REVEALED: Labour Party leader Alan Kelly’s involvement in greyhound racing

14 Jan

alan kelly greyhound owner copy

The leader of the Labour Party is the owner of a greyhound used in racing, it has emerged.

Alan Kelly TD, who backs massive government grants to greyhound racing and has praised those involved in racing as “some of the most decent and honourable people one will ever meet” is the co-owner of the greyhound named “Akay Forty Seven”.

WexfordToday has reported that “the leader of the Labour Party, Alan Kelly is the owner of a black bitch called ‘AKAY FORTY SEVEN’ who has won 3 of her 4 starts to date. Kelly owns the dog in partnership with Sean Bourke, Clonmel. The Bourke family operate one of the most successful studs in the country, where they have stood some top class stud dogs for decades.”

The Greyhound Racing Ireland website shows that the Tipperary TD’s 2-year-old greyhound has been entered into seven races at Clonmel and Shelbourne Park tracks between 3rd July and 19th December 2020, with €1,055 in prize money.

In 2018, Deputy Kelly voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations which granted €16.8 million of taxpayers’ money to greyhound racing. In December 2020, he stated in a Dail speech that he and the Labour Party “will be supporting” a massive increase in funding to horse and greyhound racing. The two were granted €96 million for 2021 – €76.8 for horse racing and €19.2 million for greyhound racing.

The latest grant for greyhound racing was €2.4 million more than the amount handed out in 2020. Since 2001, Greyhound Racing Ireland (formerly the Irish Greyhound Board) has received more than quarter of a billion euros in state funding.

Alan Kelly TD is involved in greyhound racing despite shocking revelations about cruelty and killing. The award-winning RTE documentary “Greyhounds running for their lives” revealed that thousands of greyhounds are killed every year simply because they are not fast enough. It included shocking scenes of dogs being delivered to a knackery where they were shot in the head and dumped in a skip. One shot dog was seen writhing on the ground in agony as his merciless owner drove away.

At the time, the Labour leader condemned the “disgraceful scenes” but in the same speech went on to say that “I am someone who supports the greyhound industry. I support the many good people, particularly in my county, who are huge lovers of the industry, work hard and do things in the right way.”

RTE’s documentary featured the contents of a damning report which the Irish Greyhound Board attempted to hide. It revealed that around 6,000 greyhounds are killed every year because they don’t make the grade. The report estimated that a total of 17,962 greyhounds were culled in 2013, 2014 and 2015. They were killed for “failure to produce qualifying times”, “failure to produce desired entry level times” and for an “unacceptable decline in performance”.

Akay Forty Seven’s most recent race was on the weekend before Christmas at Shelbourne Park stadium – one of the worst tracks in Ireland for injuries and deaths. At least 184 greyhounds suffered injuries there and 44 were killed by a track vet over the past six years alone, sickening Greyhound Racing Ireland statistics show. Among the victims are a greyhound who collapsed after a race and died of a heart attack and another who was carried away bleeding with a leg bone “popped out”.


Ask Alan Kelly TD why, despite the inherent cruelty and killing in greyhound racing, he is continuing to support and involve himself in it.

Alan Kelly TD
Leader, Labour Party
Tel (01) 618 3229

Lodge a complaint with The Labour Party’s about its leader’s connection to an activity that causes so much suffering and death to dogs.

The Labour Party
2 Whitefriars, Aungier Street,
Dublin 2, Ireland. D02 A008

Tel: +353 1 6784700

Please sign and share petitions

Irish Government: Stop Giving Millions of Euro to Cruel Greyhound Racing

Tell Gain Pet Nutrition to Stop Sponsoring Greyhound Racing

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
2021 €19,200,000

Total: €292 Million (€0.292 Billion)

Source: Department of Agriculture

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