Lifford Stadium Update

Damian Matthews, Chairman of The IGOBF, has advised that there is a licensing issue regarding the Tote application which is presently been reviewed by the board of GRI and Lifford Greyhound Stadium. All parties involved are working diligently to resolve as soon as possible.

Meeting between IGOBF and GRI – 8th March 2022

Meeting between IGOBF and GRI dated March 8th 2022

In attendance

IGOBF: Damien Matthews Chairman, Geoff Parnaby (for Susan Hayes Treasurer) Deirdre Leahy (Secretary)

GRI: Dearbhla O’Brien CEO, Derek Frehill (Director of Racing), Phillip Peake (Director of Commercial Affairs), William Fitzgerald (Director of Veterinary), John Touhy (Chief Financial Officer, Pat Herbert (Director of Regulations)


Issues arising from last meeting

Disciplinary Protocol

GRI: – Only properly designated stewards will determine the re-trialling of a dog in the case of perceived interference etc.

Head on cameras to be introduced with a trial run within 4 weeks.

At present there is no room for appeal but that may be able to be amended under legislation Act 2019.

GRI to advise IGOBF of current protocol steps.


GRI are pleased with the increase in the numbers engaging with the RCÉTS app.

Phase 2 will bring new updates including individual veterinary logs per greyhound. GRI committed to consult with an IGOBF representative in phase 2 development of the RCÉTS app.

National Long Distance Race Programme

IGOBF representative suggested 1 night’s racing could be dedicated to all long-distance races over varying grades.

GRI were in favour of advancing this suggestion.

After consultation with the IGOBF, in order to encourage more long distance races in Ireland, GRI to announce a National long distance racing calendar.

Folens publication

IGOBF representative expressed disappointment that there has been no further movement regarding the Folen’s publication.

GRI will follow up and ask the Dept of Agriculture to communicate directly with the Dept of Education on the matter.

IRGT survey

GRI advised that a steering group is being assembled regarding the survey which will include an IGOBF representative.

Presentation of representatives

GRI: -Issue of parade coats at a cost of twenty euro to participants with five euro going to IRGT.

Also compulsory for GRI staff.

Grading of Novices

GRI Managers also agree novices are an issue.

GRI committed to a full review of novice race conditions, which will include a representative of IGOBF, asap.

Livestreaming trap draws for major events

GRI committed to ensuring draws for Features & Classics will be streamed live on a social media platform going forward.

Guarding of Dogs in Classics

GRI advised that there is no appetite for this at the moment.

Our members are of the opinion that the current Irish regulation does not incentivise owners to invest in buying or to enter two/three plus greyhounds in the classic competitions as a direct consequence of this rule.

12 Key issues communicated from IGOBF members for the year ahead:

IGOBF representative went through the 12 Key Issues briefly with the following 3 issues being specifically addressed at this meeting.

Track Circuit Maintenance

GRI: -We are at present engaging with Sports Turf to get an overview of all individual track’s circuits. Actively working towards having a Metric for each track to achieve for that track to be at its safest. i.e., A camber measure and a moisture measure.

IGOBF requested an open and transparent track circuit maintenance schedule, displayed publicly within the race/trial area at all tracks.

IGOBF emphasized greyhound welfare is the number 1 priority and maintenance schedules must adjust to seasonal variants accordingly.

The schedule must be fluid and an emphasis needs to be on the ability to adjust daily according to local weather conditions

Complete review of Barking Buzz platform

IGOBF are requesting a complete review of the current Barking Buzz platform and suggest incorporating an outside consultant within this field.

GRI are in full agreement and are presently addressing this issue.

Drug testing

IGOBF requests greater transparency regarding drug testing & more emphasis on educating our members.

IGOBF requested that any changes to thresholds & withdrawal periods is published in race night cards.

General discussion concluding:

IGOBF Behind the track series 2 videos have been remarkably successful and well received. Fundraiser videos to be made and circulated.

IGOBF requested a link to share with members to expand that to other groups e.g., local GAA groups.

GRI advised the IGOBF that Kilkenny redevelopment project had completed all GRI processes and is with the Dept of Agriculture for approval.

Shelbourne Park capital project development is at the tendering process and scheduled to commence Jan 2023.

GRI requested IGOBF to encourage our members to present their dog at the podium for presentation of trophies and photos.

IGOBF are in total agreement.

We need to avail of any opportunity to promote our sport.

Respect needs to be expressed to tracks, photographers and sponsors.

Meeting Concludes.


Click here to view the 12 key issues that were addressed: 12 Key Issues

GRI & IGOBF Launch New-Look Parade Jackets

With the return to pre-COVID racing operations Greyhound Racing Ireland has in collaboration with the IGOBF designed a new standardised racing parade jacket for all handlers.  The wearing of the previous style of racing coat was suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions.  

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Pictured: Geoff Parnaby, Deirdre Leahy & Damian Matthews of the Irish Greyhound Owners Breeders Federation launching the new-look parade jackets being rolled out to stadia nationwide.

The new version will carry the logo of the Irish Retired Greyhound Trusts who will benefit from a donation of €5.00 for every jacket sold.  

In a change to the previous policy of the stadium providing parade jackets for handlers, all owners/handlers will now be required to purchase their own jackets either online or via the GRI Sales Centre.  The cost of each jacket is €20.00, and this will include the donation to the IRGT.

Both the GRI & IGOBF have agreed that the wearing of the newly launched parade jacket will become compulsory from 19th April 2022.

Derek Frehill, Director of Racing said, “The roll-out of the revamped parade jacket will help us to create a unified look across all venues and convey the professionalism of our racing trainers & handlers.  With the growing profile of Irish greyhound racing via such platforms as SIS and RPGTV, the inclusion of the IRGT logo on each jacket also offers us an opportunity to reinforce the brand and the partnership between racing and the IRGT.” he continued, ” I would also like to thank the IGBOF for their support in developing the concept and working with the racing team to get to launch stage”.

Damian Matthews, Chairman, IGOBF said, “With the expansion of international audiences watching Irish greyhound racing, the IGOBF recognise the importance of presenting the profession of greyhound racing in the best possible manner.  The introduction of these new jackets permit to present a unified image of our sport”.

Full details on the scheme and how to purchase jackets are available here:


”A Day In The Life” Competition

Calling all youngsters to get their final entries into our competition ”A Day in the Life”! Closing date approaching fast.

We want to see what “A Day in the Life” with your greyhounds looks like. If you wish to enter, just take a picture or a video with your greyhounds and get your parents/guardians to share it on social media using the hashtag #adayinthelifeofagreyhound and tag our social media page to make sure we see it!

You can also send entries to The closing date is March 31st.

Catch up with all episodes of the Behind The Track Series here:


RCÉ/GRI National Greyhound Racing Awards

Congratulations to all nominees and winners of the RCÉ/GRI National Greyhound Racing Awards 2021 that were held virtually on Sunday 13th March. Well done to all involved on a wonderful occasion. 

Watch a glimpse of some of the remarkable interviews below: 

           Frank Nyhan (Chairman GRI)                                  Dearbhla O’Brien (CEO GRI)  

Video: 2021 National Greyhound Racing Awards

Award Winners:

Brood Bitch of the Year – Jetstream Lynx

Stud Dog of the Year – Droopys Sydney

Future Star – Susie Sapphire

Sprinter of the Year – Good Cody

Stayer of the Year – Dana Point

Bitch of the Year – Susie Sapphire

Dog of the Year – Explosive Boy

Special Merit – Noreen McManus

Welfare Award – GPA (Greyhound Pets of America)

Hall of Fame – Denis “Dinny” Lennon


Read full details of the night on: