ie; kieran.odonnell@oireachtas.ie; Patrick.O’Donovan@oireachtas.ie; peter.burke@oireachtas.ie; fergus.odowd@oireachtas.ie; alan.dillon@oireachtas.ie; michael.ring@oireachtas.ie; helen.mcentee@oireachtas.ie; damien.english@oireachtas.ie; frank.feighan@oireachtas.ie; paul.kehoe@oireachtas.ie; Simon.Harris@oireachtas.ie

Eamon.Ryan@greenparty.ie; catherine.martin@oireachtas.ie; patrick.costello@oireachtas.ie; francisnoel.duffy@oireachtas.ie; neasa.hourigan@oireachtas.ie; brian.leddin@oireachtas.ie; steven.matthews@oireachtas.ie; malcolm.noonan@oireachtas.ie; joe.obrien@oireachtas.ie; marc.ocathasaigh@oireachtas.ie; roderic.ogorman@oireachtas.ie
ossian.smyth@greenparty.ie

Sinn Fein TDs

john.brady@oireachtas.ie; pat.buckley@oireachtas.ie; Sean.Crowe@oireachtas.ie; david.cullinane@oireachtas.ie; Pearse.Doherty@oireachtas.ie; dessie.ellis@oir.ie; kathleen.funchion@oireachtas.ie; martinkennysf@gmail.com; MaryLou.McDonald@oireachtas.ie; denise.mitchell@oireachtas.ie; imelda.munster@oireachtas.ie; eoin.obroin@oireachtas.ie; donnchadh.olaoghaire@oireachtas.ie; aengus.osnodaigh@oireachtas.ie; louiseoreillysf@gmail.com; maurice.quinlivan@oireachtas.ie; Brian.Stanley@oireachtas.ie; mark.ward@oireachtas.ie; chris.andrews@oireachtas.ie; martin.browne@oireachtas.ie; matt.carthy@oireachtas.ie; sorca.clarke@oireachtas.ie; roseconwaywalsh@eircom.net; reada.cronin@oireachtas.ie; pa.daly@oireachtas.ie; paul.donnelly@oireachtas.ie; mairead.farrell@oireachtas.ie; thomas.gould@oireachtas.ie; johnny.guirke@oireachtas.ie; claire.kerrane@oireachtas.ie; padraig.maclochlainn@oir.ie; johnny.mythen@oireachtas.ie; ruairi.omurchu@oireachtas.ie; darren.orourke@oireachtas.ie; patriciaryan975@gmail.com; pauline.tully@oireachtas.ie; vwynne@gmail.com

Labour Party TDs

sean.sherlock@oireachtas.ie,aodhan.oriordain@oireachtas.ie,duncan.smith@oireachtas.ie,gerald.nash@oireachtas.ie,Alan.Kelly@oireachtas.ie,brendan.howlin@oireachtas.ie

Please sign and share the petition

Irish Government: Stop Giving Millions of Euro to Cruel Greyhound Racing
https://www.change.org/p/irish-government-stop-giving-millions-of-euro-to-cruel-greyhound-racing

Irish Government grants to horse racing

2001 €47,110,330
2002 €54,452,651
2003 €51,348,800
2004 €53,531,200
2005 €54,680,000
2006 €56,047,000
2007 €58,539,000
2008 €61,028,800
2009 €54,502,000
2010 €47,411,200
2011 €45,830,000
2012 €45,032,000
2013 €44,016,000
2014 €43,376,000
2015 €54,400,000
2016 €59,200,000
2017 €64,000,000
2018 €64,000,000
2019 €67,200,000
2020 €67,200,000

Total: €1,092 Million (€1.092 Billion)

Irish Government grants to greyhound racing

2001 €11,777,583
2002 €13,613,163
2003 €12,837,200
2004 €13,382,800
2005 €13,670,000
2006 €14,012,000
2007 €14,572,000
2008 €15,257,000
2009 €13,625,600
2010 €11,852,800
2011 €11,460,000
2012 €11,258,000
2013 €11,004,000
2014 €10,844,000
2015 €13,600,000
2016 €14,800,000
2017 €16,000,000
2018 €16,000,000
2019 €16,800,000
2020 €16,800,000

Total: €273 Million (€0.273 Billion)

Source: Department of Agriculture

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