IRELAND>> news: 77 articles >> updated: 22/04/10

Top greyhound official arrested Irish Independent 16/4/10

Top greyhound official arrested

Friday April 16 2010

A LEADING figure in the greyhound industry was last night being detained by gardai as part of an investigation into false accounting.

Gardai in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, arrested the well-known official at 9am yesterday. It's been confirmed that the man was a senior official in the business.

The Irish Independent understands that a file containing financial information was handed over to gardai last year.

Investigators have been studying the file since last summer.

Irish Independent

UPDATE: Irish Examiner Saturday 17th 2010

Coursing club ex-boss released by gardaí

By Jennifer Hough

Saturday, April 17, 2010

THE former chief executive of the Irish Coursing Club (ICC) has been released without charge, following his arrest on Thursday, and a file is being prepared for the DPP.

Jerry Desmond was arrested in Clonmel at 9am on Thursday as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged false accounting.

He was detained at Clonmel Garda Station for questioning on Thursday, but was later released without charge.

Mr Desmond has been the subject of a Garda investigation since late in 2009. He retired from the club in 2008 following a dispute over the sale, or alleged sale of land, to a developer.

It is understood Mr Desmond, without consulting the club’s executive, decided to "sell" a laneway in Clonmel town owned by the ICC.

The club, however, claimed it had not agreed to sell the disputed roadway, which the developer required for a €31 million retail development, including a Marks and Spencer store.

In June 2008, Greenband Investments brought a legal action against the trustees of the ICC aimed at enforcing the alleged agreement for the sale of the laneway which adjoins its premises in Clonmel.

Greenband Investments claimed that if it cannot show title to the lands at Davis Road, Clonmel, a planned €31m retail development in the area will be in jeopardy.

In January 2009, the court ruled in favour of the developer. However, the ICC is appealing the judgment.

It is understood the ICC is in financial difficulty and if it were to lose it could face bills of up to €6m — €2m in costs, and a possible €4m in damages to developer Greenband Investments.

The situation has caused divisions within the club.

It is understood the ICC sought legal advice from two firms on whether to defend the developer’s action.

The firms held opposing views and the club decided to press ahead with the action.

Last night a spokesman for the ICC said it would not be appropriate to comment at this time.

This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Saturday, April 17, 2010

Note: The Irish Coursing Club (ICC) is responsible for the registration of greyhounds bred for racing, as well as overseeing the cruel so-called "sport" of hare coursing.

GA Comment: Compare the intense Gardai investigation of this story which involves property and money to their lack of interest in the story below about a hare dying at a hare coursing event also at Clonmel.

Important Update on the story below about the inherent cruelty of hare coursing (see next story below for full info)

Important facts re controversial video of ill-treated hare featured in U Tube video

The AOHS over the last few days received the full 40 minute footage of the days filming at Clonmel’s Powerstown Park. The Film-makers, two Swedish students have issued a statement regarding their work which we are glad to forward on their behalf to the Irish Media and all members of the Dail and Senate.

We have also lodged a strong and comprehensive letter of complaint with the Gardai, requesting an investigation into the Swedish students footage of the dying Hare, with a view to establishing if breaches of the Protection of Animals Acts and/or the Wildlife Act occurred in this instance.

The complaint was formally made on Tuesday 6th APRIL at 13.17pm when AOHS handed the DVD along with a statement from the Swedish film makers in to the Gardai commissioner in the Phoenix Park headquarters asking for a full investigation.

We strongly suspect a breach of animal protection legislation from what the film reveals. The hare, we feel, could have been injured by either hitting the escape hatch pole or was being kept to be used in a blooding exercise . A snare or restraining device appears to be attached to the hare but an expert evaluation from the original tape is needed.

We are optimistic that those responsible for the demise of the dying hare will be brought to justice. We now await the results of this investigation and will, in the meantime, continue to expose cruelty to animals by blood sports supporters.

We are currently seeking legal advice on the personalised harassment by the coursing fraternity in relation to the film.

Following are the facts concerning this ongoing controversy:



· · The film was made by two Swedish students who came to Ireland to investigate Ireland’s dog Pound Situation. Greyhounds were just part of their interest.

· · Irish animal rights groups were contacted by the film-makers to help them with information and they asked us to allow ourselves to be interviewed. This we did.

· · They heard the Coursing final Demonstration was on but did not travel down or back with those of us who organised the demonstration. They travelled independently.

· · The original film tape is still in Sweden. But we now have copies of the full segment they filmed in Clonmel.

· · There is No Gardai investigation into this video. (We offered the film to two Gardai stations who stated that there was NO investigation, and they refused to accept the film due to this reason.}

· · The film was taken openly by the students who paid into Clonmel, they were carrying a large camera which they used.

· · The film shows the footage was obtained from public pathways that anyone had access to, in the Powerstown Park Hare Coursing Club.

· · The film shows the full compound, left and right from zooming through the wire from the outside. This confirms with video evidence that no break-in or damage was done by the students.

· · A dispute has arisen as to whether the dying hare was restrained or not. Observing the video we cannot be sure if it’s a twig or something tied to the hare. A hunting expert has said something called a black snare, was possibly on the hares neck. [We were unaware of this term]. Only those directly responsible for the hares welfare in Clonmel can answer this question, is the hare tied? , snared? or caught on something ? Obviously, we can only guess at this .Some people claim they see a restraint some do not.

· · Those who filmed the hare did not see any wires on the day they filmed.

· · The hare was lying in the compound, and appeared dead when they left the area.

· · A call on the intercom for a Vet led them to believe this hare was getting attention according to the students.

· · They also filmed Ladies day, a number of hare- courses , the stands, and the prize giving and press photographers [openly] on that day .One person waves to the camera.

· · The original sounds are on the full video, the music was added just for the segment that was posted on youtube by Irish activists.

· · A second video of the dying hare, a doctored version of the students one is now also on youtube. This appears to be connected to the RISE group as their logo appears there at the start, and at the end with their contact details .This was posted by the person using the ‘SONYABHOY’ alias.

· · A statement has been issued by the students .[with their phone numbers for Press.]

· · Legal representation is being sought by those libelled by the ICC statement by DJ Histon, the RISE video and by Greyhound Forum comments.


\\Kalmar, Sweden 2 April 2010

We’re Emelie and Patrick, two students from Sweden. We were in Ireland for two weeks.

We heard about the hare coursing in Clonmel wednesday, 3rd of February 2010. We have never been at hare coursing before so we went there to see what it was.

We saw the hare coursing. Dogs chasing hares over a field and then it looks like the hares run out in the woods afterwards. We got curious and that’s why we went to see where the hare goes. We didn’t do any break in. We could easily see the hare enclosure from the other side of the fence. Anyone could see the hares from there. We filmed through the fence. We had no intention of filming a dying hare. We did not see any wires around the hares neck that some people claims. Just grass and branches on the ground.

We thought the hare was dead when we left the hare area and shortly after, they shouted out in the speakers that a veterinary should come to the hare area so we thought they'd found the hare.

And they claim that we should have reported to someone about the dying hare. They're trying to say that we're responsible for the dying hare when they should have people controlling the health of the hares after the races. If we hadn't filmed the dying hare nobody would probably have heard about it. It would probably not have reached the media and people wouldn't know that there are hares dying because of hare coursing.

It’s the same camera that’s being used when we’re filming the hare coursing and when we’re filming the dying hare and the other hares in the enclosure. It’s a Panasonic DVX 100B with an external microphone. It’s a big one so anyone could have seen us filming, we didn’t hide it from anyone. We were filming in the open so if they would have had people working in the enclosure they would have seen us from the other side of the fence.


Emelie xxxx, Patrick xxxxxx

Phone numbers with Gardai.

Bernie Wright.

Press officer




PRESS RELEASE: Irish Association of Hunt Saboteurs

We are now releasing film footage which will prove beyond a doubt that Live Hare Coursing is still inherently cruel despite attempts by the ICC to claim otherwise. This clip, filmed for the first time from BEHIND the escape hatch/enclosure, clearly shows the callous nature of Hare coursing in Ireland.

We ask the ICC

How can an injured hare be left dying?

How can the Greyhound just duck into the escape enclosure after the hare?

How can the ICC say this practise is regulated?

Does nobody monitor the coursed hares?

This clip was filmed by undercover activists at the Clonmel National coursing final on 3rd February 2010.The clip shows

· An injured hare wiggling and dying in the hare enclosure. No one comes to his assistance and so he dies a slow and distressing death , he cannot stand up ,having been tossed around by the two dogs. This hare obviously ran in fear to the escape hatch despite already sustaining bone breaks and internal injuries.

· A greyhound enters the hare enclosure during a course. This shows the slip to be too high, allowing the chased hares no sanctuary. A greyhound follows the hare into the so –called escape.

· The greyhounds colliding and tumbling at full speed in pursuit of the hare. At such speed, they must sustain multiple injuries too.

We have handed this film to the Minister of the Environment John Gormley to ascertain if licence rules have been breached by the ICC. He has agreed to fully investigate this if the licence conditions are breached.


Direct link to full video


AOHS PRESS OFFICER. Bernie Wright. 0872651720

Irish Coursing Club. 0526172481,

Steward quits amid ‘ringer’ allegations Times 10/1/01

Mark Tighe

A greyhound control steward in Dundalk stadium has resigned following allegations that he allowed a “ringer” to win a race last June.

Declan Haughey left his position at the end of last year after an internal investigation found irregularities in a race in which Mays Hurryonboy, a novice, won in a near course-record time of 28.4 seconds, 13 lengths clear of second place.

As the two-year-old dog’s time was more than two seconds faster than in a trial three weeks earlier, it raised instant suspicions among spectators and bookmakers. Greyhound sources said a two-second improvement in three weeks was almost unprecedented.

The case is the latest in a series of alleged cheating incidents and disputes to beset the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB), which will get almost €12m in state funding this year.

There is anger in the greyhound community about the findings of the initial probe into the alleged “ringer”, which was conducted by Pat Herbert, the board’s head of regulation, and Jim O’Dwyer, its HR manager. That report rejected the “ringer” allegations and said that the dog’s previous slow time was due to an injury. The investigators were told the dog, which hasn’t raced since, had been sold to the UK.

The investigation concluded that a stewards’ inquiry should have been held on June 15 — the night of the race — due to the dog’s improvement and because it was presented at the pre-race weigh-in by an alleged “unauthorised person”.

A letter from Herbert says the IGB viewed the matter “largely as an issue of the non-performance” of stewarding in Dundalk on the night. This outcome was widely deemed unacceptable, and there were demands for the owners and trainers of Mays Hurryonboy, as well as those who who may have provided a replacement dog, to face disciplinary procedures.

The IGB was forced to reopen its investigation as new details emerged in November. Jim Martin, chief executive of Dundalk stadium, told Herbert and Adrian Neilan, chief executive of the IGB, that he had reviewed a recording of the race with Denis Lee, a colleague, and was satisfied “as a matter of fact” that the winning dog “was not Mays Hurryonboy and is 100% a ringer”.

An unnamed director at Dundalk Stadium wrote: “This is not personal. This is about upholding the highest possible standards in greyhound racing ... we are in receipt of millions of euro of state funding. We have invested this money in our industry and sport and therefore we need to run our business to the highest standards of integrity. The mere hint of a ringer is tantamount to destroying our good name.”

The IGB said last week that it had referred the incident to its independent control committee which is chaired by Kevin Heffernan, the former Dublin football manager. It will meet on January 20.

“Our investigations have revealed a number of issues which need to be considered,” said Neilan. “These will be examined by the control committee prior to any possible further action being undertaken.”

In his November email, Martin said he would recommend to his board that all those involved with Mays Hurryonboy be banned from Dundalk stadium. These included Tyrone Downey, the trainer of the dog and a cousin of Declan Haughey, the steward; and Gary Haughey, the steward’s brother, who presented the dog at weigh-in. Gary Haughey, a solicitor in Northern Ireland, did not return calls seeking comment.

It is understood that all those involved have denied that Mays Hurryonboy was replaced with another dog.

Mays Hurryonboy’s registered owner is May Aylward, a greyhound owner in Waterford. Perry Aylward, her husband, denied that anything untoward happened in the Dundalk race. “We know of the allegations,” he said. “We’ve made a statement to the IGB.”

Aylward said that they still owned Mays Hurryonboy but declined to say where the dog was or why it had not raced since. He questioned how feasible it was for Martin to say his blue-coloured dog had been replaced by a ringer after studying a DVD. “You might be able to distinguish one greyhound from another, but that’s it,” he said. “I’ve a lot of greyhounds and I’ve had to put numbers on them to tell them apart.”

Aylward warned that it would be “very costly” if Lee and Martin’s claims were wrong. They won €230 prize money.

Bookmakers lost money on the unexpected outcome of the race. One who spoke to The Sunday Times last week said he had paid out €700, but this was not an unusually large amount.

Bernie Wright, of Greyhound Action Ireland said, the “ringer” allegation was symptomatic of problems with the sport. “Our main concern is the wholesale slaughter, doping, neglect and deaths of thousands of healthy young dogs,” she said. “This industry is rife with injustices.”

Paddy Power bookmaker ends sponsorship of Greyhound Derby Irish Independent Monday December 21 2009

Greyhounds: Paddy Power ends Derby sponsorship

Monday December 21 2009

Irish greyhound racing received a jolt at the weekend when it was announced that Paddy Power Bookmakers have terminated their association with the Irish Derby at Shelbourne Park.

The Irish-owned bookmaking firm has sponsored the Derby for the past 10 years and in that time it has evolved as the most valuable greyhound competition in the world.

However, spokesman Paddy Power states that his company will "continue to investigate all opportunities to support this industry through sponsorship and other activity".

Power added: "We are very proud to have sponsored the Derby for 10 years.

"During that time we have invested over €1m in the Irish greyhound industry and have helped transform the Irish Derby into the richest greyhound race in the world. It has been a wonderful sponsorship for us."

Man jailed for neglecting greyhounds

Thomas Daly from Carbury in County Kildare has been jailed for 3 months after pleading guilty to
starving two greyhounds.

For full story and pictures, see:


Yet another example of what can happen to these dogs after they are callously discarded by the
racing industry, whose officials, we believe, should have been standing in the dock alongside Daly.

This case has significance not just for Ireland, but for Britain too, because 80% of greyhounds
racing on British tracks are Irish bred - and many are "disposed of" in Ireland, if they turn out
to be unsuitable to send to Britain to race.

Allegation that Irish Coursing Club is being investigated by Fraud Squad

ICC members discuss delay in lisence and alledged money queries.

An allegation that the offices of the Sporting Press in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, which describes itself as the “official organ of the Irish Coursing Club (ICC), has been raided within the past few days by the Garda Fraud Squad has been leaked by Coursing supporters. This allegation is contained on an Internet chat forum called the “Greyhound Knowledge Forum”.

In the course of an exchange of views and comments by forum members, mainly in relation to Minister John Gormley’s upcoming decision on whether to grant a hare-netting license to the ICC, a person calling himself “Vinny Grennan” refers specifically to the presence of the Fraud Squad in the Sporting Press offices in Clonmel.

Another forum member, “Den Morrin” acknowledges that an investigation is underway, as does a “Michael Eustace”.

If these allegations are indeed true, and the ICC is being investigated for fraud, then we would emphasise again our appeal to Environment Minister Gormley not to grant a license this year to the ICC allowing another coursing season to proceed.

The Green Party justly prides itself on its upholding of ethical standards in politics and public life, and we suggest that to engage in “business as usual” with the ICC right now if these allegations are true (apart altogether from the animal cruelty factor) would be an absolute scandal and a denial of everything the Greens stand for as a political force in Ireland.

Related Link:

Proposed Fund cuts could mean more good news for greyhounds ... Racing Post 16/07/09

Irish racing could face massive funding cuts

(only viewable by subscribers)

7:20pm 16 Jul 09

A HUGE cut has been proposed in Ireland's Horse & Greyhound Racing Fund for 2010 by an expert group
established by government to identify massive reductions in public expenditure in response to the

In seeking savings of €105 million within the department of arts, sport and tourism, the Special
Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes has suggested chopping €16.6 million from
the money set aside for racing and greyhounds.

The news will send a shiver down the spine of the racing industry, which has already had to contend
with sharp cuts in prize-money and other areas for 2009.

The report from An Bord Snip Nua, the government's cost-cutting panel, calls for the elimination of
as many as 17,539 public sector jobs as part of a plan to cut public expenditure by an annual total
of €5.3 billiont o save the republic's flagging economy, which is expected to suffer an 11% downturn
in GDP this year.

However, on Thursday Brian Kavanagh, chief executive of Horse Racing Ireland, said: "Other than
noting the proposals made by the expert body in its report published today, there is really nothing
further we can say at this stage.

"The report involves various recommendations which will have to be considered by the government and
the government will make their decisions some time later this year. We will wait and see what

Already this year HRI has announced two stages of budgetary cutbacks for 2009 as a result of
reductions in government funding. Prize-money has been reduced by €6.6m, which represents a cut of
11 per cent on last year's figure.

The effects of the cutbacks already in place include a halt to HRI's capital development programme,
pay freezes and cuts ingeneral overhead expenses and a reduction in HRI's funding of the Turf Club's
integrity services budget.

The proposed cuts are also mentioned in an Irish Independent article at

GA comment: The article above from the Racing Post could signal good news for greyhounds in Ireland, as several of the tracks there would not be able to operate without financial support from the fund. This could in turn have a major knock on effect on the UK industry as many, many greyhounds that race in the UK are born in Eire.


... yet British racing industry still uses Ireland as a greyhound breeding centre

The Irish Independent has reported that more than 10,000 dogs were "put down" in the country's pounds last year (an average of 27 per day) with figures for 2009 expected to be much higher.

See the full article at:

Some of these dogs will be greyhounds, but a large number of "unwanted" greyhounds in Ireland are also killed by breeders and others connected to dog racing ... see, for example, and

Although the Irish Independent report doesn't specifically mention greyhounds, it serves to emphasise the callous irresponsibility of the British greyhound racing industry, which uses Ireland as a breeding centre to provide almost 80% of the dogs that race on British tracks.

A recent survey by Greyhound Watch ( see ) has shown that about 50% of greyhounds bred fail to make the grade of racers.

In a country where the pounds are putting 10,000 dogs to death every year, the thousands of young greyhounds discarded because they are considered "not good enough" for racing in Britain will have very little chance of survival indeed.

ICABS report on mutilated greyhounds

Below is an extract from Animal Voice, the newsletter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports

Anyone who would like to support ICABS' campaign against coursing in Ireland can find full details
on their website at

Please feel free to forward/crosspost/circulate this message.


Mutilated coursing dogs found dumped on Limerick beach

Three mutilated greyhounds, believed to have been coursing dogs, were
found dumped at a popular bathing spot in Limerick. The Limerick Leader
has reported that the animals had their ears cut off so that the owners
could not be identified. This is just the latest act of appalling
barbarity against Irish greyhounds. ICABS appeals to anyone with
information on this sickening crime to please contact the Gardai

You can read the full report from the Limerick Leader below...

Dead greyhounds dumped at Limerick bathing spot
By Donal O'Regan, Limerick Leader - 4th June 2009

Three rotting greyhound carcasses were the first sight that greeted
lifeguards at one of the county's best known bathing spots.

The lifesavers had just taken up their posts before the Bank Holiday
weekend at Kilteery Pier, Loughill, when they made the discovery.

John Considine, Limerick County Council administrative officer, had
brought the lifeguards to the pier for a health and safety meeting
before they commenced work for the summer.

"We could actually smell them from the pier. The tide was out so we
could see them in the mud. There were three carcasses, one is there for
a while as it has been reduced to a skeleton but the other two are
fairly recent," said Mr Considine, who said the council put "massive
expenditure", believed to be in the region of Eruo80,000, into the pier
last year to maximise its tourist potential on the Shannon Estuary.

Mr Considine said whoever got rid of the dogs knew what they were doing.

"The dogs have had their ears cut off (ID numbers are tattooed on the
ear] which shows a deliberate attempt to avoid detection and
identification. We're hoping to get a phone call from a member of the
public that might recognise the dogs from the photos. One of the dogs in
particular has distinctive markings," said Mr Considine, who thinks the
greyhounds are coursing dogs instead of racing ones as they are "big,
boney dogs".

"We're also contacting Bord na gCon about it and we may take hair
samples for DNA testing. We're taking this as seriously as we can. A
huge effort has been made to make an amenity area out of Kilteery pier
including massive expenditure on the pier itself," he said.

Local man Ger Reidy, of the Loughill Community Development Association,
said it was sickening behaviour.

"It's an awful low thing to do. It was heaven there this weekend, There
were some of the biggest crowds that have been in Kilteery in a long
time. We're very proud of it and everyone in the local community is
absolutely shocked and disgusted. We are not going to let this go,"
concluded Mr Reidy.

Mutilated remains of greyhounds dumped at popular pier > Irish Independent June 3rd, 2009

The carcasses of three dead greyhounds have been dumped at one of the most popular bathing areas in the Mid-West.


Wednesday June 03 2009

The carcasses of three dead greyhounds have been dumped at one of the most popular bathing areas in the Mid-West.

The shocking discovery was made by officials from the Environment Department of Limerick County Council last Thursday.

Water Officer with the Council, John Considine was on a regular inspection of the county's two main bathing areas, at Glin in east Limerick and at Kilteery, on the border with Co Kerry.

While speaking with staff at Kilteery he noticed what appeared to be the remains of the dog in the water below the pier.

On closer inspection, Mr Considine discovered two recently dumped greyhounds and the skeletal remains of a greyhound which had been dumped some time ago.

The ears of all dogs had been cut off in an apparent attempt to avoid identifying the owner of the animals -- all greyhounds have an identification number tattooed behind their ears.

The matter has been reported to the gardai, while Bord na gCon has also been advised of the find.

The board is anxious to have a hair taken from each of the two most recently dumped dogs in an attempt to identify the animals by DNA.

Judging from the build of the dogs, there are indications that they have been bred for coursing rather than greyhound track racing.

Mr Considine said: "There are just no words for a person who would do a thing like that. We have made a huge effort to develop this into an amenity area to be enjoyed -- and then this happened.

"I haven't seen anything like this in 20 years in this job and the fact that all that remains of one of the dogs is skeletal suggests that somebody is making a habit of this.

"There are also clear indications that the other two dogs were put down by a vet before being dumped here in this way. We are pursuing this matter in every way we can".

The remains of all three animals have since been removed from Kilteery pier.



Press release 3-6-09

GREYHOUND ACTION IRELAND are again dismayed but not surprised at the discovery of yet more dumped earless greyhounds on a mid west beach. This butchery is part and parcel of the cruel Greyhound Racing and coursing Industries.

'We call on the Minister for SPORT MARTIN CULLEN to withdraw all financial support in the form of grants to the Greyhound and horse Racing Fund-(currently standing at over 100 million in taxpayers money since 2001) This money is spent to prop up an ailing Industry built on :

· Endemic and widespread animal abuse-including use of drugs, massive over-breeding and killing and dumping.
· Slaughter of thousands of dogs and pups annually.
· promotion of underage gambling (no underage limit at the tracks)

Bernie Wright


Phone 0872651720

Growth in dog fighting rings sparks appeal for crackdown > Irish Independent Tuesday May 05 2009

GA comment : mentions the use of greyhounds as bait to train dogs for fighting and contains information about the injuries caused that some may find distressing.

Once again, the racing industry must share a substantial amount of blame for this appalling situation, for creating a situation where "unwanted" greyhounds are callously disposed of and can so easily fall into the hands of the most evil of people.


Tuesday May 05 2009

ANIMAL rights activists have appealed to the public for help in their attempts to clamp down on a suspected dog-fighting ring operating across the south of the country.

A recent spate of abandoned, injured dogs has prompted fears that dog-fighting is becoming more organised and is occurring more frequently, with thousands of euros wagered on the outcomes of the illegal bouts.

Dog fights -- typically between variations of Staffordshire or Pit Bull terriers -- usually involve a fight to the death, with the animals suffering horrific injuries.

Meanwhile, tamer dogs such as greyhounds are often used as "bait" during the training phase of a fighting-dog's career, giving the animal a taste for blood and some practice in fighting.

Two abandoned, severely-injured greyhounds, found in the last week in the Clonmel area are thought to have been used as training material for fighting dogs. Gardai and the Tipperary SPCA are currently investigating the discoveries.

"One dog was quite literally torn open," said Mark Hickey of the TSPCA. "It was still alive when we found it but had to be put down by the vet because the injury was so bad. It [the tear] started below the rib cage, and continued down into the dog's side and into the groin."

Another greyhound/whippet, aged about five, found around the same time had up to 80 puncture wounds -- consistent with being repeatedly attacked by a fighting dog. "He was also brought to the vet but died of shock," said Hickey.

The first dog, thought to have been between two and three years old, was originally a racing greyhound as it had an official tattoo, and the SPCA have asked Bord na gCon for help in tracing its owners.

"I know there's dog fighting going on in the area," said Mark Hickey, "but these fellas are so organised that it's impossible to get near them."


Dog race betting, crowds fell in 2008 > RTÉ Business 16 February 2009

The Irish Greyhound Board has reported a surplus of €5.1m for last year, marginally down on the 2007 figure.

The board said this would enable it to keep prize money at the same level as 2008.

Chief executive Adrian Neilan said that overall attendance's at race meetings dropped by 12% to just over 1.1 million, though there was an increase at Dublin's Harold's Cross, while betting turnover fell 8% to €45.2m.

In December, the board announced moves to cut costs by €2m in response to a fall in the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund. The chief executive and a number of other managers have taken a 5% pay cut, while salaries above €50,000 have been frozen.

Chairman Dick O'Sullivan said continuing the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund was of paramount importance, saying the €3.5m it contributed supported 11,000 jobs.

The Irish Greyhound Board has reported a surplus of €5.1m for last year, marginally down on the 2007 figure.

The board said this would enable it to keep prize money at the same level as 2008.

Chief executive Adrian Neilan said that overall attendance's at race meetings dropped by 12% to just over 1.1 million, though there was an increase at Dublin's Harold's Cross, while betting turnover fell 8% to €45.2m.


Minister Martin Cullen stopped in his tracks by Greyhound Action > Indy Media

No ears, no tatoos,no accountability

Greyhound Awards minister for Sport met by photos of Dead Greyhounds in Kildare

Yesterday the Minister for Sport Martin Cullen (whose Department grants millions of Euro to the Greyhound and Horse racing fund annually ) was stopped and confrunted by lifesize photos of dead and mutilated greyhounds at Kilashee House Hotel Naas.

He was taken completely unawares as protestors waited for his entrance into the Hotel lobby. As Gardai waited at the Hotel main entrance we sat quietly and waited till he was in the hotel Lobby to make sure he knew the demise of past their peak racing dogs. He made no comment but looked shocked as he was quickly ushered away by hotel staff . we were then told to get out of the Hotel.
Our point made (despite not getting him in the photo) we intend to continue our fight to END GREYHOUND SUBSIDIES AND GRANTS.

Amazingly the Greyhound Industry are more low key this year as last years event was a black tie affair. Reflecting the decline in the Industry no national media appear to cover the event.

Without taxpayers millions this industry will fold!


Drowned greyhound discovered in the river Foyle >The Derry Journal

Dog's 'disgusting death the tip of the iceberg'

A dog carcass washed up along the bank of the River Foyle recently.

Published Date: 06 March 2009

This "shocking and disgusting" picture reveals a dog trussed up in a potato
sack which had been thrown in the River Foyle to die.
The animal's carcass was then washed ashore in a quiet Derry suburb where it
still lies on the riverbank.

In an illfated fight for survival the animal was able to force its hind
legs' through the sack but was unable to escape.

This, according to Joanne Mullan, a volunteer at the Rainbow Animal Shelter
who attended the scene, displays a level of animal cruelty described as 'the
tip of an iceberg in the North West'.

Remarkably the pictures were taken by Ms. Mullan while investigating a
totally separate case of animal cruelty on the Bay Road Industrial Estate.

Having first received a call concerning a cat trapped in a hamster cage, Ms.
Mullan found: "to my horror, the cats back legs were badly injured before
the animal was caged and abandoned in the middle of the Bay Road."

There was nothing anyone could do and a veterinarian was called who had no
choice but to put the animal to sleep. It is believed the cat was a
household pet.

"This is something I have never seen in my life before," said Joanne who has
worked at the animal shelter for the last ten years.

It was while attending to the cat that a passer by informed her of the dead
dog on the riverbank.

"It was a horrible day and it was clear that this dog was still alive when
dumped in the river, as it pushed its legs through the sack. Although badly
decomposed I believe it to be a greyhound carcass.

"This animal died a horrific horrendous death. This is totally inexcusable
and absolutely disgusting but probably is just the tip of the iceberg."

Greyhound Action has written to the Derry Journal in response to this article, emphasising that
the ultimate responsibility for such horrific incidents lies with the greyhound racing industry and
that the public can help prevent the slaughter and suffering of greyhounds by not attending or
betting on greyhound racing, so the industry fades away through lack of financial support.

Call for action from Greyhound Crusaders:

Please take action now. Justice must prevail.
We are asking all our national and international supporters to
write to the email addys below asking them what steps they are taking to
find the greyhound killer, please ask them if they have the tattoo number to
originate the previous owner of the greyhound and that you want the full
weight of the law used against the person/s that perpetrated this terrible
crime. Please keep all correspondence polite. (greyhound welfare at Irish greyhound Board) (local Police)


GA Ireland Press release.

13 million for Greyhound Industry while the old suffer more hardship

The IGB is and has been in receipt of Irish taxpayers funds through the Department of Finance's exchequer since 2001.

Horse and Greyhound racing has been awarded these funds through the Horse & Greyhound fund which totalled 75million last year, of which the Greyhound sector received 13 million in this budget.( Of course BIFFO has been a regular visitor to the tracks)

The 2009 budget resulted in a cut of 9%, a slight reduction of 1.5 million. Yet this money if diverted would go a long way towards genuine needy causes.

Greyhound Racing has received 106 million of taxpayers money since 2001.A disgrace when you consider our Health Service or the cut in medical cards services for the over 70s.

‘We call on taxpayers to push for an end to greyhound Industry grants in Ireland, especially in light of the current financial crisis.

The Greyhound Racing Industry is not a national cultural institution, but an example of severe animal abuse. Thousands of animals are drugged, injured, mutilated or killed annually.

Also the lack of an underage limit at tracks encourages underage gambling with children as young as seven years witnessed betting their Holy Communion money.

Greyhound racing is a shame to any modern state and should be abolished, not rewarded by tax-payer’s money.’ BernieWright,

spokesperson GAI.

Phone 087 2651720.

New deal to bring Irish racing to next level Irish Independent 01/07/08

Irish Independent - Dublin, Ireland

New deal to bring Irish racing to next level

Tuesday July 01 2008

IRISH greyhound racing is going worldwide and recent deals signed by the
Irish Greyhound Board could result in significantly increased Tote turnover.

A few weeks ago a new deal was signed which will see Irish racing shown live
in Swedish outlets and the Scandinavian clients can then bet straight into
the Dublin pools.

But now follows news of another international deal which will see Irish
Greyhound Racing available for audiences worldwide. The IGB has entered an
agreement with TRN International to offer live racing as a co-mingled tote
product to TRNI's European wagering partners.

This will allow TRNI to offer their wagering partners, who include virtually
all the major account wagering operators in the UK, full tote wagering
facilities for Irish Greyhound racing and live video-streaming from the
premier IGB tracks.

Bill Hogword, President, TRNI said: "I am delighted to bring Irish
Greyhounds to our wagering partners, this is a good solid product with a
great following, and further extends our development in pari-mutuel

Patricia Griffin, Head of Tote, IGB said: "This partnership will, I believe,
significantly contribute to increasing tote revenues for the IGB."

Kids are gambling their communion money Irish Sunday Mirror June 1 2008

Gone to the dogs
By Darren Boyle
Kids are gambling their communion money away at a top greyhound track just hours after receiving the Holy Sacrament, these shock pictures reveal.

These youngsters, aged between seven and eight, were photographed by undercover campaigners at a recent race night at Shelbourne Park.

Many of the boys and girls are still wearing their communion outfits as they queue to bet and listen for the experts’ naps.

Astonishingly, there is now law preventing kids from having a flutter on the State-owned bookmaker Tote.

One bookmaker said: “There are strict laws against children going into a betting shop and rightly so. But the Government gets the money from the Tote so they don’t seem to mind where it comes from. If a bookmaker took money from a child there would be ructions.”

Bernie Wright of Greyhound Action Ireland blasted it as disgraceful that young children are allowed to lay bets.

“This is very irresponsible,” she said. “We regularly protest outside Shelbourne Park on a Saturday night, but have started to notice that the numbers of children going dog racing has increased. One week there were more than 80 children out of a total of 800 people. One of our members went into the stadium to see exactly what was happening. There were children still in their communion outfits still placing bets. They are being exposed to alcohol and gambling which cannot be healthy.”

She added that the group is also opposed to greyhound racing because of the suffering he claimed it causes the dogs. Ms Wright said: “There are around 30,000 dogs bred a year. Most of these are put down because they are not quick enough or they are injured. It is impossible to rehouse all of these dogs so they end up being destroyed. Even if a dog is successful and ends up in stud, they are left locked up in a kennel which is no sort of life.”

According to Ms Wright, the government pumps 200 million euro a year into the greyhound industry.

She fumed: “That money could be spent far better by investing it into the health service. At the very least the government should ban children under the age of 18 from betting. A child can’t place a bet in Northern Ireland or Britain, so why should it be allowed here?”

It is with regret that I report the passing of OKEE DANCER at Clonmel last night. I wasn't at the track last night, but the owner informed me that OKEE had broke his back during a collision at the first bend, in his semi final, and was PTS.

Dead dog dumping ground sparks probe .... Irish Examiner 2008/03/19

THE ISPCA and the Irish Greyhound Board have launched investigations into the discovery of the carcasses of several dogs — including some greyhounds — in a remote west Cork woodland.

The gruesome finds were made in recent weeks in the Coppeen region and have prompted fears that owners have been using the isolated area as a dumping ground for unwanted greyhounds.

Other breeds are also involved, although some of the dogs had become so decomposed that it was impossible to identify them.

The ISPCA has described the dumping as “appalling and disgraceful” and are treating it as suspicious.

Some weeks ago, two dead dogs were discovered by ISPCA inspector Lisa O’Donovan following a report from members of the public, while further investigation of the woody area near Coppeen uncovered five more skulls and a large selection of bones.

“I would be confident that there are more remains there,” said the inspector yesterday.

“Because of the amount of dead bodies in the region and their proximity to each other, it would appear that there has been regular disposing here,” she said.

The cause of the dogs’ death is unknown and Ms O’Donovan said that it was “impossible” to know how many people are involved in the dumping of dog remains. “But if one person disposes of an animal and it remains undiscovered, then the likelihood is that the location would be mentioned to other people who choose to dispose of dogs in this manner,” she said.

Following confirmation that at least one of the animals was a greyhound, the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) launched its own investigation and is working closely with the ISPCA.

Those involved in the greyhound industry will be told of the situation in west Cork by the IGB.

“The illegal disposal of animals in this fashion is unacceptable. The majority of veterinary practices provide a disposal facility that is available to all members of the public for a fee. Not only is this an environmental issue but it is also a distressing sight for people to come across.”

Ms O’Donovan said that it was an “appalling and disgraceful” situation near Coppeen and appealed to members of the public to pass on any information that could lead to the apprehension of those responsible.

“I would also ask the public to keep on the look-out for similar occurrences in their areas and to report it to their local Garda stations,” she said.

* ISPCA confidential helpline: 1890 515515

GA comment: Yet further proof of the way that greyhounds are seen as disposable commodities ... the dogs were dumped to avoid paying a fee for killing them and also to hide the fact that healthy greyhounds were being killed.

Postings on the greyhoundscene pro dog racing forum Sunday 11 Nov 07

Richard Newell, a greyhound breeder living in Ireland (Co. Cork), has admitted, in posts made on Sunday 11 Nov 07, on the greyhoundscene pro dog racing forum, that large numbers of greyhounds are put to death before they even reach the UK tracks.

Some of his very revealing statements are below:

"I have two bitches (greyhounds) in my garage outside, some would say that's cruel making them live outside! I wil say go and feckin mind your own business and get a life!

“If I want to have my bitches put down I will, just like the farmer down the road if he has his sheep dog put down or kills one of his pigs, that ain't my business and it ain't no business of any anti.

“I think you all live in cloud cuckoo land if you think there aren't hundreds of greys put to sleep before they even reach the track in the UK. Hundreds of pups are too slow to grade, some don't chase others fight, injuries as pups etc etc. That is a fact, if you don't like it get out of the game.

“I am a realist............ and I am also knowledgeable enough to know that we pander to the anti's to much. Feck em! Let them come to my place here in Cork and see how my pups are reared and how my broods live their lives. I'd love to take out an anti down to the forest I go to every day with my pups in the hope my pups catch sight of something and chase it down and kill it. Sorry if that offends you but my pups are being bred to chase, and hunt and eventually show enough courage on a track to go through the rigours of racing.

“Fecks sake a greyhound is what it is. If you don't like the hard facts of quarry being hunted by greys or any other hunting dog then I think you is in the wrong game.

“I breed my pups If they don't or can't race then they have to go. Hard but true and not easy for me to take that trip to the vets but alas it has to be done otherwise before to long if every breeder were to keep every pup alive there would be thousands more greys being given away to abusers and the like because it would not be possible to rehome every one of them without real retirement options in place.

“Not only that there are still a great number of people, certainly in Ireland that see their greys as livestock and no more than that. A few have them rehomed but the majority are put down after their use is over. Again, hard true fact.

“And don't tell me that the majority of BAGS trainers see their inmates as anything other than livestock? I doubt the majority of BAGS dogs get a daily gallop out in a field or a hunt in a forest, more like 10 minutes emptying out twice a day and a trip to the local track once a week running lame for £15 to line the pocket of a caring Bookmaker

“I'm so glad I moved away from England. Where I live now there are folk out hunting with dogs most night's. Nobody where I live bothers the hunter or his dogs, in fact they are mostly welcomed onto their land to hunt.

“Our vet recognizes and readily accepts that my greys are bred for a purpose and are not pets. Whatever anti thought of the slogan "Greyhounds make great Pets" very clever, it's been dished out to the public so much they only associate the words Greyhound and Pet and there is your problem, the public now see greys as pets!“

Greyhound Action comment:-

Many may feel, from what he has to say, that Newell is a callous and evil animal abuser, but his honesty about the mass-slaughter that lies at the core of commercial greyhound racing has given us another nail to hammer into the coffin of the dog racing industry.

According to our research, about 15,000 greyhounds, bred for the British greyhound racing industry, are put to death before they even reach the tracks. Most of these dogs are bred in Ireland, and many of them are killed there, after being considered unfit for racing in Britain.

Although many of these dogs may never even reach our shores, the British greyhound racing industry is nevertheless responsible for their slaughter, as it is demand coming from the British tracks that has caused them to be bred in the first place.

Newell's comments reveal, once again, the connection between greyhound racing and bloodsports and the fact that many of those involved in the racing industry have little respect or consideration for animals of any kind.

BAGS stands for Bookmakers Afternoon Greyhound Service and applies to dog races run at many stadiums in the afternoon to cater for the needs of the betting shops. Dogs running in BAGS races tend to be slower than those taking part in the traditional evening races and are therefore treated as even more of a disposable commodity by the racing industry.

Derry Journal 12 October 2007

Greyhounds tested positive at Brandywell, says ICC

Two greyhounds have tested positive at the Brandywell for illegal substances, it has emerged.
Junior McDaid, an executive member of the Irish Coursing Club (ICC), has confirmed to the ‘Journal’ that two dogs have failed doping tests at the Derry circuit - Northern Ireland’s only working track - in the last 12 months.

The ICC governs greyhound racing in the North. Its counterpart in the South, the Irish Greyhound Board, released a report this week claiming that the majority of doping occurred in Northern Ireland.

Eight Northern Irish greyhound owners have been fined in the past year after their dogs tested positive for banned substances - including cocaine. Other substances found included amphetamine, also known as

“We carry out random testing at every race at the Brandywell and there have been very few cases, said Mr. McDaid. “There have only been two dogs that have tested positive. One of the dogs is local and the other is not.

“These substances could be there for a number of reasons. Some of the substances could have been taken as medicine. All we have got back from the lab is that illegal substances have been detected. We will have more details at the hearing in November.”

Mr. McDaid said the dogs’ owners and trainers would be called to a hearing of the Northern Ireland committee in Newry next month.

Miniscule problem

“I would like to stress that this is a miniscule problem in Derry and that random testing is carried out by our stewards after every race at the Brandywell,” he said.

Possible sanctions at the committee’s disposal include a fine and withdrawal of winnings.

GA comment: This follows on from shocking doping revelations in Eire ... see below

Belfast Telegraph Wednesday 9th October 2007

Greyhound owners rocked by drugs rap

By Robert Fenton

Eight Northern Ireland greyhound owners have been fined for using drugs, including cocaine in a bid to win races.

One from Lisburn has been deprived of €1,000 in prize money won at Lifford after his dog tested positive for the Class A drug.

Stricter drug-testing procedures have been introduced by the Irish Greyhound Board, including the setting up of an independent Control Committee to examine and take action against those found guilty of using prohibitive subtstances.

In their first report, the committee found that more than half of the offences were commmitted by people from Northern Ireland.

Other substances included were amphetamines or speed.

One greyhound based in Donegal, was found to have traces of herbal ectasy last April and the owner fined €250.

Hugh Duffy, son of Lifford owner Willie Duffy, hit out at those involved and said: "People giving any drugs to greyhounds are not welcome here and should stay away. They are only giving the sport a bad name."

Former Board member and prominent greyhound personality Cathal Curley also condemned those involved but said, " it represents a tiny minority" of those involved in the sport.

You can see more reports on this story here

GA comment: read on for more on this story
International Herald Tribune October 9th 2007

Ireland: 8 greyhound owners fined for doping their dogs

DUBLIN, Ireland: An investigation published Tuesday into the extent of doping in Ireland's thriving greyhound racing circuit imposed penalties on eight dog owners, the largest-scale punishment since the sport was rocked last year by a drugs-cheating scandal.

The report from the government-appointed Control Committee imposed fines ranging from €200 to €2,000 (US$280 to US$2,800) on the eight owners, who were found guilty of feeding their dogs a range of performance-enhancing drugs, including cocaine.

Some owners also were ordered to hand their prize money for particular races to the owners of No. 2 finishers. All received warnings they could be banned from the sport if they were caught again. Most of those identified live in the British territory of Northern Ireland.

Greyhound racing is big business in the Republic of Ireland, a gambling-friendly nation where crowds bet twice weekly on dog races at more than 20 tracks nationwide. The Irish Greyhound Board says more than €50 million (US$70 million) in bets were placed last year through racetrack bookmakers, while race winners collected more than €12 million (US$17 million).

But the rising financial rewards have fueled suspicions of drug-enhanced performances. In February 2006 the board came under fire for allegedly trying to cover up evidence that some trainers were feeding dogs EPO, the same drug that has tarnished the Tour de France. Two trainers were fined €1,000 (US$1,400) at the time.

The government established an independent committee following widespread accusations that the greyhound industry was not adequately policing itself. The committee, which includes a lawyer and a veterinarian, handed down its first punishments Tuesday.

Irish Greyhound Board chief executive Adrian Neilan said he welcomed the punishments as likely to deter other cheaters. He said more than 5,500 blood samples were taken from dogs taking part in races last year.

Neilan said his board "will provide all necessary assistance to ensure the highest level of integrity in the Irish greyhound

GA comment: read on for more on this story

Donagal News Saturday 12th October 2007

Greyhounds were on ecstasy and cocaine in Lifford, report finds

ONE greyhound owner in Donegal was found to have given his dog herbal ecstasy and another winner at Lifford dog track was forced to return his winnings and fined ¤1,000 after it was found he had given his greyhound cocaine.

A report published this week by the Control committee set up earlier this year as a racing watchdog by the Government, revealed the extent of doping which takes place in the sport.

Eight owners were prosecuted for doping their animals in the largest scale punishment handed out since the sport was rocked last year by a drugs-cheating scandal. The report found that the dogs had tested positive for cocaine, amphetamines or speed as well as prescription drugs.

A Lisburn owner of a greyhound was found to have given his dog cocaine and had to surrender prize money and pay a ¤1,000 fine after his dog tested positive for following a race at Lifford while a Donegal greyhound owner was found to have given his dog herbal ecstasy prior to a race in April.

Racing Manager at Lifford Greyhound Stadium, Mr Paul Murphy said it was not a common problem in greyhound racing with only one per cent or less of dogs tested nationally proving positive for drugs use.

"It is the first time a dog has tested positive for cocaine in Lifford and only the first or second time it has been found to be used in Ireland. It is very rare for dogs to test positive for drugs and there are strict measures in place and very stringent penalties imposed," explained Mr Murphy.


All greyhounds are registered to an owner. Before each race two dogs are tested for drugs use. The dogs tested are selected at random by a member of the public and a urine sample taken. The samples are then sent to an independent laboratory and tested. The independent body, then deal with all incidents and will prosecute the owners. It is a separate authority to Bord na g Con, the Irish Greyhound body, and was set up by the Government to oversee doping sanctions.

It is made up of five independent people including a qualified solicitor or barrister and a veterinarian.

GA comment: read on for more on this story Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Ireland Greyhound Owners Fined for Doping Dogs

DUBLIN, Ireland — An investigation published Tuesday into the extent of doping in Ireland's thriving greyhound racing circuit imposed penalties on eight dog owners, the largest-scale punishment since the sport was rocked last year by a drugs-cheating scandal.

The report from the government-appointed Control Committee imposed fines ranging from $280 to $2,800 on the eight owners, who were found guilty of feeding their dogs a range of performance-enhancing drugs, including cocaine.

Some owners also were ordered to hand their prize money for particular races to the owners of No. 2 finishers. All received warnings they could be banned from the sport if they were caught again. Most of those identified live in the British territory of Northern Ireland.

Greyhound racing is big business in the Republic of Ireland, a gambling-friendly nation where crowds bet twice weekly on dog races at more than 20 tracks nationwide. The Irish Greyhound Board says more than $70 million in bets were placed last year through racetrack bookmakers, while race winners collected more than $17 million.

But the rising financial rewards have fueled suspicions of drug-enhanced performances. In February 2006 the board came under fire for allegedly trying to cover up evidence that some trainers were feeding dogs EPO, the same drug that has tarnished the Tour de France. Two trainers were fined $1,400 at the time.

The government established an independent committee following widespread accusations that the greyhound industry was not adequately policing itself. The committee, which includes a lawyer and a veterinarian, handed down its first punishments Tuesday.

Irish Greyhound Board chief executive Adrian Neilan said he welcomed the punishments as likely to deter other cheaters. He said more than 5,500 blood samples were taken from dogs taking part in races last year.

Neilan said his board "will provide all necessary assistance to ensure the highest level of integrity in the Irish greyhound industry."

GA comment: read on ... the next story also relates to doping ... a far from unusual practise it would appear.

IRISH INDEPENDENT Monday October 08 2007

Racing dog had 'ecstasy in system'

AN Irish greyhound has been found with traces of herbal ecstasy in its system.

It is understood to be the first time that an animal was found with benzylpiperazine (BZP) anywhere since the substance was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of prohibited substances last year.

It also comes just months after a new independent committee was set up to investigate doping in greyhound racing.

BZP is legally sold in Ireland as an ecstasy substitute in dance clubs and various outlets, and is also available in health stores here as a slimming pill.

However, its legal status is being reviewed by both the EU and Pat Carey, the junior minister with responsibility for drugs in Ireland.

In September of last year, WADA named BZP as a stimulant that was to be added to its list of prohibited substances.

In April of this year, a dog running at Lifford in Donegal was tested and BZP was found, and the new independent body overseeing the policing of greyhound racing has since fined the owner €250.

"It is the first time a BZP case has come before the committee," DJ Histon, the deputy CEO and head of regulation at Bord na gCon, said yesterday. "It's the first I've heard of it."


Earlier this year, Bord na gCon, the dog racing industry body, announced that an independent control committee was to investigate and sanction those involved when greyhounds test positive for drugs.

A committee made up of board members had previously done the work but the new body was recommended following a review of the board in the light of a row over hearings into positive drug tests on dogs trained by Paul Hennessy and John Kiely.

The dispute led to the dismissal of the then chief executive, Aidan Tynan, and the subsequent early resignation of former chairman, businessman Paschal Taggart. The row flared after the board's decision not to publish findings against Mr Hennessy and Mr Kiely, whose dogs tested positive for performance-enhancing protein, EPO.

Kevin Heffernan, the former Dublin football manager, chairs the new independent body, and recently published its first findings.

Among the stand-out cases is that of Callukes Mentor who tested positive for BZP. The dog's owner, Martin Crossan from Main Street, St Johnston, Lifford, was fined €250.

Human users of BZP have reported adverse reactions such as vomiting, mood swings, liver failure, nausea and anxiety.

GA comment: doping appears to be widely spread in greyhound racing click here to see more stories

From Tuesday, 24 July 2007 20:28

Bord na gCon announces €28m investment

The Irish Greyhound Board is to splash out a total of €28 million to provide new state of the art stadia at Limerick and Kilkenny.

For almost a decade a new world class stadium has been promised for Limerick but plans to locate at the old Greenpark racecourse and at Coonagh fell through.

However, it has been confirmed that it has been decided to revert to the Greenpark site, which will also become the new headquarters of Bord na gCon who have been based at Henry Street in the city centre since it's foundation in 1958.

The Limerick project will cost €20 million and the stadium will also include restaurants, bars and corporate boxes with ready made access from the DockRoad.

In Kilkenny, the development will take place at the grounds of the local Show Society.

The greyhound board became the major shareholder of the Kilkenny Greyhound Racing Company which up to now has operated the facility.

The new Limerick stadium is, subject to planning being granted, due to open in June 2010 while the €8 million Kilkenny development is due to open in January 2010.

Czech dog lovers offering former racing greyhounds from Ireland new life
[04-09-2007] By Ian Willoughby

A truck was due to arrive in the small west Bohemian town of Okrouhle Hradiste on Tuesday bearing a most unusual cargo; not a regular consignment of goods, but around 40 greyhounds from Ireland. The animals are being adopted by Czech dog lovers who want to save them from being (often brutally) destroyed - and help these greyhounds enjoy a dignified life in a loving environment.

Lucie Miric breeds dogs and runs a canine beauty parlour in Prague. She is also the head of Adopce chrtu (Greyhound Adoption); the association organises regular transports of former racing greyhounds from Ireland to the Czech Republic, where interest in taking the animals in is growing.
"I learned last year how greyhounds are treated in Ireland when they are either too old to race or are injured. They're killed in a barbaric manner, either by shooting, hanging or - in the best cases - put down. I was so moved that I became the first person in this country to adopt a greyhound, and it really is a great dog, full of love. I began telling other dog owners about it and now many Czechs want to help and make such dogs happy."

The term Lucie Miric uses is "adoption", because, she says, the animals are finding a new home. What's more, where they go has already been decided before the greyhounds arrive in the Czech Republic, as she explained while awaiting the arrival of the latest batch.

"This is the fourth and biggest transport. Before we took, for instance, eight greyhounds - this time there are 40. All of them already have new owners, who have chosen a dog on the basis of photographs and profiles we've received from a shelter in Ireland. So we know which ones like kids, which ones don't, which ones are dangerous for cats, and so on."

One might imagine that these greyhounds could be dangerous to cats, and children, given that they have been bred to chase hares, mechanical or otherwise, and have perhaps had little contact with people. What state are they in when they arrive in the Czech Republic - and can they really make appropriate family pets?

"These dogs are really destroyed. They were used for racing, so many have problems with their joints and ligaments. Some are mentally unstable, but in 99 percent of cases such greyhounds settle in to living with families. It does take time, after they've been kept in cages two metres by two metres and been fed once a day. They have a reputation as bloodthirsty beasts which kill every little creature that moves - it's not true. Every dog we've adopted has adapted to its family - they're very adaptable."

GA comment: How embarassing for the Irish racing industry that people from the relatively poor country of the Czech Republic have to help these dogs when the racing industry in Ireland abandons them.

Irish Independent Tuesday June 12 2007

Coursing Club to rejoin world body after gap of two years

By John Martin

THE Irish Coursing Club (ICC) will announce this week that they are to rejoin the World Greyhound Racing Federation (WGRF).

The ICC withdrew from the global body two years ago after pressure from the then Bord na gCon, who had pulled out earlier.

At the time, Bord na gCon gave the ill-treatment of Irish-bred greyhounds in Spain - a founder WGRF member - as their stated reason for quitting.

But the ICC, who administer greyhound racing in the North of Ireland, stayed loyal to the WGRF where their secretary Jerry Desmond had held high office.

The old Bord na gCon, for a number of reasons including the Spanish question, then withdrew advertising from the ICC-published Sporting Press.

Financially put to the pin of their collars, the ICC struck a deal with Bord na gCon at negotiations held in Clonmel in 2005.

The advertising revenue would flow again - as long as, among other concessions, the ICC withdrew from the WGRF.

Having hosted the WGRF conference in Cork in 2003 Ireland were, two years later, without representation on the WGRF.

Ironically, news of the changed Irish Coursing Club position will be carried in this week's Sporting Press publication.

The new Bord na gCon will not be joining the ICC at the WGRF conference in Melbourne, Australia later this year but a spokesman at the semi-State body in Limerick said that they are actively considering an invitation to rejoin the WGRF.

GA comment: This clearly shows the intimate links between the vicious sadistic "sport" of hare coursing and greyhound racing ... if you don't know about hare coursing click here

Irish Independent May 1st 2007

Bord facing fresh drugs scandal
By John Martin

SPORTS Minister John O'Donoghue could do without it on the eve of a general election, but it seems that he may soon have a major new greyhound drugs scandal on his hands.

To counter criticism in the wake of previous drugs disclosures in the sport, O'Donoghue made a number of personnel changes in Bord na gCon.

As a result, a fresh control committee was set up to fast-track drugs cases on the semi-State files.

Giving the new control committee added credibility was the appointment as its head of Kevin Heffernan, the highly respected former manager of the hugely successful Dublin football team of the '70s.

But one of the cases in the pipeline for the control committee may plunge the sport into fresh controversy as it concerns a greyhound owned and trained by a prominent industry figure.

Meanwhile, Minister O'Donoghue narrowly avoided embarrassment when he presided over a greyhounds award function in Naas on Sunday evening.

Among those nominated for an award was the Paul Hennessy-trained Heart Rumble which once failed a drugs test in Britain.

However, the Minister avoided an embarrassing situation when another greyhound was announced as the winner in that category.

Meanwhile, Irish Derby winner Razldazl Billy was named Irish Dog of the Year at the same function.

For info on the background on this story ... click here

Irish Independent 26th June 2007

Onwards and upwards the plan for Board chief Neilan
By John Martin

THE pre-general election submission made by the new management at Bord na gCon to the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism is an inspired document.

For those of us entrusted with the task of predicting race winners, the submission takes the art of the clairvoyant to a new level by seeming to anticipate the make-up of the new Government and the installing of a new Minister in the relevant department.

This white paper on the future of the greyhound industry has 'green' written all over it. It is the first report of its kind to seriously address animal welfare issues and how these reflect on the sport.

The layout also presumes no knowledge of greyhound racing by the new incumbent at the Department, and sports supremo Seamus Brennan will find on his desk in Kildare Street a clear and concise blueprint of what this semi-State body are about and where they hope to go.

There is no guarantee that Brennan will be sufficiently impressed as to match the generosity toward the sport shown by his predecessor John O'Donoghue.

But while other sports administrators will invariably come knocking on the Ministerial door in the months to come, Bord na gCon already have a foot in.


The submission details the achievements of the previous decade when over €90million was invested in capital projects.

Other achievements saw the Totalisator at dog tracks in the Republic jump from €6.7m in 1995 to €50.5m in 2006 (654% increase); on-course bookmaking went, in the same period, from €22.2m to €93.2m (320% increase).

There was a leap in prizemoney from €2.4m to €12m (400% increase); sponsorship went from €610,000 to €2m (227% increase); attendances shot from 686,000 to 1.33m (94% increase); fixtures went from 1,736 to 2,138 (23% increase).

Fundamental to that growth has been the grant from the Horse and Greyhound Fund which the Government set up in 2001 and which runs to the end of 2008. Bord na gCon are now looking not just for a continuation of that fund but to copper-fasten the financing of a number of projects up to 2012.

New Bord na gCon chief executive Adrian Neilan, the author of the report, writes in his preamble of the challeges they face: "Emergence of strong animal welfare views; reduced UK and international greyhound market; concerns about racing track safety and maintenance procedures; slowing Tote revenue growth; slowing attendance growth; the need to boost employee morale and provide a clear organisational structure with defined accountability at all levels; emergence of threats from betting exchanges as well as possible entry of adjacent competition (eg casinos): overall track operating profits not achieving above-average goals."

Neilan further added: "In the long run this industry needs to be as self-sufficient as possible but this cannot be achieved without further capital investments and the support of the government in broadening our business scope."

Neilan, who hails from Ardfert, Co Kerry, joined Bord na gCon in June 2005 as head of IT, before his elevation to the post of chief executive this year.

Before embarking on the plan, meetings with representatives of all shades of greyhound racing opinion were held.

But the over-riding mantra at Bord na gCon headquarters in Limerick these days is that growth will have to be achieved without the excesses and free-spending of other days.

Beneficiaries in the shorter-term of the savings policy and Government funding will be Limerick track, which has tremendous potential, followed by Kilkenny and Clonmel. Neilan says: "These are absolute priorities and are key to the overall success of our five-year business plan. These developments will be closely followed by the developmentof Mullingar and Enniscorthy."

He reports: "At the moment, the under-developed Limerick is showing a yearly overall financial loss of €50,000 whereas the state-of-the-art Cork makes an overall profit contribution of €800,000 per year to the industry."

On internal housekeeping, Neilan says: "The Board plan to review the current organisational structure so that it is in a position to support the delivery of key revenue streams and identification of cost-saving initiatives."

Apart from their current customers, and the need to make a night at the dogs so appealing from a spectator and dining point of view that they will become 'repeat' customers, another question vexing the Board is how to make greater use of their stadia.

Neilan explains: "The commercial use of facilities on occasions other thangreyhound racing is limited by the scope of the 1958 Greyhound Racing Act.

"Many of the Board facilities are ideally located for alternative uses such as bingo, which has experienced a resurgence in the UK in recent years through significant investment by the major operators including Gala and Mecca.

"The Board is anxious to broaden the commercial use of its facilities to generate an alternative income stream on non-greyhound racing nights.

"The financial and commercial strategy will be very much influenced by the Oireachtas approach to gaming.

"The deliberations of the committee on the regulation of casinos are yet to be published and any broadening of the licensing for additional forms of gaming, in particular casinos, will have a significant adverse effect on attendances and totalisator turnovers at greyhound stadia.

"Historical evidence and econometric modelling suggest that the licensing of casinos and electronic gaming in Ireland would result in a reduction in on-course Tote betting of greyhound stadia in excess of 40 per cent or €20m on an annual basis and a 25 per cent reduction in on-course attendances.

"Accordingly, if casinos are licensed in Ireland then the Board must be provided with an opportunity to capitalise on its prime site locations by reforming its business to incorporate a casino product offering.

"If the scope of the Board's operating remit is not so extended or an alternative funding method established, as happened in USA, Canada and Australia, then the livelihoods of all those involved and working in the greyhound industry will be significantly and adversely affected."

Neilan is coy about actually declaring the percentage increases detailed in the plan sent to the Department "but it would be unrealistic to expect them to grow at the rate of previous rises".

Those members of the Green Party at the Cabinet table will appreciate the fact that much of the Board revenue is to be earmarked for welfare matters.

Neilan says: "The public perception of the industry is determined by how well we treat our greyhounds.

"A negative perspective by the public will have serious implications at all levels and impact upon overall strategy success.

"To ensure we manage this area effectively, a number of key initiatives will be developed and implemented over the life of the plan.

"The outcomes from the welfare management system will demonstrate that the Irish greyhound industry recognises its obligations and adopts a pro-active and planned approach in this area."

He pledges to introduce a fresh approach to the promotion of retired greyhounds as pets: "The Board established the Retired Greyhound Trust to create a mechanism whereby owners could place their greyhounds in a well-structured and resourced homing scheme.

"When a greyhound's racing career is complete it is incumbent on the industry to afford opportunities for homing."

To this end, a dedicated website dealing with all aspects of the problem is to be set up.

GA comment : Some of this makes interesting reading from the 'new' Bord na gCon chief
executive Adrian Neilan - especially regarding his concerns about ........

"slowing Tote revenue growth; slowing attendance growth; the need to boost
employee morale"

"emergence of threats from betting exchanges as well as possible entry of
adjacent competition (eg casinos)":

"overall track operating profits not achieving above-average goals."


Paisley rules out plans for a stadium at Belfast's Ormeau Park

First Minister Ian Paisley has ruled out plans for a stadium at Belfast's
Ormeau Park, saying it would affect five churches, including his own.

Mr Paisley said it would not be "convenient" to have Sunday School children
arriving in buses with a greyhound track outside the door.

He added: "It will not be and I'm told it cannot be under the planning act."

Belfast City Council is considering a possible stadium, incorporating a
greyhound park, at the park.

On Wednesday, research commissioned by the council suggested a new national
sports stadium for Northern Ireland should have an urban setting.

"Seldom have we experienced such overwhelming evidence for the in-town
location," the report stated.

The findings went against proposals for a 35,000-seater stadium for soccer,
GAA and rugby at the Maze/Long Kesh site.

On Tuesday, the culture minister said he was not satisfied that plans for a
Belfast site for the stadium were viable.

Edwin Poots added that the process could not go on indefinitely.

He said the Maze/Long Kesh Site was the only site able to accommodate "a
potentially viable shared stadium for all the sports involved".

Sunday Times Ireland 17th June 2007

Mutilated greyhound heralds tighter controls
Author: Mark Tighe

Regulations dealing with the registration and sale of greyhounds have been introduced after the discovery of a mutilated animals in Waterford. Officers fro the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) rescued the greyhound, which they named Aoife, after a day-long chase around Tramore in April last year. The dog's ears had been cut off to prevent its owners being tracked using its unique ear tattoo.

The Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) used a DNA sample to trace the dog's Munster-based trainer, but gardai in Tramore say there is not enough evidence to bring criminal proceedings for animal cruelty. On Thursday the board's control committee also decided it could not take action. The file will remain open.

Andrea Quinn of the WSPCA said he was "disgusted" by the board's decision. "I am utterly frustrated and angered by this." he said. "Cutting off Aoife's ears is one of the worst acts of barbarity I 've ever seen. At first the IGB was all over this and they rushed in to take a hair sample and get statements. But over the past year is has cooled off and show no intention of bringing someone to book. I don't blame the gardai as I don't think the IGB gave them enough to go on."

The owner, traced by the DNA sample, said he sold Aoife to another trainer. This second man has told the greyhound board and the gardai that he sold the dog to an unidentifiable traveller he met "on the road".

"Blaming travellers is ridiculous," said Quinn. "I deal with travellers all the time and none of them would to(sic) this to a dog. The IGB should fine both men who admitted to owning Aoife because they are the people who bear responsibility for her. "

Quinn said he would now take Aoife to every racetrack in Munster to demonstrate the board's "lack of willpower" to punish those responsible for mutilating the dog's ear. "I want Aoife to be an embarrassment for the IGB and to show what some trainers will do to a dog who isn't considered good enough to race," he said.

DJ Histon, head of regulations at the IGB, said the board had changed its regulations in light of the Aoife case. Owners must now register the sale of a dog immediately with the Irish Coursing Club. Buyers will face a fine if they do not register ownership within 14 days of purchase.

"We are as disappointed as anyone not to secure in this case," said Histon."We had hoped we could set an example with this high-profile case, but that hasn't been possible".

The coursing club's DNA database is being expanded. Currently just over half of all greyhounds are on it; the plan is to include all of them by 2009.

After Aoife's case was highlighted in the media, the WSPCA received more than €2,500 in donations towards its care. The money paid for three operations on the its ears which have returned 70% of its hearing ability. The dog, which was named after the vet who first operated on it, is in the care of greyhound owner.

GA comment: This just shows how little they care about the dogs ... despite this being a very high profile case and the owner being tracked, they still refuse to do anything ... makes you wonder about all the cases which aren't high profile ... are they just swept under the carpet too? What do you think?

You can click here to see the original story detailing how Aoife came to be found in this state.


Irish Independent February 2007

Slot machines may ring changes at Harold's Cross

THERE are renewed fears for the future of Harold's Cross as a greyhound track.

The concerns have escalated with news of the visit of a Bord na gCon delegation to a 'racino' in America.

These are entertainment complexes which started their lives as dog tracks but where the racing now takes second billing to slot machines and casino facilities.

The track at Lincoln Park on Rhode Island is likely to be the prototype for the new-look Harold's Cross.


The importance placed on this fact-finding exercise is the presence of Bord na gCon chief Dick O'Sullivan and wagering supremo Patricia Griffin.

Also in the party, which flew out last Friday and returns today, is Fianna Fáil TD Joe Walsh.

However, Bord na gCon have denied paying for the former Agriculture Minister's stay Stateside.

A Bord na gCon spokesman told the Irish Independent: "Mr Walsh is with the Bord na gCon delegation; but he has paid his own expenses".

O'Sullivan has recently overseen a number of cutbacks at the semi-state body, including - as reported in the Irish Independent last week - the gifting of Christmas hampers to track directors.

On Monday evening, the West Cork TD saw live pictures transmitted from Harold's Cross to the Rhode Island track.

The inter-mingling of Tote pools - Americans betting into the Bord na gCon kitty - puts the Irish authority into a legal grey area.

An earlier betting link-up between Irish and American tracks was abandoned after legal complications.

In another unhappy Irish-American deal, a proposed €1 million race involving Irish and American dogs was aborted because of spiralling costs, including the need to change Shelbourne Park from an outside to an inside lure.

A number of previous attempts have been made by Bord na gCon to sell off Harold's Cross or change its use. The semi-state body backed down after opposition from local greyhound owners.

The notion that it will be kept open to serve as a casino is likely to be no more palatable to locals, given the addictive nature of slot machines and the social ills associated with them.

Any such move is likely to be opposed by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern who has made his abhorrence to slot machines known.

Horse Racing Ireland recently confirmed an Irish Independent story of last October that they intended to introduce casino facilities onto Irish racecourses.

* Harold's Cross will stage their first matinee meeting tomorrow, when they run seven races in the afternoon in conjunction with Derek Mooney's RTE radio programme.

John Martin

sunday mirror 18th February 2007

Note: after a short campaign by GA, Ann Summers finished this promotion and have said they wont be supporting greyhound racing in the future.
The Kerryman December 21st 2006

Gardaí baffled over ‘sick’ scene of animal cruelty

By Dónal Nolan

Three of the bodies

A GRISLY mystery is unfolding in Ballyduff this week following the discovery of the carcasses of five badly-decomposed dogs that were washed onto Kilmore Strand.

Animal welfare sources have described the find as ‘unbelievable and deeply puzzling’, that five bodies would wash onto a beach at the same time. While the remains of individual dogs are occasionally discovered along the coast this is thought to be the first time a large group has been discovered.

Gardaí investigating the grisly scene since its discovery at the weekend are working under the assumption that the dogs are greyhounds. The bodies are so badly decomposed however that they have yet to verify this. Gardaí were not able to confirm if any violence had been visited on the dogs while alive - it is thought unlikely at this stage.

“To have five dogs coming ashore like this is pretty unbelievable,” the KSPCA Animal Welfare Officer, Harry McDaid, told The Kerryman. “This is highly unusual to say the least and logic doesn’t really allow that these animals would all have died of natural causes at the same time.

“While we don’t know where these bodies originated from it would seem safe to assume that they came from the same owner.

It’s puzzling and sick and I would appeal to dog owners to be responsible if they have an animal that is sick.

“The County Pound has adequate provision for sick greyhounds and animals with vets visiting once a week - that’s the route owners should go down. It sounds like these animals were destroyed at the one time and the owner didn’t have space to bury them. This is not the work of an animal lover,” he said.

Kilmore Strand lies to the south of the Cashen rivermouth and one possibility under investigation is that the dogs were washed down the North Kerry river.

GA comment: just another unbelievable story of cruelty from Ireland ... not convinced? read through the stories below and you will be!

The Irish Times Mon, Feb 05, 2007  

A leading greyhound trainer has pleaded guilty to seven charges of possessing unauthorised animal "remedies", some of which could be used to enhance the performance of dogs.

Paul Hennessy from Rathvawn, Garryduff, Gowran, Co Kilkenny was fined €4,200 and ordered to pay €800 in expenses at Kilkenny District Court today for the possession of illegal substances.

The prosecution was brought by the Special Investigations Unit of the Department of Agriculture and Food following a visit by veterinary inspectors to Mr Hennessy's premises.

Greyhound Action Ireland Comment: We are very proud that we are heavily responsible for this case coming to court ... read the article below to find out why.

Greyhound Action comment: In his pursuit of (quite literally) a fast buck, Hennessy was obviously totally unconcerned about the harm that these "remedies" might cause to the dogs and of course he didn't mind gaining an unfair advantage by doping his dogs either.

Click here
for more about doping in Ireland.
You may also like to click here to see another case of attempted doping where the person injected themselves by accident while trying to dope one of their dogs.

GREYHOUND ACTION IRELAND press release covering Hennessy doping story above

In February 2006 this group urged its members to complain to the Gardai regarding the drugging of dogs in the racing industry as outlined in the Irish Examiner 28-1-06.

Approximately 10 written statements containing the complaint detailed below were sent to Noel Conroy. We were then contacted by Gardai and questioned which we believe has ultimately led to the conviction today.

“With regard to a report that appeared in the Irish Examiner newspaper of Saturday January 28th 2006, we urge an immediate Garda investigation into the alleged criminal activities referred to in this article.

We ask you to investigate, as a matter of urgency, the claims that a number of named greyhound owners and trainers administered prohibited substances to greyhounds.

The article revealed that greyhound trainer, Paul Hennessey, of Gowran, County Kilkenny administered a prohibited substance, namely Erythropoitin (EPO) to a racing greyhound known Barefoot Jenny”


Bernie Wright,

Greyhound Action Ireland

(if you haven't already ... read the article directly above this one to see what happened)

Business Post Friday, October 01, 2006

Jones aims to reclaim coursing prize in court

By Ian Kehoe

Footballer-turned-Hollywood-actor Vinnie Jones will appear before the High Court in Dublin on Friday in an effort to recoup the prize fund for the world’s richest coursing race.

Footballer-turned-Hollywood-actor Vinnie Jones will appear before the High Court in Dublin on Friday in an effort to recoup the prize fund for the world’s richest coursing race.

The former Wimbledon and Leeds United star is suing the Irish Coursing Club in a row over the €80,000 prize money for the Irish Cup in Co Tipperary.

Boavista, one of Jones’ greyhounds, won the race earlier this year but was disqualified after he tested positive for a prohibited substance.

The Hollywood actor is seeking to take judicial review proceedings in the High Court in an effort to reclaim his money. Boavista is trained at Monard, near Limerick Junction, by Pat Curtin, who owns the dog with Jones and Co Clare bookmaker Denis Gould.

Jones owns several greyhounds, most of which bear the name ‘‘Smokin’’, a reference to Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, the Guy Ritchie film which starred Jones. Boavista was named after a Portuguese football club.

According to sources close to Jones, the former Welsh football international will argue that the withdrawal of the €80,000 prize was illegal, since the owners of the greyhound were never properly briefed on the ‘‘chain of evidence leading to the positive test’’.

The dog’s owners were told of a positive sample.

However, they claim the Irish Coursing Club’s body of enquiry never deliberated on the matter, even though it was twice scheduled to. The Irish Coursing Club rules are set out under the 1958 Greyhound Industry Act, and the club is therefore open to judicial review. It is understood that Boavista was tested at the Irish Coursing Championships at Clonmel in January of this year and the result was negative.

Jerry Desmond, chief executive of the Coursing Club, has previously said that Jones could face penalties and fines if it is proven he breached the Coursing Club’s rules as set out under the 1958 Greyhound Act.

Sunday Times - TimesOnline August 13, 2006,,2091-2310460,00.html

DNA tracks mutilated dog's owner

Mark Tighe

THE Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) is using DNA profiling for the first time to bring to book an owner who allegedly hacked off the ears of his racing dog so it could not be identified.

The greyhound, which was abandoned in the Co Waterford resort after being mutilated, is being kept at a secret location until disciplinary hearings by an IGB panel conclude.

The IGB will also hand its evidence to gardai in Tramore who are expected to bring criminal proceedings against the man for animal cruelty.

A hair sample from the dog was analysed and compared to genetic records held in a central database of all Irish greyhounds, which revealed its identity along with that of its Munster-based owner.

The two-year-old dog, now named Aoife after the vet who treated her, is being kept hidden by the Waterford Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (WSPCA) which fears the animal may be kidnapped while the case is still in progress.

"We don't want to expose her to undesirables, who could find out where she is," said Andrew Quinn of WSPCA. "We just relocated her again to keep her safe.

Until the case comes to a conclusion she won't be re-homed officially. But she is extremely happy where she is with other greyhounds. She is fit and has put weight back on."

Last month, a Sunday Times investigation revealed that thousands of greyhounds in the UK were slaughtered after they underperformed at races. Last year just under 24,000 greyhounds were bred in Ireland, about 60% of which were exported to Britain.

Aoife first came to the attention of the WSPCA after it received dozens of calls from motorists who spotted her wandering around Tramore in a "frightened state".

It took more than eight hours to capture her. "As you can imagine she is some runner," said Quinn. "She had the whole of Tramore chasing after her but eventually she got tired and went to ground. She was afraid of people but not cars so we drove up to her and caught her on the snatch poll from the van and then threw a duvet over her."

After she was caught the greyhound was brought to a vet who treated her for dehydration and loss of blood from her severed ears. Following local media attention the WSPCA received over Euros 2,000 in donations from people appalled at her condition, including money and a card from children at a pre-school in Kerry. The money will be to pay veterinary bills.

"People like this - and they are the exception in the greyhound community - are mean bastards who wouldn't even spend the money on an anaesthetic. It's sickening what some people do to dogs," said Quinn.

All racing greyhounds are required to have identifying tattoos in their ears. Animal welfare groups have reported finding several abandoned dogs with their ears mutilated by their owners who don't want the dog traced back to them.

The Irish Coursing Club (ICC) now requires all breeding sires (males) and bitches (females) to have their DNA registered in a central database. This enabled the investigation by IGB stewards, who took a sample of Aoife's hair for analysis and were able to confirm, "100%", the dog's sire and its registered owner.

The ICC is responsible for keeping the greyhound stud book and records of greyhounds bred in Ireland each year. The DNA records, kept at Weatherbysb Laboratory in Kildare, have been used to guarantee a dog's pedigree but this is the first case of DNA being used to track an abusive owner.

The DNA evidence was used to back up interviews conducted after the IGB received a tip-off from somebody familiar with Aoife's markings who saw them
in a photograph of the dog on the front of Greyhound Weekly. This led the team in the direction of a Munster-based greyhound owner.

The investigation team will present its evidence to the IGB control committee within two weeks. If Aoife's owner is convicted with the charge of cruelty and maltreatment of the greyhound, the man will be hit with a fine and banned from owning greyhounds and attending greyhound venues. The maximum fine is set at Euro 2,000 but the committee is authorised to increase this if the case is deemed sufficiently serious.

"It is important for this case to be resolved," said DJ Histon, welfare manager at the IGB. "We abhor any act of cruelty on any dog and the feeling on the ground is that this must be fully prosecuted. DNA is a great source of information and hopefully this will send a strong message to anyone who would contemplate such an act in the future."

Jerry Desmond, ICC chief executive, denied that there was an oversupply of greyhounds in Ireland. "It's like any industry, supply meets demand. Demand has fallen in the UK so we have seen the number of dogs born in Ireland fall in the last year."

GA comment: has the number of dogs bred really fallen? or have more just been killed and abandoned? Either way it is encouraging that the demand for greyhounds in the UK is falling ... we are winning!

Click here to read the original stories about Aoife

Unknown Source

Irish Examiner newspaper 3/10/06

Racing subsidies costing taxpayers 60,000,000 euros a year

Ann Cahill

Each person who spend a day at the races last year cost the taxpayer E38 in subsidies according to a study by the Economic and Social Research Institute.

Dog racing was subsidised to the tune of E7 million-up to E11 per person who spends a day at the track. Last year, the Government gave close to E60m-a third of the State's total annual expenditure on sport-to horse and dog racing. The industry used about half of this to subsidise prize money for major races.

The rest of the sports budget-roughly E120m-is divided between 60 bodies such as the GAA, soccer and rugby and for coaching Olympic athletes. When the subsidy was introduced in 2001, the State recouped much of it by levying a 5% betting tax on off-course betting. That was reduced to 1% in last year's budget. Most of the subsidy to the industry comes from the general tax fund.

Last year was a record year for the industry with 291 racing fixtures attended by over 1.4 million people with prize money of E52.3m. By the end of 2006 more than E317m will have been allocated to Horse Racing Ireland since 2001 and E79 million to Bord na gCon.

The subsidy structure will be reviewed in 2008. However, Professor Tony Fahey, of the ERSI who carried out the study along with Dr. Liam Delaney of UCD said the regime should be looked at not. He said it raises questions about the State's boards having an interest in promoting gambling.

Finance Minister Brian Cowen said the subsidies did not take into account the thousands of jobs the industry creates and the money generated for the economy.

The study, State Financial Support for the Horse Racing Industry will be presented at the ERSI conference , "Budget Perspectives 2007," next Tuesday.
The Sunday Times September 17, 2006

Tourists sold bodhrans made from dog skin

Mark Tighe,,2091-2361562,00.html

A LEADING traditional-Irish music shop has admitted that some of the bodhrans it sells are made from greyhound skin.
Custy’s Traditional Music Shop in Ennis, Co Clare insists that Irish dogs have not been used in the making of the drums. Its manager also claims every Irish tourist shop sells bodhrans made from greyhound skin.

Top-quality bodhrans are still made by hand in Ireland but most of the cheaper ones bought by tourists are imported from Pakistan.

John O’Connor, manager of Custy’s, said: “We sell greyhound, but the majority of our bodhrans are sourced locally and made from goat or calf skin. In every tourist shop you go into, those mass-produced bodhrans would be from the subcontinent and would generally be greyhound or some other poor-quality skin.”

O’Connor, who says he is a dog lover, has no qualms about stocking bodhrans made from greyhound hide. “I mean, where do you stop with diet and clothing choice? You’d have to ask how humanely can an animal be put down or is it humane to bring up an animal for slaughter? If we go down that road we’d all be living on grass.”

Waltons Music, in Dublin, is the biggest supplier of bodhrans in Ireland. As well as exporting them, it also supplies the tourist and football-fan markets through outlets such as Carroll’s Irish Gift stores in Dublin. Last year, Carroll’s estimates, it sold more than 5,000.

Niall Walton, managing director of Waltons, disputed O’Connor’s claim. Waltons moved its bodhran manufacturing facility from Athy to Pakistan three years ago because of lower costs and the availability of goats.

“I have never seen or heard of any skin other than goat being used to make bodhrans,” said Walton.

Greyhound racing takes place on a small scale in Pakistan, mainly through hare coursing and point-to-point. Ireland is the leading greyhound producing country in Europe with 24,000 registered dogs born every year.

Bernie Wright, head of Dog Rescue Ireland, said she was disgusted that greyhound skins could be used to make bodhrans. “I don’t think they should be selling them if they are made from greyhounds,” said Wright.

Other Irish bodhran makers claimed greyhound bodhrans were an urban myth. One said: “I remember one of The Fureys telling me he’d had a greyhound bodhran but it dropped out the back of the van and rolled down a hill chasing a hare.”

Irish Independent 13/09/06

€6,000 bill for cramping dogs

A man who transported greyhounds from Ireland to England to race them has been ordered to pay £4,000 (€6,000) towards the cost of his prosecution after he appeared before an English court accused of carrying them in cramped cages.

Bernard Martin McBride of Ardmayle Cashel, Co Tipperary, pleaded guilty when he appeared before magistrates in Bristol yesterday, to a transit offence in relation to 10 greyhounds.

The court heard how the police pulled over a white Mercedes van in August last year and found it contained rows and rows of caged dogs, with further rows behind them.

Animal welfare inspector Glyn Roberts, who was called to assist, found the dogs in small, stacked cages, some of which were just 32.28 inches high.

One black and white greyhound had been transported in a collapsible travel cage which was lower in height than the peak of the dog's back bone - let alone his head carriage, she said.

Under Englands Welfare of Animals laws, transport cages must be big enough for animals to stand and lie doen without difficulty.

McBride told magistrates he was completely unaware of the regulations despite being in the racing industry for 30 years and transporting dogs for six years from Ireland.

GA comment: no suprise here, but note that the man has been involved for 30 years ... he is part of the general culture of cruelty evident in the racing industry both in the UK and Ireland.

The Star Newspaper 31/05/06

Coursing man fined over hares row
Author: Kevin Farrell

A coursing club official was fined yesterday for obstructing a wildlife ranger and refusing to give the ranger his name. The court heard that Offaly's Ballinagar Coursing Club had lost its licence as a result of the incident on October 25, 2004.

Charles Colgan (62) of Cappincur, Tullamore, was fined €200 for obstruction and €100 for refusing to give his name. Judge Tom Fitzpatrick said he accepted that Colgan was a highly respected member of the local community with no previous convictions. But it was not Colgan's function to tell wildlife officers how to do their job, he said.

Ranger Noel Bugler told the special sitting of Tullamore District Court that he had been checking boxes of hares being loaded into a van. But Colgan told him to get out of the van, and had pulled him. He said Colgan had told him to f*** off" - and had refused to move when he said he had being assaulted. Bugler told a defence solicitor who suggested he had appeared "out of nowhere" and jumped into the van - on top of the hares - that he had been trying to "speed things up".

Colgan who said he been involved in coursing for 40 years told the court "I said "Hold on there - I' ll take them out for you, but he kept moving on top of the hares. " He said Bugler began to get on his nerves - "so I said to him: "get to hell out of there."

Colgan said the only physical contact had been when Bugler's rubber boot contacted his arm as the ranger was getting out of the van. He agreed that he might had told Bugler to "feck off".

The judge said that he found it hard to reconcile a defence suggestion that getting on top of the hares would frighten them with the fact that the same hares were chased by greyhounds.

GA comment : this shows the mentality of those who torture and kill animals for fun ... they are violent and sadistic thugs ... why else would they enjoy maiming animals?

UK based readers may also like to remember that although hare coursing was recently banned in the UK, a large proportion of racing greyhounds in the UK come from Ireland and in that country there is an intimate link between the coursing and racing industries ... this means that a person visiting a greyhound track in the UK is responsible for helping to fund and support the Irish hare coursing industry.

Our Dogs Newspaper 05/05/06

Huge bill may close Greyhound charity down.

Our Dogs Newspaper 05/05/06

Demo planned at Greyhounds award

Irish Independent April 2006

€145,000 bill may throw dog charity to hounds

AN animal welfare charity that rehomes abandoned greyhounds for Bord na gCon has been told to pick up a huge tab after the board said it has no more money to give them.

Gina Hetherington of PAWS in Sallins, Co Kildare, says she has been left reeling by the news that the Irish Greyhound Board's 2006 fund for retired dogs, which stands at €250,000, is apparently gone - despite being just four months into the year.

The charity, which rescues abandoned greyhounds from pounds, may now have to find up to €145,000 to cover veterinary bills, kennel boarding fees and transport costs or else leave the unwanted dogs to their grisly fate.

Last month the charity was told Bord na gCon was pulling the plug on transport costs and vets' fees, while from the end of this month it will no longer cover the cost of kennelling unwanted dogs.

Earlier this month Ms Hetherington took her case to Sports Minister John O'Donoghue to appeal for a grant to cover the cost of caring for the greyhounds.

But her request was declined.

"Bord na gCon will spend €5m renovating the Kilkenny stadium but it won't put €250,000 into the dogs that have served them so well," she added.

The winner of every race pays 2pc of their prize money into the retirement fund to care for unwanted greyhounds.

PAWS has been working in conjunction with Bord na gCon for the last two years rescuing unwanted greyhounds from pounds before they are destroyed. Of the 200 rescued by PAWS last year almost all were rehomed abroad - largely in Italy and Sweden - while just three found new homes here in Ireland.

"Irish people do not see greyhounds as pets.

"They think that because the dogs are muzzled they must be dangerous and that they require lots of exercise.

"But greyhounds are actually very gentle, they'll run around the garden three or four times and then collapse on the couch. They take a sprint, get tired and go to sleep," said Ms Hetherington.

The average age of the dogs rescued by PAWS from the pounds is just two years.

Unless greyhounds have proven themselves as champions on the race track by that age, unscrupulous owners will abandon them.

"There are greyhound owners who love and care for their dogs but there are also those backyard guys who dump their dogs as soon as they don't win," said Mrs Hetherington.

"Owners start training them at one year old and if they are not making good speeds they don't want them anymore," added Ms Hetherington.

A spokesman with Bord na gCon said its prime obligation is to fund its own operations to rehome retired greyhounds in Croom, Co Limerick, and that any money left over is then given to various animal charities, including PAWS. He added that PAWS has already received its allocation for 2006 but there is no reason the charity will not be considered again next year.

Meanwhile, up to 40pc of calls received by the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals now relate to horses. Animal welfare workers have reported an increasing number of horses being abandoned by their owners.

GA comment: This clearly shows the lack of concern about the fate of ex-racers common in the greyhound industry ... you only have to read the following story to see what the likely outcome of this drop in funding will be.

Irish Examiner, 14/04/06

DNA samples have been taken from a greyhound which had its ears cut off in a determined bid by animal welfare authorities in Waterford to track down those responsible for the savage act.

Yesterday, Andrew Quinn, Waterford SPCA, had enlisted the help of Bord na gCon and the Irish Coursing Club in bringing to justice those who mutilated Aoife, the young female pedigree dog.

With her ears cut off, the dog was abandoned. She was found wandering the streets of Tramore, Co Waterford hungry, thirsty and terrified.

"It took us six hours to capture her," explained Mr Quinn, such was her level of anxiety around people.

He believes that Aoife, having never reached her full potential as a racing or coursing greyhound, was savagely mutilated by "somebody who had invested heavily in her and when they did not get a return on that investment decided they would not waste the cost of a lethal injection from a vet."

After her capture by the WSPCA last weekend, Aoife was given a full check-up by the vet, who decided to send her to a specialised unit where she can rehabilitate after her terrifying ordeal.

"Once she is back to full strength she will need reconstructive surgery on her ear canals to ensure her ears can be drained properly," Mr Quinn said.

Breeding and ownership details are tagged on greyhounds' ears. By removing her ears, her previous owner had made an obvious attempt to
cover his tracks.

However, the WSPCA is confident that following the DNA checks that will be carried out by both Bord na gCon and the ICC, they will be able to uncover details which will lead them Aoife's owner.

Referring to the mutilation, Mr Quinn said: "The first cut was very sudden and took one ear cleanly off, but the second, well, all I can say is that she put up some fight."

Once the dog has made a complete recovery from reconstructive ear canal surgery, the WSPCA will then make a decision on a new home for the greyhound.

Already, the WSPCA has received offers from a number of people who want to give Aoife a loving home.

"We will very carefully decide on her new owner," Mr Quinn said. "One thing is certain, this dog will want for nothing."

He stressed that the mutilation of greyhounds in this fashion was not a common occurrence, but there are a number of recorded cases.

Late last year, animal welfare officers dealt with an almost identical case in Co Tipperary in which a greyhound had its scalp mutilated and both ears removed.

Read the next article for more info on the case...

Waterford News and Star, Friday, April 14, 2006

Savage cruelty

by Marion O'Mara

A LEADING animal welfare officer in the city is convinced that under-performing racing greyhounds are being deliberately mutilated before being dumped and left to bleed to death or starve.

Last weekend a two-year-old greyhound bitch was rescued in Tramore after both its ears had been cut off and it was abandoned in the Priest Road area.

In the past year a number of other greyhounds have also been recovered in Dungarvan. The ears have also been cut off the dogs and they have been left for dead.

Andrew Quinn, welfare officer with the ISPCA, believes that the greyhound recovered in Tramore last week and the other animals rescued in Dungarvan were all racing dogs but they suffered the ultimate punishment of mutilation when they failed to perform for their owners and trainers.

“Racing greyhounds are tagged inside their ears and I believe the reason their ears were cut off was to hide their identity and the identity of their owners when they were abandoned,” said Andrew Quinn.

First reports of the “earless greyhound” were made to the ISPCA on Friday night by concerned residents of the Priest Road area but it was not until the following day the animal was picked up following a search that lasted some six hours.

“The animal was frightened out of its wits and obviously in extreme pain. It was also malnourished and showed signs of dehydration by the time we managed to pick it up,” Andrew Quinn told the Waterford News & Star.

The welfare officer, who has witnessed appalling cruelty to animals in the past, said he was shocked at the extent of the mutilation to “a most timid little dog.” He added that he was even more shocked that there now seemed to be a trend among some racing greyhound owners to adopt drastic measures to hide the identity of abandoned dogs.

He confirmed that there had been a similar number of cases in Dungarvan in the past year and he did not rule out the possibility that the greyhound, which has been called Aoife after the vet who cared for it, was brought from the Dungarvan area to Tramore.

The greyhound is currently being cared for by the ISPCA in the city and when it grows stronger it is hoped that some reconstruction work can be carried out to its hearing ducts and eventually it will go to a good home.

Andrew Quinn, who has expressed his thanks to the people of Priest Road, the Cliff Road and Newtown areas of Tramore, is now appealing for financial support to help “Aoife” and other dogs like her.

“We provide a fantastic service but our funding is very limited and therefore we would be grateful for all the help we can get,” he said.

Read the next article for more info on the case...


Waterford Today, April 2006

Greyhound brutally mutilated

By Deirdre Dalton

Pictured above is a young greyhound who was brutally mutilated and found in Tramore by members of the Waterford SPCA.

Aoife - the name given to her by the rescue team - had both her ears cut off and was wandering around Tramore since Friday evening, absolutely terrified. She was finally rescued on Saturday afternoon and brought to safety.

According to Andrew Quinn, Waterford SPCA, “it took us a number of hours to catch her because she was so shaken from her experience. We started off in the Church Road area of Tramore she then ran to the Golf Course and we finally caught her on Cliff Road. By the time she was rescued she was very dehydrated and she is malnourished”

Aoife was cared for over the weekend and went for a full check - up to the vets on Monday, where it was decided to send her to a specialised unit where she can rehabilate. Once she is back to full strength she will need re-constructive surgery on her ear canals to ensure her ears can be drained properly.

Anyone with any information regarding Aoife or the brutal attack on her can contact Tramore Gardaí on (051) 381333 or Waterford SPCA on 841432.

GA comment: Regulars to this site will be well aware this is not an isolated incident ... for details of many more similar cases click here

Doping 1: Thursday May 18th 2006

Sports Minister critical of parties involved in doping controversy

Sports Minister John O'Donaghue has criticised parties involved in the Bord na gCon doping controversy for commenting publicly on the matter against his wishes.
Former Chief executive Aidan Tynan has maintained his silence in recent days, however Bord na gCon Chairman Pascal Taggart issued a statement last night in which he claimed a report, commissioned following a dog-doping scandal backed his position.

Mr. Taggart says the report shows that Aidan Tynan was fired for reasons other than his stance on the doping issue.

The affair began when Mr Tynan wrote a letter to the Sports Minister in January complaining that the board was covering up evidence of doping in greyhound racing.

GA comment: if you are coming new to this scandal ... read the articles below to discover the background

Doping 2: Ireland on Sunday February 2006

Im taking on charlie Bird, RTE and the government

by Jim clarke.

The Greyhound Industry scandal took another bizzare twist yesterday when the controversial chairman of Bord na gCon Paschal taggart moved to defend his role in the sacking of its CEO Aidan Tynan and the covering up of two positive drugs tests on Irish dogs.

Mr Taggart held a colourful press conference at Shelbourne Park dog track in Dublin in which he launched a vicious attack on RTE reporter Charlie Bird, he alleged that Mr Tynan might not have been sacked but for the intervention of Sports Minister John O Donoghu, he claimed that Tim Dalton, a former secretary-general of the Dept of justice, was incapable of investigating the scandal. In future he said, he would propose that all positive dope tests on dogs be published.

As Animal Rights activists protested outside Shelbourne Park and hundreds of Taggarts supporters gathered to wave placards on the track, the under fire chairman accused RTE and the Examiner of dishonest and biased reporting.

The scandal erupted just over two weeks ago after Mr Tynan wrote to Mr O Donoghue complaining that positive drug tests had been supressed by Mr Taggart. It has since emerged that two dogs were discovered to have been dosed with the human performance enhancing drug EPO in 2005.

But when the cases came before the boards drug testing committee, under Mr Taggarts chairmanship in November, the committee decided not to publish the results.
the minister wrote immediately to Bord na gCon requesting an urgent report into the matter.The following day Mr Tynan was sacked by Mr Taggart and the other six members of the board.

The minister launched an enquiry into Mr Tynans dismissal and urged Mr Taggart to remain silent while Mr Dalton conducted the enquiry.But yesterday an unrependant Mr Taggart defied Mr O Donogue to put his case to the press.

It is a very very difficult decision to make to come here today. Mr Taggart said, I had six or seven friends pleading with me last night not to come. I do not believe Mr Dalton is capable of investigating this aspect of the issue. Mr dalton is incapable of investigating Charlie Bird. RTE and the Examiner.

Charlie Bird rang me at 12 noon last Friday I came in to meet him and say there was no connection between the drugging case and the sacking.This biased dreadful comment from RTE, I dont know why that happened.RTE and the Examiner were not fair. It was erroneous dishonest reporting. Id like the RTE chiefs to explain why they persisted in this. Look what Im doing here, taking on Charlie Bird, RTE and the Govt, this media frenzy started with the headline that Tynan was sacked over the EPO decision.

We'd forgotten what Aidan Tynans decision on the EPO case was. It was nothing to do with his sacking.This goes back to Oct 19 2005.There is a long list of disagreements on stratgedy. Charlie Bird can tell you whats in the minutes of the board meeting.

As the ANIMAL RIGHTS activists blared sirens outsideto protest against the treatment of retired racing dogs, Mr Taggart insisted he would be vindicated. we took the decision not to publish those test results he said, we took 4500 euro prize money from one guy who was guilty.Then we introduced a range of anti doping guidelines. But I will go to the next Bord na gCon meeting proposing that all drug positives will be published in future 100%.

Last night Charlie Bird declined to respond to the allegation that his reporting had been biased.But an RTE spokeswoman said the station rejected Mr Taggarts outburst. We are not going to comment on what Mr Taggart said at this time. But RTE fully stands over our correspondent Charlie Bird.

GA comment: read the following five articles for more context on the current doping scandal.

Doping 3: NEWS OF THE WORLD 5-2-06 (UK report ... but it contains good background info on doping)

Cocaine used to dope greyhounds


By Brian Radford

RUTHLESS gamblers are fixing dog races by feeding the greyhounds COCAINE, the News of the World can reveal.

The drug stops dogs winning because it "fries" their brains, preventing them from running on top form, and crooked punters cash in by betting on the doped greyhounds to LOSE.

There have been four cases of dogs testing positive for cocaine —and none of them finished first —but it is feared many more have gone undetected.

In an exclusive interview, Noel Thompson, security co-ordinator for the National Greyhound Racing Council, said: "People are giving drugs to dogs which they know will stop them."

Cocaine is a stimulant in humans, but when the drug is mixed in with a dog's food, its nervous system is overstimulated and the animal becomes disorientated.

"A doped greyhound will often struggle to go round bends and lose vital ground," said Mr Thompson. "Certain drugs will take the edge off a dog."

He added that the callous fixers are cruelly playing with the dogs' lives."They are giving them poison, because that's what drugs are," he said. "An overdose could kill a dog, just as it would a human being.

"We know for sure a number of gambles have taken place involving a greyhound which later tested positive. Inevitably gambles have been landed on greyhounds that were not tested."


Around 10,000 dogs a year are tested and in 2005 up to 30 were found to be doped with drugs, including cocaine. The most recent cocaine case involved Dark Ranger at the Pelaw Grange track near Chester-le-Street in Durham last September. Both his trainer and kennel-hand were fined £1,000 and disqualified after the 7-4 chance finished third.

Mr Thompson said: "It's unlikely that a dog is ‘got at' without a trainer or someone on the staff being involved. People are definitely trying to buck the system."

He added: "Apart from cocaine, another big stopper is Cyclizine, the travel sickness pill.

"Beta-blockers, heart drugs, chocolate and amphetamines have all been used on greyhounds, I believe."

Another trainer, Andrew Gardiner, was severely reprimanded and fined £1,000 after his dog Emma The First was doped with beta-blocker Propranolol at Brough Park stadium, Newcastle upon Tyne, in October.

And greyhound agent William O'Donoghue was reprimanded and fined £400 after theophylline, an asthma treatment, and caffeine were found in a urine sample taken from Kiel Sensation at Perry Barr, Birmingham, last July.

Even the 2003 Greyhound Derby winner Droopys Hewitt tested positive for a painkiller in the third round of the competition, although the result was not known until after he had won the £75,000 final, two weeks later, when it was disqualified.

Millions of punters bet on greyhounds in betting shops, at dog tracks every day and on TV worldwide.

Annually greyhound racing generates a colossal £2.3 billion in off-course bets, and £87.5 million in Tote on-course bets at the UK's 31 tracks.


Online betting exchange Betfair—who offer punters the chance to gamble on greyhounds to lose races—has teamed up with the National Greyhound Racing Council to hound out the crooks.

When Betfair spot suspicious betting patterns they alert NGRC investigators who launch an immediate probe.

Mr Thompson says the sport's security squad is doing its "absolute best" to stop the dopers wrecking the country's second biggest gambling sport after horse-racing.

He added: "I think it is awful and disgusting for anyone to dope greyhounds, and our stewards look at it in the same way

GA comment: read the following four articles for more context on the current doping scandal.

Doping 4: Limerick Leader Saturday, February 4th, 2006

A week is a long time in the Greyhound Industry


I'M standing in what's masquerading as a stand in the Market's Field, its Saturday night and below freezing, the crowd is small and the bookies are very cold and not doing much business.

I have just added a new recruit to my small racing string of greyhounds, a fine specimen by 'Fortune Mike' called 'Razzle Dazzle Mike' and now in the car of Ballysheedy handler Nealy O'Connell.

Of course, I'm looking forward to him competing and needless to say the Ledger is high in my hopes, wasn't it always, but as a late friend of mine Joe Holland of Ballysteen would say "aren't there smaller things there than the Ledger". There are of course and I would be delighted to win one of those.

My recent article of January 14 under the brilliant headline (not put in by me but by the sub-editor) "Putting the current state of Bord na gCon under the microscope" has attracted great interest from our readers, even Limerick people who have no interest or involvement in Greyhounds.

There was also an element of dissatisfaction with this article. You know well the "don't rock the boat brigade", the political cronies and the supporters of the status quo. How dare I tell the story and how it unfolded. I'm also advised that this piece was forwarded to local politicians, including Mr Willie O'Dea, Minister for Defence, Mr Peter Power, Mr John O'Donoghue, Minister for Sports, Recreation and Tourism, Mr Bertie Ahern, Taoiseach and Enda Kenny. The national daily's were also covered together with the Sporting Press, Clare and Tipp FM local radio's. I might add that neither the Limerick Leader or myself had call for any of these "so-called" media and news outlets.

However, our efforts to bring the big guns out of cover was not completely lost as low and behold we had a fast response from the one and only Mr Pascal Taggart, Chairman and Supremo of Bord na gCon. Its well worth reading as it does not contradict a single item of the lengthy article of January 14, therefore, we cannot accept that Pascal Taggart and the Bord together with the Chief Executive have accepted the contents of this piece and I might add that his assurance that in 2007, Limerick will have a brand new state-of-the-art stadium rings hollow. With the admission of Mr Aidan Tynan, now Ex-CEO that the Lansdowne site although bought and paid for has not been re-zoned, no strategic engineering plan has been carried out, no planning permission has been sought, no discussions with the NRA or the Clare County Council had taken place.

As they say in politics, a week is a long time, so the same applies in the affairs of Bord na gCon. Not alone did the piece of January 14 upset Mr Taggart but it has Mr Aidan Ryan scurrying for his PC and on its way to the desk of John O'Donoghue, Minister for Sport, Recreation and Tourism was a letter from the Chief Executive containing the explosive exposure of a doping scandal and cover-up by the Chairman and members of the controlled committee within the Bord. These disclosures were to cause an uproar within the Bord, the government and also the Greyhound industry at large. RTE and their news reporters including Charlie Bird went into overdrive, headlines appeared from all directions, "Bord na gCon Drug Cover-up", sensational headlines to the public in general but not the writer, who is too long involved in the sport of Greyhound racing, too long around to believe the pressure, Mr Pascal Taggart on national TV being not too convincing under questioning from news reporters who wouldn't know a greyhound from a Norwegian elkhound. No, Mr Taggart had dug a hole for himself, supported as usual by his subordinate Board, he sacked Mr Aidan Tynan from his position as Chief Executive and had the audacity to maintain that the removal of the CEO had nothing to do whatsoever with the letter to the Minister revealing the double standards at play by Mr Taggart and his cohorts, in not applying the same criteria of naming and shaming two trainers, one only Mr Paul Hennessy, the doyen of greyhound trainers and one Mr John Kiely, a County Cork handler who had administered EPO to dogs in their care. Talk about double standards, what a cheek! and a two finger salute to yours truly and all other decent and genuine greyhound owners.....

The Minister, who had involvement in greyhound ownership by way of a syndicate involving other members of the Dail and Senate, a bitch named "Lotto Princess' who was trained by Paul Hennessy. There has been a very close relationship with the Bord and Mr Hennessy with dogs purchased by the Bord out of taxpayers money and given to Sport and TV personalities for advertising and promotional purchases, the most famous of these was the "Late Late Show" who ran in the name of Pat Kenny, had great success and is now standing at stud.

Bord na gCon has escaped public and media scrutiny over the past 20 years with political appointments to the Bord of party hacks and cronies who hadn't a proverbial clue as to how a state-body like this should be run. The Government has been pumping tens of millions of tax-payers money into this state-owned company with little or no return or control and it has now become a fiefdom of Mr Taggart and his chosen few.

Nobody cried halt to a downward spiral of incompetence from successive CEO's to middle management. Sackings and compensation payments were and still are regular occurrences, court cases and claims by the victims of this incompetent board must have cost millions. Still no outcry by any Minster, I wonder why? and where was the defender of our national assets, Mary Harney in the middle of this? No, the sport of horse and dog racing was the play-thing of Fianna Fail and its great national leaders in Charles J. Haughey and the Manchester United fan supreme, Mr Bertie Ahern. Yes, Fianna Fail will always wear the national jersey in sporting matters. They will pick the captain, the manager and selectors. However, the one thing they forgot was that when the team loses, the team will hardly be blamed, the blame normally stands with the manager. Why in heaven's name did they not contact me for advice here, shades of '94 and '96, and why didn't someone tell me about EPO.

Back to matters at hand, the situation that has been brought into the public domain this week by Mr Aidan Tynan has exposed serious malpractice at play within Bord na gCon within their testing and control committee procedures. Firstly, it exposed double standards and a cover up of seismic proportions. The use of EPO is illegal but the cover up that was perpetrated in a state-owned company has consequences far beyond the confines of 104 Henry Street and Dail Eireann. There must be a judicial examination of the Bord in this particular case of the use of EPO.

But all records of testing results in recent years must be examined because it was well spoken of within the so called sport that there was double standards at play long before now. We all could see unbelieavable improvements in performances by dogs and bitches in major competitions. We all know that the small man, owner and trainer has no chance, mainly canon-fodder or as a friend of mine, the late Michael Hickey would say "we are only a necessasry evil". The use of EPO by Mr Paul Hennessy and Mr John Kiely has to be investigated by the Drug Administration Authority. The Vetinenary Union of Ireland must also investigate the use of this banned drug, the records of the Vet that administered the drug to Mr Paul Hennessy's dog must be examined fully. Athletes have died as a result of the administration of EPO, athletes have been banned from Olympic and International competitions over its use. The equine test centre at Newmarket has a regular testing programme for EPO. There has been a huge investigation into laboratories and chemists in California over the supply and administration of EPO and it has now reached the top of the banned substances list.

We know that in recent years in greyhound and coursing circles that dogs have died suddenly. We in the greyhound sport are now entitled to answers and we are also entitled to run our dogs on a level playing pitch.

The testing needs to be taken out of the hands of Bord na gCon immediately and given to an outside laboratory as we cannot have any confidence in the present system and its administration. There are some important pointers here, how long has the EPO drug been administered. The cost of EPO is way beyond the reach of 90% of greyhound owners, with each injection of this illegal drug costing €500 plus the Vets charge of about €100's. Is the drugs being used without the Vets, I ask? We know that Paul Hennessy's Vet applied the injection. What Vet applied the injection to Mr John Kiely's dog? Where are the records of the distribution of this drug and who has access to it in the first place? With the prohibited cost of application and procurement, we can rule out nearly all greyhound owners, so can we assume that there are a chosen few who are ruthless and wealthy enough to use it and maybe as a result, win the major prizes. I leave those thoughts for your consideration.

The Chairman and Bord of this state-owned company should be asked to step aside while this investigation is taking place. A new administrator should now be appointed by the Government to carry out the day-to-day activities of the Bord. All recent CEO decisions should be looked at in depth, all public funding should be stopped immediately and for one and for all, a complete root and branch examination of every aspect of the Bord's activities needs to be carried out. No other route will restore the confidence of the tax-payer, the owners and supporters. The whole affair stinks to high heaven and it has been a disgrace to every decent supporter of greyhound racing and I nearly forgot, don't forget to read Mr Pasca Taggarts letter to yours truly....

There was one aspect of this letter that may become a museum piece in the future, because I believe that we will have a greyhound museum before we have a new greyhound track in Limerick. Mr Taggart's confirmation of a new stadium by 2007 does not wash in so far as he has promised faithfully in public, not to mention the confines of 104, at least 10 times that this would happen. Another one or two or maybe three announcements won't make much difference.

I would, however, like to take issue with his last comments about the former Chairman of the Limerick and Clare GOBA, Mr Richard Crehan. Richard Crehan was as Pascal Taggart states, responsible for the procuring the freehold of the Markets Field together with the support of Alderman Pat Kennedy. This major achievement was far and above his normal duties as Chairman of the Limerick and Clare Breeders and owners and added millions to the assets of Bord na gCon. Were these assets used as securities for loans to develop other stadia? Harrold's Cross, Galway and Lifford come to mind! Maybe, you might enlighten us in your next letter to the Limerick Leader. You thanked Richard Crehan well for his efforts by reneging on your agreements with him, forcing him and his excellent committee to resign from the GOPA, from a director of the Limerick Racing Track and from his position as PRO of a national body. Forcing him to terminate his interest in the sport that he loved so well. Your public acknowledgement of Richard's work is something, I believe, he can live without. Mr Taggart mentioned another item in his letter, was it "the proof of the pudding was in the eating", would you eat one of Mr Taggart's puddings? I wouldn't.....

GA comment: read the following three articles for more context on the current doping scandal.

Doping 5: GA Ireland Press release 3/2/06

Urgent Gardai Investigation Sought by International Animal Rights Group.
Deceit, drugs, doping and dead dogs.

Greyhound Action Ireland (affiliated to GA International) is tonight calling on its members to contact Garda Commissioner Noel Conroy in light of the recent revelations and admissions of drug administering by two well known trainers.

An urgent and immediate Gardai investigation into possible breaches of the Misuse of Drugs Act and the Protection of Animals Act by both trainers Paul Hennessy and John Kiely is being sought.

These trainers admitted to the offences and have been fined a paltry sum of 1000euro each for administering the human drug EPO to greyhounds.

An email urging activists to contact the Gardai in writing is circulating on the Internet . Greyhound Action is horrified at the 40, 000 dogs killed by the Industry annually in Ireland and the Uk.

Dogs have been dumped in ever increasing numbers minus their ears here in Ireland and dog pounds offer a 15 euro killing service to greyhound owners to dispose of slow or injured dogs.Greyhounds are disposeable to the sick Greyhound Industry.

People should wake up to the race fixing and cruelty involved in this seemingly harmless ‘sport’. In reality it’s the equivalent of a blood sport.

GA Ireland Press Officer Bernie Wright. 087 2651720.

GA UK Press Officer Tony Peters 00 44 1562 745 778 or mobile 00 44 7703 558724.

GA comment: read the following two articles for more context on the current doping scandal.
Doping 6: Irish Examiner 31/01/06 ... Dog’s chairman first out of traps in multi-million business empire

By Noel Baker

PASCHAL TAGGART has had an interest in so many companies and business concerns, it would be easier to list those he has had nothing at all to do with.

The 62-year-old has hit the headlines on more than one occasion in recent years, thanks mainly to his business interests ranging from newspapers to shopping centres to computer software.

It is his role as non-executive chairman of The Irish Greyhound Board, however, which has led to the latest controversy. Mr Taggart has been in the big chair since December 1995 when he was appointed by Fine Gael Minister Ivan Yates.

The organisation has received over €70 million since the commencement of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund in 2001 and a nominal fee of €10,158 is allocated for the chairman.

However, Mr Taggart said back in 2000 that he did not take the then €3,810 fee or expenses due him for occupying the position.

He is also known to have friendly relations with Sports Minister John O’Donoghue who appointed him on a new task force to carry out a review of the Irish tourist industry in January 2003. It is understood that Mr Taggart also admires Tánaiste Mary Harney and is friends with Fianna Fáil Deputy Joe Walsh, to whom The Irish Greyhound Board was answerable up to the last General Election, and that he has a friendship with Fine Gael’s Jimmy Deenihan. He has also attended the Fianna Fáil tent during Galway Race week.

Mr Taggart also has plenty of allies among the board members of The Irish Greyhound Board, as evidenced by the unanimous decision to fire chief executive Aidan Tynan last week. Among them is Tony McKenna, a former Fianna Fáil senator, while Frank O’Connell is also understood to have links with Fianna Fáil.

As for another board member, Cathal Curley, Mr Taggart is believed to have told Mr O’Donoghue that he would walk unless Mr Curley was re-appointed to the board in 2002. The last civil servant member of the board, Helen Nugent, resigned last year.

For the man behind the development of the Jervis St shopping centre in Dublin, it is business that makes the world go round, with the greyhounds an enjoyable sideline, although even here he tasted success when he was co-owner of the 1984 winner of the Irish Derby.

Moreover, it has been a business career of ups and downs since his big breakthrough in 1987.

Thanks to monopoly restrictions then in place, Dunnes and Quinnsworth were unable to bid for the stores left by the collapse of H Williams, leaving the way open for Mr Taggart and businessman Noel Smyth to snap up the stores for €15.24m, and then sell them on to the supermarket giants for €20.32m.

Mr Taggart, a former Antrim footballer who held accountancy posts at the Inland Revenue and Spicer and Pegler in London before embarking on a business career here, has held chairmanships at Frawley’s Department Store, Computerland, ITG, Orbiscom and the Jervis Street Centre, among others, and was also involved in the doomed Century radio station in the late 1980s.

In June 2002, Mr Taggart became chairman of the new company, BPA, formed after the merger of Dublin printing companies BP Colour and AluColour.

In November 2002, Noel Smyth sold his 26% stake in the Dunloe Ewart property group to Mr Taggart for €47.2m. The stake was later sold on to Liam Carroll, and it is believed Mr Taggart made the most money thanks to his quick dealing.

By 2003, Mr Taggart held 0.24% of the Dalatex company, of which he was also a board member, and transferred 100,000 shares in the Irish travel software firm to his daughter Elva, and in June of last year he bought another 105,000 shares.

On the downside, he was chairman of one of Dublin’s oldest advertising agencies, Doherty’s, when it ceased trading in 2003 with debts estimated to be millions.

He was also chairman of the Ireland On Sunday newspaper when it established itself here in the late 1990s, and was chairman of the Dublin Daily newspaper which folded just four months after it launched in early 2003.

His latest business enterprise was to secure a stake of almost 2% in the Jurys Doyle group at a cost of €19.3m late last year.

In addition to all this, he is a former director of Rosslough Holdings Ltd, a former partner in Bastow Charleton and Gilmore Taggart, and even his stint as an accountant was put to good use as tax adviser to Tony O’Reilly for 12 years.

Nor is this the first time that Mr Taggart has become embroiled in controversy while at the helm of Bord na gCon.

Back in February 2002, the bord’s then regulation manager John Garrahy alleged before the High Court that he was bullied by then chief executive, Michael Field, and that Mr Field and Mr Taggart were behind an orchestrated attempt to remove him from office.

Mr Taggart maintained the allegations were false. The case was settled out of court.

GA comment: read the following article for more context on Paschal Taggart and his alleged part in the current doping scandal.

Doping 7: RTE 27/01/06 ... Greyhound board chief sacked in doping row

O'Donoghue seeks report on Tynan dismissal

The Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism, John O'Donoghue, has said he is looking for an urgent report on the issues surrounding the dismissal of the Chief Executive of the Irish Greyhound Board.

Aidan Tynan of Bord na gCon has been sacked following a row with the chairman of the body over the use of banned drugs for doping dogs.

Last week, Mr Tynan complained to Minister O'Donoghue that the board's chairman, Paschal Taggart, had ensured that the findings of drug abuse were not published - contrary to established policy.

However, Mr Tynan was fired yesterday by the board.

One of the trainers involved, Paul Hennessy from Co Kilkenny, has admitted to RTÉ News that EPO was administered to his dog 'Barefoot Jenny' last summer.

But he insisted that he did not want the matter hidden from the public.

Mr Taggart said the board decision to remove Mr Tynan was unanimous. He rejected any allegations of bullying and said he was the most open chairman in the history of the State.

Mr Taggart has stood over the decision to sack Mr Tynan.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio's News at One, Mr Taggart said the decision was not connected to the revelation that Aidan Tynan had written to the Sports Minister about the failure of the board to publish drug abuse findings.

Mr Taggart explained that the discovery of EPO in greyhounds provided a new situation for the board and that he stood over the decision not to publish the findings. He said that his intention was to name and shame people in the future.

He said Mr Tynan's letter 'had no consequences to him being sacked'.

Positive urine samples

In his letter to Mr O'Donoghue on 18 January, Mr Tynan recalled that last year, the board's laboratory certified two separate urine samples as positive for Erythropoietin, also known as EPO, which he described as a 'dangerous and illegal prohibited substance' used for blood doping.

Mr Tynan wrote that the findings posed a very serious challenge to the board in ensuring the highest levels of integrity in the industry.

Mr Tynan said both the trainers involved admitted that EPO had been administered to the greyhounds when the cases were processed through the board's Control Committee, chaired by Mr Taggart.

Fines and money forfeitures were imposed.

But then Mr Tynan accused Mr Taggart of ensuring that the fines were not published contrary to the committee's policy in cases when banned drugs are involved or when the industry is brought into disrepute.

Mr Tynan said his own views were disregarded when he recommended to the chairman that the publication policy be adhered to and that suppressing the findings would be more damaging to the industry in the long run.

He was also worried about future funding for what he said was a 'unique and indigenous Irish industry'.

GA comment: scroll up and read the preceding five articles for more context on Paschal Taggart and his alleged part in the doping scandal.

You may also like to click here to see another case of attempted doping where the person injected themselves by accident while trying to dope one of their dogs

Irish Independent 22/05/05

Pat Kenny tight-lipped on charities favoured with dog's prize money

Donations totalling almost €220,000 - the proceeds of prize money won by a top greyhound given free by the Government agency to the RTE star.

A number of animal and other welfare charities have benefited from this prize money as a result of the remarkable success of the dog named 'Late Late Show'.

An angry Pat Kenny said "none of your business" when asked for a breakdown of the charities that have benefited from the dog's outstanding success on the track.

The dog, Late Late Show, is also enjoying a continuing career as an international stud dog - mating with more than 100 bitches by natural means in Ireland at up to €700 each, and being heavily advertised for artificial insemination in the United States and Australia at US$750 per phial of semen.

Pat Kenny said the greyhound Late Late Show was his personal property and journalists or the public had no right to know the identityof charities that received monies.

When it was pointed out that the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) was in receipt of taxpayers' money and that Late Late Show cost €5,000 as a pup, with a further €6,000 in training fees - also paid for by the taxpayer - he still insisted there was no public interest.

"If you think there is a story here, you go and print it. I don't think that my charitable donations are anybody's business.

"I don't read about my other charitable activities in your paper . . . I find it odd."

When he was told that the Dail Public Accounts Committee (PAC) had raised the issue of the promotional greyhound policy with Bord na gCon's acting chief executive Michael Foley last year and that taxpayers' money was involved, Mr Kenny responded sharply.

"What Late Late Show, the dog, what income it got, was not from me standing at a corner with a begging bowl looking for pennies and halfpennies from people. What the dog did was win races. Now you know that prize money is prize money, it's untaxed. I gave the commitment that that money would go to charity, a commitment which I have honoured. I didn't have to [give the money to charity] by the way. The dog is minelegally."

He added later: "You have every right to talk to Bord na gCon. You have every right to talk to RTE about my broadcasting work and they are probably obliged, in some way, to answer you back. You have absolutely no right to talk to me about something I agreed to do in my own time, giving my own time, going down to Shelbourne Park Saturday after Saturday as the dog kept winning. I did it in my own time.

"I wasn't paid by RTE or Bord Na gCon to do so. So you have absolutely no right to quiz me about something which became a hobby."

When it was explained that the reason for the interest was that the dog was a gift to him from a semi-state agency which is in receipt of taxpayers' money, Mr Kenny responded: "The bottom line is this. It is none of your business."

The Irish Greyhound Board, by its own admission, will go €15m into the red this year, though this debt should ease over the next few years.

Despite earlier assurances to the Sunday Independent that they would release full details of all dogs given to celebrities and media personalities, including Mr Kenny, under its promotional greyhound scheme, Bord na gCon also failed to deliver any information on the scheme in general or about its most successful dog.

The Board's marketing and public relations manager Peter Franklin promised to provide details but did not return calls more than a week after the initial request for information had been made by the Sunday Independent.

When the IGB appeared in front of the Dail Public Accounts Committee in April last year to answer questions in relation to the scheme, it was reported that they had undertaken to deliver written documentation detailing extensive details of the scheme. However, last week the Dail PAC said they had received just one document - a one-page copy of the promotional greyhound policy.

At the hearing in front of the PAC, the acting chief executive of Bord na gCon, Michael Foley, faced tough questioning about Late Late Show and other greyhounds in the scheme, but defended the marketing ploy.

"Principally, it profiles our business at low cost. That is the key principle. It was an idea promulgated by the marketing department and based on the board providing a greyhound to run in the name of a celebrity with any prize money generated going to a charity fund.

"The dog referred to as Late Late Show cost €5,000. For that level of cost, the board achieved an absolutely amazing profile. It is something that stuck in the hearts and minds of the public. From our point of view, we would love to be in a position to have more high-profile people taking greyhounds and achieving the level of publicity we achieved."

The original plan in relation to Late Late Show was that the dog would be given as a prize to a member of the chat-show audience.

But RTE believed that the prize and the association with gambling could cause potential problems for the State broadcaster. It was decided at the last moment to gift the dog to Pat Kenny, and register it at his RTE Montrose address.

It was the start of an astonishing success story. Late Late Show proved to be one of the greatest greyhounds ever produced in this country.

It won 15 races in a row, attracted huge crowds every time it raced and was just pipped, perhaps unluckily, into second place in the Irish Derby - the blue riband of the sport.

The IGB spotted the marketing potential and other high-profile personalities found themselves with a greyhound in their name - though none achieved the same level of success.

A dog named 'Charlie Bird' enjoyed some success representing the RTE Newsroom and its Special Correspondent. 'Navan Man' had Eamon Dunphy registered as its owner while Micheal O Muircheartaigh was linked with'Radio Sport'.

There were others. Mr Foley told the PAC that between two and four greyhounds a year had been gifted between 2001 and 2004. Mr Foley was able to provide details of the cost to the State of the scheme in 2001 and 2002.

"The purchase and training cost for greyhounds in 2001 was €15,000. In 2002, it was €19,000," he said.

According to the Bord na gCon promotional policy sent to the PAC after his appearance, media personnel who took part in the scheme were asked to nominate a charity or charities.

Dog trainer and breeder Paul Hennessey said that this was a crucial time in the dog's post-racing career and he was confident that Late Late Show would make money at stud - which would all go to charity.

The Guardian 12th December 2005

Hare coursing followers head for Ireland.
The Guardian. 12 December 2005.By Owen Bowcott

Hundreds of British hare coursing supporters will go to Ireland next month for their largest meeting since the blood sport was banned. Half of the 32 places at the two-day event in Sevenhouses, Co Kilkenny, have been reserved for greyhounds that would have been in training for the Waterloo Cup. The annual UK competition, traditionally held at Altcar near Liverpool in February, is now prohibited by the Hunting Act 2004 which outlawed the use of dogs to kill wild mammals. The National Coursing Club advertises the Irish event on its website. Coursing is legal in the Irish republic.

A little bit of good news about an abandoned and injured greyhound:

Elizabeth is another ex-racer on her way to a better life thanks to the hard work of Greyhound Action Ireland. She was found with an injured eye which had to be removed.

Her new found companions say ... " well other than she cant read the map properly she is fine !! She is such a darling and so very different now the eye is removed...much much happier..Thank you Bernie for all the great work you do xxxxxxx"

Greyhound Rescue West of England Press Release – May 2005 : More Greyhounds Rescued with their Ears Amputated!



Greyhound Rescue West of England (GRWE), have recently taken into their care, two greyhounds who have had their ears amputated. The registered Charity, which rescues and re-homes greyhounds which are unwanted, was made aware of the plight of these dogs, and immediately stepped forward to help.

Jan Lake, Trustee for the Charity says "We were first contacted by a small rescue in Kerry, Southern Ireland, as they had picked up a greyhound called Heather, in a very poor condition. Heather had been given a heavy dose of anaesthetic, which presumably had been meant to kill her. Her owner had then cut off her ears, and left her to die. She had obviously come round from the effects of the anaesthetic and was found wandering, bleeding heavily, trying to make her way "home" to her owner. It is very difficult for the small shelters to find homes for greyhounds in Ireland, so we were only too pleased to be able to help them by taking Heather."

Greyhounds who are bred for racing are tattooed in their ears, and are registered in their owners details. Cutting off a dog’s ears was obviously meant to avoid the dog being traced back to the unscrupulous owner who had dumped Heather and left her to die. Greyhounds are bred in their thousands for racing, and many are abandoned every year when they are unwanted by their owners, if they are not fast enough for the track. GRWE rescues and finds homes for as many dogs as it can help, and places them into loving family homes. In 2004 the charity, which is run by volunteers, and receives no money from the racing industry, found homes for 500 dogs.

Last week GRWE were contacted by another small rescue in Ireland, who had had a greyhound dumped on their door step, again with her ears amputated. Georgie the greyhound, was in a terrible state, her ears had been hacked off, and she was obviously in considerable pain.

Jan says, "We were very shocked by the cruelty shown to these defenceless dogs. I am aware of incidents of this nature happening in this country too, although sadly in previous incidents the dogs have bled to death, and the first we have been aware of it is when the body is found. For us to have one greyhound with its ears amputated is very distressing, but to have had two dogs suffering this fate in such a short space of time is truly shocking. I cannot begin to imagine the pain and trauma which these dogs must have gone through. Sadly, we regularly see evidence of greyhounds who have suffered neglect, but to see these beautiful dogs who have suffered such deliberate cruelty is heartbreaking. "

"Georgie is recovering from her ordeal well, although she is a very nervous dog, and is particularly wary of men. She will stay with us until she is well enough to continue her rehabilitation in a home environment. Heather has been rehomed with a family, where she happily lives with 2 cats and is recovering well"

GRWE has between 60-70 greyhounds in its care at any one time, and would like to hear from anyone who is interested in offering any of the dogs a home. All homes are checked prior to placement, and all dogs are neutered, inoculated, and micro-chipped prior to homing.

Please contact the GRWE help-line on 07000 785092 for more information,

or visit the website on



Eva was found one morning by a girl in her back garden in Ballinasloe, County Galway. This girl Rachel already had some rescued Greyhounds and poor Eva (as we named her) was badly injured and infected.

She was brought to a Vet who said that the injuries to her ears were caused by Battery Acid or burning, as the hair around her ears was also singed. Her ears were septic , of a texture like charred fabric and one was burned right through with a gaping hole.

The bluish ink from Greyhound Industry tatoos was apparent on the bits of her ear that were still hanging in tatters. Her left front leg had a large chunk of skin missing, it cannot be stitched and requires constant changing of dressings.Her ears were full of pus and she screeches if she thinks she is going to be lifted.

Despite all of this cruelty being done to her she is a gentle little lady. We reckon she is about 1-2 years old and is slight in size. Her appetite is fantastic and she is doing well here at Dog Rescue Ireland in Dublin.

The bastards from the Greyhound Racing Industry who did this to dispose of Eva without being traced by her ear tatoos deserve jailing. They are still loose out there with impunity from prosecution and will probably do this again, or possibly have done so already to other dogs of no use to them. A slow dog does not win them money. They are pure scum.

This dog is not the first as already ears of others have been removed by Greyhound Racing people... the three found dead in waterford....the black and white dog in Kerry ...Fionn who was almost scalped and now Eva.


Bernie Wright.
Press Officer.
Greyhound Action Ireland.
087 2651720

Eva is now doing well in the safe hands of people who care.


A lady in Ireland came home last week (SAT) to find a dog with his scalp mutilated and both his ears removed.

This appeared to be carried out by someone using a crude blade as the skin is hacked and infected. As Greyhounds are tattooed on both ears to identify them for racing and coursing purposes this practice is becoming all too common in Ireland and the UK.

Many dogs have been found both alive and dead minus their ears.

Fionn is now in the care of Tipperary friends of animals. He is very friendly and out going even after all this being done.

GREYHOUND ACTION IRELAND is horrified that an Industry that races dogs for profit and that is clearly responsible for their demise is allowed continue this butchery with impunity.

Accountability which is being sought as to ownership of these defenceless animals is not enough to end their suffering.

Only a complete end to the reason for 40,000 deaths in Ireland and the UK every year is acceptable…an end to Greyhound Racing.

WE WILL BE DISTRIBUTING FLYERS WITH FIONNS PHOTO AT EVERY STADIUM IN IRELAND OVER THE COMING WEEKS. THE HEADING WILL BE Do you know this dog? Someone somewhere can identify this dog and we want them to come forward.

Similar to the horse Racing tax exemption the Greyhound exemption must end in an effort to stop this so called sport. Greyhound Racing is Irelands HIDDEN BLOODSPORT.

We call for a full enquiry into this case by Bord na gCon and the Gardai. Justice might be able to be pursued in the same way it was in the Rusty case in the UK, where Rusty, also had his ears cut off, and yet the perpetrator was still found and punished. Click here to see the full Rusty story.

Rusty was found mutilated in Wales and many others found in mass graves in the States and UK.This nefarious cruelty must stop. The Government must stop using taxpayers money to support these atrocities.

We now have a poster of Fionn which we are asking people to put up in their areas ... we must find the scum who did this to Fionn!!! They must not be allowed to do this again ... contact
Irish Mirror 5th september 2005

So Vile
Slaughtered greyhounds' ears hacked off to avoid identification.

By Sylvia Pownall

Three greyhounds were found with their throats cut and ears hacked off, animal rights activists revealed yesterday. The mutilated bodies of the dogs were found floating in a river near Dungarvan, Co Waterford. Their horrific injuries had been inflicted in a bid to remove their identification tattoo and prevent identification. This sickening incident is the latest example of cruelty being investigated by gardai and animal rights campaigners.

In April a greyhound was rescued after she had her ears sliced off and was left bleeding heavily in the north Kerry village of Ballydaff. Bernie Wright, spokeswoman for Greyhound Action Ireland (GAI) said "A Waterford man was walking his dog by the river bank when he came across the bodies of three greyhounds. Their throats had been cut and their ears had been removed. The dead and mutilated dogs were reported to the police who felt they could not act without some identification. But with the dogs' ears gone the tattoos had been removed. The GAI holds the greyhound racing industry responsible for the 'death and torture' of the dogs. Campaigners claim the racing fraternity 'slaughters' more than 40,000 greyhounds a year in the UK and Ireland. Bernie added: "Greyhounds are gentle, loving creatures. They are affectionate, shy and trusting. This vile cruelty must stop. Greyhounds have even been found abandoned in Ireland having had their ears cut off when they were still alive.Countless others are found mutilated like the three found this week in Dungarvan."

Anti-racing activists claim greyhounds are treated as commercial animals rather than normal pets. They rarely live past the age of four with most either put down, abandoned or shipped off to Spanish racetracks. The GAI has called for tax exemptions for the sport to be scrapped.

GA Ireland comment ... "Greyhound racing is Ireland's hidden blood sport. The Government must stop using taxpayers' money to support these atrocities."



A few days ago a Waterford man was walking his dog by the river bank.He came across the bodies of 3 greyhounds, their throats had been cut and their ears had been removed .The Greyhounds were found in the river near Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland.
Throats slashed, ears cut off, the dead and mutilated dogs were reported to the police, who felt they could not act without some identification.With the dogs ears gone the tatoos had been removed.This follows a similar incident in Kerry a few months ago.

Greyhounds are gentle loving creatures, they are affectionate, shy and trusting. The racing fraternity are responsible for the slaughter of over 40,000 dogs annually in UK and Ireland. Countless others are found mutilated like the three found this week in Dungarvan , Rusty found mutilated in Wales and many others found in mass graves in the States and UK.This nefarious cruelty must stop. The Government must stop using taxpayers money to support these atrocities. Similar to the horse Racing tax exemption the Greyhound exemption must end in an effort to stop this so called sport. Greyhound Racing is Irelands HIDDEN BLOODSPORT.We call for a full enquiry into this case by Bord na gCon and the Gardai.

Justice for the Waterford three might be able to be pursued in the same way it was in the Rusty case in the UK, where Rusty, also had his ears cut off, and yet the perpetrator was still found and punished.To see the full Rusty story click here

Greyhounds have also been found abandoned in Ireland that have been grossly mutilated including having their ears cut off while still alive ... click here for examples of this.


Bernie Wright.
Press Officer.GAI.
087 2651720.
Tony Peters, GA UK.
00 44 1562 745 778

Racing Post 12/08/2005 (Sport) Phil Donaldson

Greyhounds: Police grab transporter over welfare concerns

BRISTOL police yesterday issued a phone number for owners to contact following the seizure of a transporter containing a number of greyhounds travelling from Ireland to the UK on Wednesday, writes Phil Donaldson. Sources suggest that the transporter, property of Ben McBride, was stopped by Bristol police after a minor traffic violation. On searching the vehicle, the police called in the RSPCA, having been unhappy with the manner in which the dogs were being transported.

Sergeant Mark Raddy of the local police stated: ``I'd like to stress that it was the conditions in which the dogs were being transported - not that of the animals themselves - that gave us cause for concern, and that was why we called in the experts from the RSPCA.``The decision was taken that the dogs were not to continue along their journey in this fashion, and so they were impounded by the RSPCA at kennels around the area until we can reunite them with their owners.

``The number people can call is that of Filton police station in Bristol, on 0117 945 4833, if they have any concerns or wish to be reunited with their animals, which, at the end of the day is the best course of action for everyone in this matter.''NGRC security officer Noel Thompson yesterday confirmed that the Club had been contacted by the RSPCA and were offering assistance, stating: ``We were made aware of the situation and have helped where we can. Obviously when the police are involved we have to take a back seat until they say otherwise.``The RSPCA wanted a set of our guidelines on the safe transportation of greyhounds - which is on our website - and we were happy to provide it, along with any information regarding deciphering the paperwork relating to the dogs.''Two owners contacted the paper yesterday expressing concerns for their greyhounds. One, T revor Cook, stated: ``It's been a bit of a nightmare to be honest. I had a 13-month old pup on the van, and I've been concerned for his welfare.``The weather on Wednesday was hot, and we all know that a transported animal will not have been fed too much before the trip. It's easy to imagine a young dog getting distressed in such circumstances, and I'll be relieved when we get him here safe and sound.''Another, who wished to remain anonymous, commented: ``I've been kept in the dark over the whereabouts of my dog. I've been told the RSPCA has impounded the ID books, and under whose authority is that? Until I get that book, my dog can't run anywhere and that will cost me money.''

Racing Post 15/04/2005 (Sport)

Greyhounds: Heart positive down to kidney
Published: 15/04/2005 (Sport)

HEART RUMBLE's positive sample following his run in the Northern Puppy Derby at Sunderland last year - which on Tuesday led to his Irish trainer Paul Hennessy being severely reprimanded and fined £800 by the NGRC - came about after he was treated for kidney problems.

In a written statement, Hennessy explained that the dog had suffered renal failure and had been administered `laurabolin' by his veterinary surgeon in November 2004. He apologised to the Stewards for the positive sample, which was found to contain the banned substance nandolone, and stated that every precaution would be taken in future to ensure that there would be no recurrence.

In other inquries this week, greyhound trainer Stan Dow had his license withdrawn following the positive analysis of a urine sample taken from Billis Picture at Peterborough in November; while former trainer Dean Steward was fined £1,000 and made a disqualified person for failing to look after greyhounds in his care.

Romford handler Kim Marlow was fined £750 and severely reprimanded after the positive sample taken from Charity Case at the Essex track in November, while Sittingbourne handler George Andreas was fined £1,000 after the positive sample taken from Ill Get Him at the Kent circuit in January.

In a separate inquiry, the racecourse executive at Brough Park was fined £750 and reprimanded after Pocket Rocket ran as Pocket Power at the north-east track in January.

Irish Independent 16/11/04

A & E for 'dopey' handler
Column: Dog Chat - John Martin c/o Greyhound Journalist

One of the country's already over-worked accident and emergency departments had a rather bizarre admission, this month, to again underline the extent of the doping problem faced by greyhound authority Bord na gCon.

A greyhound handler presented himself in considerable pain and was obliged to related an embarrassing tale to the doctor on duty. Before leaving for the track, the man had attempted to inject his dog at the kennel with a prohibited substance. Perhaps the greyhound had been through the experience before. The dog freaked and the owner managed to lodge the syringe in his own thigh.

While the circumstances here are extreme, there is no doubt that administration of dope is a regular feature of greyhound racing in Ireland. Not all handlers know what they are doing. Some give sedatives like largactyl to prevent greyhounds giving of their best. Others administer Viagra in the belief that will quicken the heart rate andpropel the dog from traps quicker than the opposition.

It is a dangerous business and not simply because it is cheating. The consequences can be far reaching. One Irish greyhound recording fast times in Britain is believed to have been injected with EPO which it wasnot possible to detect. The word is that the side effects were damaging to the extent the greyhound suffered horrific withdrawal when taken offthe drug.

The knock-on has been seen in poor performances at stud and this is a pretty unmistakable trend with greyhounds drugged during their racing careers.


The article relates to an incident where a Greyhound Trainer who tried to inject his dog with drugs accidently injected himself . The trainer was admitted to A/E for treatment.

We are tonight calling on the Gardai and today contacted the Minister John O Donoghue (Arts,Sports and Tourism) Department to investigate this incident fully. We also know that there is a major racket in the drug VIAGARA being sold at dog racing tracks here in Ireland. This drug is sold by pushers who have obtained it on prescription from MDs.Other drugs are very much in use at tracks as there is very little testing *. The incident with the trainer highlightes the need for full accountability and openess in this industry that is responsible for the deaths of thousands of young dogs annually.

Greyhound action want to see an end to Greyhound Racing, this is the only solution to end the suffering. Dogs are suffering horrifically and routinely at the hands of trainers and owners and should not be subjected to the hell of withdrawal sympthoms from drugs such as EPO, a steroid that shows no traces or LARGACYTOL, a sedative used also at dog tracks to slow dogs down.

We in Greyhound Action appeal to anyone who has further information on drugs being used to contact us immediately , they can remain anonamous.

*Apparently, the drug findings belonging to B na gCon for the five years previous to the last 18 months have also mysteriously vanished. Apparently drug use comes to light when they (the drugs) are discontinued as and when the dog is retired and goes to stud. The dogs literally fade away from the withdrawal symptoms. Similar to the Horse Racing scandal strange going ons are happening in the dog racing world .

Irish Independent 14-9-04


A number of Bord na gCon and Tote staff are threatening to disrupt the Irish Greyhound Derby next weekend.

The row is over holiday leave and the suspension of a senior executive by the dog racing authority.

Belfast Telegraph 23rd August 2004

'Holocaust' among dogs: claim
By Ben Lowry

Plans for a greyhound racing track in Co Down should be rejected because the racing industry is responsible for a "holocaust" among dogs, it has been claimed.

The search for potential champions is leading to some 14,000 greyhounds being killed or abandoned across Ireland annually, according to the Animal Welfare Federation Northern Ireland.

The group, which investigates reports of animal cruelty, has cited the figures in support of its opposition to a greyhound racing track being built in Newtownards as part of a planned new stadium for Ards FC.

The AWF based its statistics on estimates from the ISPCA, which claims that Ireland is known as the foremost greyhound breeding country in the world, with more than 20,000 greyhounds born each year.

Many of them are exported to the UK and the US, and some to Spain and elsewhere.

On Wednesday evening, the AWF will address Ards councillors about the plans.

Federation chairman Norman McCombe said: "Before they die, these gentle dogs are often the victims of harsh treatment, cruelty, neglect and abuse. They are even maimed to eliminate the tattoos that identify the dog and its owner.

"Without radical reform of this industry, the construction of new race tracks should not be allowed."

Kieran McCarthy, a local Alliance councillor and MLA, said that he supported the proposals for a joint stadium.

"I want to see football continue in the Newtownards area and this seems to me a reasonable and sensible way forward.

"I respect the concerns about greyhound racing, but the information that I have is that the people who would run the track would have the necessary animal welfare experts on hand."

Last month, figures from the charity Dogs Trust showed that 3,982 canines were destroyed in Northern Ireland - a staggering 40% of the UK total.

Some of the AWF's concerns about greyhound racing have been echoed by Stephen Philpott, chief executive of the USPCA.

"I would like to know what happens to the greyhounds when they retire. Something must happen to them. Last year we handled 4,000 dogs through our shelters and only two were greyhounds."

EU goes to the DOGS - in Dundalk. By Martin Fitzpatrick >> Sunday Independent 16-4-2004

The good news for the punters at the Dundalk track next thurday is theyl get in for half the normal addmission price.

The reason is that the Co louth midweek sportsmen will be forced to rub shoulders with 200 polyglot guests, 18 of whom will be telecommunicationsministers and the balance composed of executive heads of multinational communications companies that are collectively worth 200 bn dollars.These giants of the teckieworld will of course be going in for free.

Its all due to our own communications Minister Dundalk man Dermot Ahearne who wants to bring Europe to the town, He plans to show them all over the insides of the Dundalk institute of Technology where he is hosting a conference on broadband on Thursday.But its the post conference entertainment thats getting everyone excited.

Previously when Dermot Ahearne had entertasined his fellow Euro ministers he took them on cultural persuits, like visits to megalithic monument at Newgrange and slightly less durable monuments such as Slane Castle which apart fron anything elsewere in the wrong constituency.

Then he remembered that the newest cosiest dog track in the country was a wee bit down the inner relief road.So with the help of Pascal Taggart, chairman ofv Bord na gCon, he has laid on a racing extravaganza.The cenrtepiece of which will be the Commissioner Lilkanen Chase a mad dash by six grumpy dogs and called after tellecommunications Commissioner Erkki Likanen.

The commissioner who hails from Finland and as far as most people know has never seen a tussle of Greyhound Champions before next Thursday will also have a chance to bet on the racenamed in his honour. All the 200 conference delegates will get a 20euro voucher entitling them to bet on the dogs.Minister Ahearnes office assured the SI that the e20 bets are being funded by B na gCon and not by either the Irish taxpayer or the CAP.

Racing Industry Hounded >> The Star 19th April 2004.

Animal rights Activists protested outside the Greyhound Racing industrys awards last night.-claiming 40, 000 Greyhounds die each year in Ireland and britain through racing.

'Many are killed at the side of racetracks when they break a back or a leg during a race fall.' said a spokesman for Greyhound action Ireland.

Hundreds die in dog pounds many are found in rivers and others are used for vivisection added a protest organiser.

The Irish Greyhound Board rejects the claims.

Greyhound mutilated to hide identity >> The Sun newspaper 15/04/04

A greyhound has her ears brutally cut off to remove all traces of identity, a vet said yesterday. The mutilated dog was found bleeding heavily in the north Kerry village of Ballyduff on Tuesday.

Shocked County Veterinary Officer Paddy Fenton said: " Greyhounds have to carry ear markings from birth and this dog had her ears completely cut of. "It was a shocking, completely sickening sigh- I have never seen anything so barbaric."

Gardai have launched a probe and a new home has been found for the animal.

Child Betting at Dog/Horse Tracks...PRESS RELEASE FROM GA Ireland


In Alaska there is a statute prohibiting the location of coin operated and gaming devices within 100 yards of a school building.In stark contrast to this anti- gambling legislation, young people here in Ireland are positively encouraged to place bets and gamble the night away.

This pro gambling ethos is Government approved by the anomaly which allows minors(under 18s) to wager at the countries Dog and Horse tracks.

Children are being introduced to betting at a young age and nobody seems to give it a thought. The 1931 Betting Act prohibits minors from placing bets with bookmakers or from playing the lottery but this country's Race tracks which encourage underage gamblers to literally go to the dogs get off without a mention in the Act.

Of course to Horse Racing Ireland and Bord na gCon this is a loophole that suits them perfectly. Taking childrens pocket money and turning them into gamblers just ensures a future for the tracks, why should they worry.

We call on the Department of Finance Justice and Sport to now review and amend this Act to protect Irelands youth.
Dept of Finance Ph 6045804 , we spoke to Efa ni Dhubhghaill who says the Department has no plans to review same. for 1931 betting act.

From SUNDAY MIRROR (Ireland) 8th feb 2004.

BY Naomi Mc Elroy.

Angry animal rights campaigners have slammed greyhound owners who use their pets for racing and coursing.They labelled the sport barbaric and claim many greyhounds are seriously injured each year.

Greyhound Action Ireland's Bernie Wright says some of the animals end up horribly maimed and crippled-or even dead. She compiled a list of injured dogs from industry bible Greyhound Weekly and the Sporting Press and says it gives a chilling insight into the minds of their owners.

She said "the callous nature of the Industry is clearly shown by the flippant reporting and the disposeable attitude of owners to their dogs."

"what more could be expected of people who gain pleasure from seeing animals suffer"

"the hares used as a Lure are tossed and killed by Greyhounds to give the sick Coursing fraternity their kicks."

the list tells of 39 crippled dogs, Bernie said "this is but a fraction of the injuries and deaths written about and commented on.
The list is not comprehensive but gives an insight into the nasty cruel world of greyhound racing and coursing.

GAI supporters can click here to see Bernie's list



Surveillance operation highlights appalling conditions in transport of greyhounds from Ireland to Spain.


From Sunday Mirror (Ireland) 23-3-2003.


Hound Racing Cruel.

by Larissa Nolan.

The recent accident that put an end to the Late Late Show greyhound's racing career highlighted the cruelty of the sport, animal rights activists have claimed.

Bernie Wright from Dog Action Ireland said it showed how most dogs bred for racing were pushed too hard. She claimed that the Late Late Show greyhound, given to the show by Bord na gCon* was just the latest casualty.

While racing he was Ireland's most popular and publicised greyhound. The dog named Late Late Show injured his leg in a freak accident at Shelbourne Park in Dublin two weeks ago and now will be used for stud only.

"Greyhound racing is a terribly cruel activity and should not be allowed at all.", said Bernie. "Most greyhounds don't live beyond three years while most other dogs live till about sixteen.The Late Late Show dog is relatively lucky in that he is being put into stud. Many of these dogs are just discarded or put down when they have an accident."

*Irish Greyhound Racing Board