Greyhound Racing Ireland’s misleading track “attendance” statistics

6 Jul

GRI's misleading track attendance statistics copy

The number of people going greyhound racing is substantially lower than previously thought, with laughable Greyhound Racing Ireland statistics revealing that its official track “attendance” figures actually include greyhound owners, greyhound trainers and bookies.

The stats, uncovered by Solidarity-People Before Profit TD Mick Barry, leave no doubt that greyhound racing is extremely unpopular with the public.

The already paltry attendance figures – which have been plummeting over the past decade – are now known to be significantly less, following a response to a Dail Question from Deputy Barry.

The inclusion of those involved in racing has been more than doubling the actual attendance figures and masking the true level of unpopularity of greyhound racing.

In his parliamentary question to Minister Charlie McConalogue, Deputy Barry asked for “the details of the greyhound track attendance figures for 2021 and to date in 2022 by track and a breakdown of the figures into paid entry, free entry and entry by adults and minors”.

The numbers provided by Greyhound Racing Ireland show that “attendance” for the whole of 2021 at its nine stadia was 115,278. However, this figure includes 76,993 attendances by greyhound owners and trainers participating in racing activities, 1,896 attendances by bookmakers and 2,186 “complimentary” entries – that’s a total of 81,075. Excluding these, the annual attendance figure is slashed to a mere 34,203. That’s an average of 3,800 per GRI track or an average of just 73 people per track each week. With most tracks having two race meetings per week, and Shelbourne Park having three, the average attendance per race meeting is even lower.

A breakdown of the figures shows that last year, the attendance included just 31,157 adults (including 11,002 OAPs), 1,339 students and 127 children. See below for full details.

Similarly, the attendance figures for the first five months of 2022 are hugely inflated by individuals involved in greyhound racing – out of the 75,333 attendances at GRI stadia from January to the end of May this year, more than half (38,188) were “attendances” by owners, trainers and bookies.

Statistics for the five privately-operated tracks were also provided to Mick Barry TD, although there was no breakdown into types of attendance so it is unknown how many of the attendances were by paying members of the public. The total figures for the private tracks were also very low, totalling just 42,751 for 2021 and 24,894 for the first five months of 2022.

The wholly misleading attendance figures have been used by Greyhound Racing Ireland to convey a level of support that does not exist. There are renewed calls on the government to recognise that this cruel, dog-killing activity is deeply unpopular and to let it die a death by ending the multi-million euro annual grants. Please scroll down for action alert.

PQ No: 31022/22, 14 June 2022

Mick Barry TD: To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the details of the greyhound track attendance figures for 2021 and to date in 2022 by track and a breakdown of the figures into paid entry, free entry and entry by adults and minors; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Track Attendance: GRI Stadia

Track: 2022 (up to 31st May) / 2021 (full year)
Curraheen Park: 8,836 / 15,073
Galway: 6,610 / 9,604
Limerick: 9,434 / 13,518
Mullingar: 4,463 / 9,140
Newbridge: 3,067 / 5,525
Shelbourne Park: 26,054 / 29,563
Tralee: 8,187 / 14,041
Waterford: 5,124 / 9,541
Youghal: 3,558 / 9,273
Totals: 75,333 / 115,278

Track Attendance: Private Stadia

Track: 2022 (up to 31st May) / 2021 (full year)
Clonmel: 5,534 / 5,965
Dundalk: 7,538 / 11,031
Enniscorthy: 4,729 / 10,286
Kilkenny: 5,257 / 10,093
Thurles Park: 1,836 / 5,376
Totals: 24,894 / 42,751

ALL STADIA: 100,227 / 158,029

Track Attendance By Type (GRI Stadia)

Type: 2022 (up to 31st May) / 2021 (full year)

Adult: 19,574 / 20,155
OAP: 9,129 / 11,002
Student: 2,726 / 1,339
Child: 1,318 / 127
Complimentary: 1,036 / 2,186
Benefit Tickets: 749 / 0
Owners/Trainers: 35,912 / 76,993
Bookmakers: 1,240 / 1,896
Press: 120 / 315
Restaurant: 0 / 0
Corporate: 0 / 0
Packages: 3,505 / 204
Tour Groups: 0 / 0
Programmes: 24 / 1,061
TOTAL: 75,333 / 115,278

Track Attendance By Type (Private Stadia)
Not currently available


Don’t go greyhound racing.


Join us in demanding an end to the government’s massive grants that are keeping cruel greyhound racing afloat. Greyhound Racing Ireland has received more than a quarter of a billion euros of taxpayers’ money since 2001, including €16.8 million for 2020, €19.2 million for 2021 and €17.6 million for 2022. This is unacceptable and must be stopped. Contact the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Finance Minister now.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin
Leader, Fianna Fail
Phone: 021-432 0088
Leinster House: 01-618 3000

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar
Leader, Fine Gael
Telephone: 01-619 4020

Paschal Donohoe TD
Minister for Finance
Phone: +353 (0)1 604 5626
Leave a comment on Facebook:

Please sign and share the petitions

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

Stop supporting the cruel greyhound industry

GAA: Stop club fundraisers at greyhound tracks

Tell Gain Pet Nutrition to Stop Sponsoring Greyhound Racing

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: