The Irish Greyhound Owners and Breeder’s Federation AGM 2023

The Irish Greyhound Owners and Breeder’s Federation AGM 2023

Held in The Kileeshin Hotel,Portlaoise, County Laois

AGM Agenda for March 29th 2023 at 7.30pm

Chairperson’s Report – Damian Matthews

Secretary’s Report – Deirdre Leahy

Treasurer’s Report – Susan Hayes

Adoption of the new constitution

Election of Officers –

Nominations Received:-

Chairperson – Damian Matthews

Vice-Chairperson – Theresa Holohan

Secretary – Deirdre Leahy

Treasurer – Susan Hayes

PRO – Jeannie Comerford

Motions to be discussed:-

1. Representation to the Board of G.R.I. to be similar to H.R.I.

2. Sales at various tracks.

3. Cost of living expenses.

4. Kennel inspections.

5. Seeking change to way payments are made from GRI for kennel refurbishment and injury funds.

6. More bitch races and more veteran’s races.

7. That a Breeder’s Benefit be introduced.

8. Any Other Business.

Chairperson’s Address 

Damian Matthews welcomed all in attendance and thanked all officers and delegates for their hard work and support.

In particular he gave thanks to our outgoing P.R.O. Julianne O’ Keeffe who excelled with youth engagement events which were much appreciated by all.

Events such as the Junior Nominator’s Competition during the Irish BoyleSports Greyhound Derby in 2022 and ‘A Day In The Life’ competition saw more young people get involved and getting young people involved is very important for the betterment of our sport.

Apologies from Theresa Holohan our Vice Chairperson who was unable to attend. Theresa has worked tirelessly with our secretary and others on our new constitution and we are very grateful for her efforts. The new constitution is more inclusive for all stakeholders.

Thanks also to everyone who helped run and support our very popular and successful Buster draw promotions.

Deirdre Leahy our secretary will give a summation of the work that The Irish Greyhound Owners and Breeder’s Federation has been doing since our previous AGM.

The one most important issue for The IGOBF this year will be our relentless efforts to seek increases for PRIZEMONEY for our breeders, owners, trainers and all stakeholders.

Secretary’s Report for The IGOBF meeting on 29th March 2023

1. The previous IGOBF AGM was held in 2021 on Tuesday 14th December at 7pm.

In attendance via Zoom were 29 Delegates representing members from the nine affiliated GOBAS ie Western, Tipperary, Northern, Kilkenny, Wexford, Kerry, Limerick/Clare, North West and Waterford.

In 2021, Damian Matthews was elected as Chairperson, Theresa Holohan Vice Chairperson, Secretary Deirdre Leahy and Treasurer Susan Hayes.

2. At The IGOBF Committee meeting Committee Meeting via Zoom 08/02/2022 Julianne O’Keeffe was proposed and seconded to be the P.R.O. for The IGOBF. This IGOBF committee meeting also discussed the launch of the second series of #Behindthetrack videos.

Link below

Discussions followed for the upcoming meeting with RCÉ on March 8th 2022.

The new CEO of RCÉ, Ms. Derbhla O’ Brien was in attendance at that meeting.

3. Meeting between RCÉ and The IGOBF on 8th March 2022 at Limerick. The minutes of this meeting are available on The IGOBF website.

Meeting between IGOBF and GRI – 8th March 2022 – IGOBF

4. IGOBF Zoom meeting on April 13th 2022 to review points of meeting held with RCÉ and review release of #BehindTheTrack 2 series which was sponsored by The IGOBF.

5. The National Consultative Forum was held on 31st May 2022 via Zoom. The IGOBF submitted 3 questions on behalf of members.



6. The IGOBF were represented at the Novice Racing Review Group and met with representatives from RCÉ in Newbridge on Wednesday 27th July 2022. The new rules for novice racing have been implemented since January 2023 and The IGOBF will be part of the ongoing review.

7. IGOBF Zoom meeting Tuesday October 4th 2022 re

*Stakeholders recent and upcoming meetings with politicians and various officials.

*The success of Junior Nominator Competition for the 2022 Irish Greyhound Derby.

*The IGOBF Sponsorship of The National Puppy Stake in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

*The IGOBF thank you to Virgin Media for their excellent tv coverage of the Boylesport’s Irish Greyhound Derby.

*The November Memorial nights racing to be held at stadia throughout the country again in 2022-this initiative was proposed by The Irish Greyhound Owners and Breeder’s Federation.

8. The IGOBF were represented by Geoff Parnaby and Deirdre Leahy at the National Consultative Forum in Newbridge Greyhound stadium on 8th December 2022 at 10.30 am. This meeting was minuted and all participants received a copy of the minutes.

9. Tuesday February 1st 2023 IGOBF Zoom Meeting re final drafting of a proposed new constitution. All Affiliated GOBAS have confirmed their support for the proposed new constitution for The Irish Greyhound Owner’s and Breeder’s Federation.

10. Meeting with RCÉ on Tuesday 23rd February 2023 at 12.30pm. The chairman of The Irish Owner’s and Breeder’s Federation,Damian Matthews informed the Board about our recent communications with senior officials and also with various politicians. He also outlined several key issues for members.

Meeting minutes between The IGOBF and Rásaíocht Con Éireann – 23rd February 2023 – IGOBF

Some of the new IGOBF initiatives in 2022/2023 were

*A Day in the life Competition

Sponsored by IGOBF and promoted and published by the IGOBF PRO Julianne O’ Keeffe in April 2022.

*IGOBF sponsored Hallowe’en 2022 competitions for children and also the IGOBF Christmas 2022 competitions which were sponsored by a supporter of The IGOBF.

The winning drawings, photographs and entries were published on The Sporting Press and the IGOBF website.

*The IGOBF also sponsored a night at Derry and this was given extensive coverage on the Derry News and the Sporting Press on December 2022.

Derry Greyhounds: Beautiful Peggy honours her namesake on Remembrance Night – Derry Now

Derry Greyhounds: Rhylie & Finn, living the Derby dream – Derry Now

*Numerous supporters of IGOBF and greyhound racing have being very active on our social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok to promote and stand up for greyhound racing. #standupforracing.

We also promote rehoming and greyhound retirement/adoption. Specifically, we promote the rehoming of ex racing greyhounds through The Irish Retired Greyhound Trust (IRGT) and we thank our many ambassadors helping to promote and support our sport and promote adoption.

*The IGOBF have published a statement on the IGOBF website asking all owners/trainers to rehome all their retired greyhounds responsibly. We advocate that ex-racing greyhounds be adopted through the IRGT who are a PRO racing Rehoming charity and very worthy of our support.

*In recent weeks The IGOBF have supported publication and sharing a petition to support greyhound racing in Wales and many thanks to all who have helped with this campaign in particular our welfare ambassador, Lynda Bonner. It now has over 10,000 signatures.

The Welsh Government should support greyhound racing in Wales – Petitions

There were many other public/private meetings attended by IGOBF representatives at various local track venues and other venues in 2022/2023. eg.

IGOBF Open meeting at Horse & Jockey Tuesday 9th August 2022 at 7pm

The purpose of the meeting was for industry participants(a) to discuss concerns over the selection process for the new CEO for RCÉ(b) Lifford update(c) update on the improvement plan and finances available for Kilkenny Greyhound Stadium.(d) Derby 2022

20th October 2022

Jackie Cahill TD organised that The IGOBF representatives would meet with officials from Department of Agriculture in Dublin. An agreed document was presented to the officials.

Proposals to government

Correspondence sent

Wednesday 12th October 2022 a  letter was sent to Minister Charlie McConalogue from Damian Matthews re the implications on changing the screening levels of dexamethasone.

Steering Group for IRGT Rehoming 

Deirdre Leahy represents The Irish Greyhound Owner’s and Breeder’s members on the IRGT steering group.

It hasn’t resumed since September 2022.

Treasurer’s Report

The treasurer Susan Hayes presented the report

Treasurers Report

Tom Caffery who is a director of  Clonmel Track thanked The IGOBF and Tipp GOBA for the sponsorship of their new sprinkler system and for their help with various projects and issues during the past year.

Adoption of new Constitution There was unanimous support for the new Constitution.

Election of Officers

The following officers were elected to The Irish Greyhound Owners and Breeders Federation for 2023/2024

Chairperson Damian Matthews

Vice Chairperson Theresa Holohan

Secretary Deirdre Leahy

Treasurer Susan Hayes

P.R.O. Jeanie Comerford

The IGOBF Committee Delegates for 2023/2024 

Geoff Parnaby, Pat Scully,John Keating,Kieran Connolly,Francine Jestin, Eilish McCann, Clare Hanley, Andrea McCann,Paddy Burke, Seanie McMahon, Tommy Hegarty, Rory Hickey, Julianne O’Keeffe, Tommy Mahoney

A number of motions were then discussed.

The following was agreed by those present

1. That Representation on the Board of RCÉ to be similar to H.R.I.and that The IGOBF would continue to advocate for this change.
2. That greyhound Sales at Thurles are being requested by owners and breeders and should be facilitated ASAP. Sales at Kilkenny and Cork recently were well received.
3. That The IGOBF would prioritize increasing prizemoney, lobby for the removal of vat from dog food and continue to fight against the new lower screening proposals for DEXAMETHASONE in knacker meat for racing greyhounds.
4. Kennel Inspection Protocols will be discussed at the next opportunity.
5. The request of more races for bitches and veterans will be relayed to RCÉ.
6. That proposals for a Breeder’s Benefit which involves a bonus targeting successful Irish breeding should be looked at. It is not an ‘incentive’ to breed. It is an Allowance that benefits and supports successful breeding.


Any Other Business 

We welcomed the support of a veterinarian surgeon from Tralee, County Kerry who has joined the Kerry GOBA. Richard Hurley, MVB MRCVS spoke very knowledgeably about recent challenges racing is encountering from anti racing elements who are sharing incorrect information and about our need to stand up for racing. The IGOBF are looking forward to advancing one of his suggested welfare information initiatives in conjunction with the support of RCÉ and the Kingdom stadium in Tralee.

Other discussions included very strong support for Youghal track,how we can support our sport by working ourselves to make the links with the GAA and the Benefit fundraisers. Limerick and Clare GOBAS have been very successful in this regard.

The Memorial Nights in November are an important link with everyone in the community so please promote them well.

Our new P.R.O. Jeanie Comerford has many new ideas that are being compiled and will be brought to RCÉ  and there was a positive sharing of knowledge as well as a commitment to collectively do our best to promote our sport and to stand up for greyhound racing.

The meeting concluded at 9.30pm

Meeting minutes between The IGOBF and Rásaíocht Con Éireann – 23rd February 2023

A meeting between The Irish Greyhound Owners and Breeder’s Federation and the Board of Rásaíocht Con Éireann took place at the Horse and Jockey at 12.30 pm on Thursday 23rd February 2023.

In attendance for The IGOBF:-

Damian Matthews, Chairman of IGOBF, Deirdre Leahy, Secretary of IGOBF and Geoff Parnaby IGOBF and Clare Hanley.

In attendance for Rásaíocht Con Éireann :-

Mr. Frank Nyham, Chairman, Mr. John Tuohey, Acting CEO, Aileen Lennon, Alex Grassick, Richie Regan, Elizabeth Gray, Patrick Flanagan, Anne Channon.

The IGOBF commended the recent very successful student nights at Shelbourne Park, Galway and Cork and praised the notable social media improvements across all the tracks.

The IGOBF informed Rásaíocht Con Éireann of meetings they were having with some senior politicians from Fianna Fail and Fine Gael.

The IGOBF put forward the following issues from their members:-

The makeup of the Board of Rásaíocht Con Éireann to mirror that of H.R.I. i.e., stakeholders representative’s appointments.

The delay in the implementation of capital developments (Shelbourne Park & Kilkenny), awaiting the new 5-year plan since the sale of Harold’s Cross has led to uncertainty in the industry.

Clarity regarding the proposed new gambling legislation to our sector.

Proposed amendments to Category 2 meat thresholds must be reviewed immediately.

Financial implications to the knackeries, the farmers and the greyhound owners and breeders will be substantial in the present economic climate.

Ringfence a percentage of the Greyhound Fund for prizemoney, hence back to the grassroots of the industry, in line with HRI model.

An increase in prizemoney is a top priority to help with the cost of living crisis and Removal of vat from dog food.

Technology advances with the RCÉTS APP could be used to benefit owners, trainers, managers and transport and rehoming preparation.

An increase in private track grants/allocations.

Barking Buzz needs investment and overhaul to generate more revenue.

We are seeking to have some input and some active involvement with The New 5-year plan and the implementation of the previous 5-year plan ending 2022.

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

RCÉ and THE IGOBF 23/9/2021 Meeting Minutes

 THETHETHE   THE THEMeeting at Horse and Jockey on Thursday 23/9/2021 @ 3.30 pm

Present representing RCÉ
Mr Gerard Dollard Chief Executive Officer RCÉ
Mr Philip Peake Deputy Chief Executive Officer RCÉ
Mr Derek Frehill Director of Racing RCÉ
Mr Pat Herbert Director of Regulations RCÉ
Present representing THE IGOBF
Mr Damian Matthews Chairperson THE IGOBF
Mr Geoff Parnaby
Ms Clare Hanley (for Helen Morris Secretary THE IGOBF)
Ms Deirdre Leahy (for Al Hanley Treasure THEr IGOBF)

RCÉ: Welcome to all.
It is the final meeting with Mr Gerard Dollard CEO who departs Greyhound Racing Ireland very shortly and it Is expected that the new CEO will be announced next week and will start in January 2022.
Mr Philip Peake will be Acting CEO for that period.
Thank you to the IGOBF for their valuable input and from the point of communication we have come a long way in the past few years from the stage of quite poor communication to be open, frank and respectful
dialogue that we have today and long may it continue.
 THE IGOBF: We have come a long way……and on that point…. the grassroots are asking will the new CEO be
aware of the work of THE IGOBF and the various GOBAs?
RCÉ: The new CEO will be very well briefed on all matters pertaining to the industry and well informed
regarding all the various stakeholders.
THE IGOBF: That will be a helpful starting point.

Click Here to View and Print the PDF version of the Minutes

  • Letter of Endorsement from RCÉ re THE IGOBF chaired by Damian Matthews
    RCÉ: Can we first clarify for all how many Greyhound and Owners Breeders Associations (GOBAs) there are and how many are affiliated to THE IGOBF? Also what GOBAs are not affiliated?
    IGOBF: There are nine GOBAs affiliated with THE IGOBF.
    Kerry, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Wexford, Waterford, Northern, Limerick/Clare, Northwest and Western
    RCÉ: What GOBA’s presently are not affiliated with?
    THE IGOBF: Cork, Mullingar and Dublin have not yet affiliated but we have many supporters in all these three areas also.
    RCÉ: Are AGMs being held for the various GOBAs now with Covid restrictions lifted?
    THE IGOBF: At present, all GOBAs are notifying their members about the AGMs and those who wish to join and become members of their various GOBAs should attend the AGMs or contact members about joining. The AGMs still to be held will be advertised in the Sporting Press.
    When officers have been elected at all GOBAs the Federation will hold its Annual General Meeting.
    It is expected that the Annual General Meeting of THE  IGOBF will be held in November 2021
    RCÉ: It would seem that there are some members in Cork GOBA that support the group that calls itself the IGOBF CLG
    THE IGOBF: Cork GOBA has not affiliated with us but they would be more than welcome to do so.
    It is up to the stakeholders at Cork to attend their GOBA AGM, elect their GOBA officers and vote
    accordingly if they wish to affiliate with us in THEIGOBF.
    RCÉ: It is our understanding from the evidence of membership numbers provided that the IGOBF under the
    chairmanship of Damian Matthews is the representative organisation for the vast majority of the
    greyhound community.
    IGOBF CLG would appear to represent a small number of individuals within the greyhound community. In correspondence with  IGOBF CLG, we have requested that they provide details of the parties they represent within the industry.
    The response (as set out in their email dated 30th June 2021) indicates that they represent All greyhound owners and breeders whether they are members or non-members.

THE IGOBF: The IGOBF CLG do not represent our members nor have they a mandate to speak for our members.
THE  IGOBF are the vast majority of representatives within the industry. Our membership numbers are increasing and are at 1,350 presently and will likely be in excess of 1,500 members by the end of 2021.
RCÉ: They (IGOBF CLG) have continued to present themselves as spokespersons for the owners and
Rascaiocht Con Eireann (RCÉ) has in place a National Greyhound Consultative Forum (NGCF) which under
normal circumstances meet on a quarterly basis. The Forum comprises all stakeholders involved in the greyhound industry.
The IGOBF CLG has been invited to participate in meetings of the Forum but has not done so.
Many issues that have been raised in correspondence from the IGOBF CLG have been the subject of
discussions at the Forum.
The IGOBF CLG has declined to participate in the NGCF which is the appropriate forum for dealing with
matters of concern.

 THE IGOBF: Our membership numbers reflect our support with 1,350 paid up members. We are the elected
representatives who speak for the members of The Irish Greyhound Owners and Breeders Federation.
The nominating rights to Seanad Eireann is a separate matter to be amended at a future date.
RCÉ: It is correct to say that THE IGOBF historically holds the nominating rights to Seanad Eireann under the
relevant legislation. Any change to nominating rights is a matter for Seanad Eireann.
It is unclear how such nominating rights can be amended for any organisation under present legislation
where rights of representation are disputed.
In any event, it is RCÉs view that the holding of nominating rights to Seanad Eireann is a separate and
distinct matter to the representative body for the majority of the greyhound community.
All the stakeholders need to be Informed that the IGOBF CLG have written to The Public Accounts
Committee and are regularly tabling parliamentary questions for politicians which are asked in the Dail and the Minister for Agriculture then looks for detailed written replies from RCÉ.
RCÉ has recently responded to correspondence from the Committee of Public Accounts clearly stating that it is their understanding THE  IGOBF (under the chairmanship of Damian Matthews) is the representative organisation for the vast majority of the greyhound community.
THE IGOBF: We will make our members and all stakeholders aware of these matters. We are hopeful that
everyone in the industry will come on board and unite. Unity is key. Negativity is hampering progress.


  • Discuss the possibility of Private tracks Alliance.
    RCÉ: The next item on the agenda is Discuss the Possibility of a Private Tracks Alliance.
    THE IGOBF: This idea was raised at the AGM of The Tipperary GOBA on 31st August 2021 at Thurles greyhound stadium. Thurles stadium proposed an Alliance be formed between the five privately owned tracks i.e., Thurles, Clonmel, Kilkenny, Enniscorthy and Dundalk.
    RCÉ: We have no objection to a private tracks Alliance and will work with the representatives if such an
    alliance can be agreed upon.


  • Traceability App Update
    THE IGOBF: The next item on the agenda is The Traceability App update.
    RCÉ: At the end of this month all tracks will have had visits from trained staff to help anyone with difficulties or explanations using the traceability App. Push notifications on the App are being issued and we have made significant use of the text alert system to alert owners/trainers of the need for updates.
  • We have had very significant compliance. Change of location is now included and RCÉ has appointed Mr Geoff Griffin as full-time Traceability Co-Ordinator. We are now nearing the position of being able to notify inspectors with lists of greyhounds on every premise.
  • We are approaching the final stages of automated suspensions for anyone who is not complying with traceability updates. Owners/trainers will receive three specific notifications requesting updates. The third notification is the final warning before the automated suspension of all entries for trials and racing. Both the owner and the trainer will receive the notification. Either can update the information.
  • The RCÉ traceability system has been two years in development and is now moving into the final stages. At the official Sales meetings, we have an official who will attend to traceability of greyhounds sold on that day. We need to ensure that all racing greyhounds are accounted for.
  • RCÉ: RCÉ is still working out one or two anomalies because of changes due to Brexit issues and the transfer of data of coursing greyhounds that will be tracked separately under the ICC traceability system.
  • THE IGOBF: Solutions must be found. The company employed to develop the App must work with the ICC to solve every anomaly.

RCÉ: We are working with the ICC. A solution is being worked on and is achievable. It is critical that the
message goes out that owners and trainers that have not yet engaged fully with the new traceability model will be receiving notices of suspension from trials and racing in the next few days and weeks.
THE IGOBF: The Traceability system must receive priority attention and any glitches ironed out.

  • Protocol re Conduct Trials for greyhounds.
    THE IGOBF: At present, there is no right to appeal if a greyhound is judged to be disqualified in a race.
    There is room for improvement in the decision making.
    Firstly the decision to disqualify should be taken by 3 people that are qualified in the industry.
    In a sweepstake or classic competition, the decision to disqualify should be unanimous.
    RCÉ: There is no right to appeal at present. The control Steward will usually confer with at least two other people before a decision is made. The decision is final.
    RCÉ will confer with stakeholders further to improve protocols on this matter.
  • RCÉ: Prize money has been restored 10% from 13/9/2021
    More money has been allocated to SIS meetings.
    By the end of 2021, there should be close to €9 million spent on prize money.
    We had a spend of €9.5 million in 2019 before Covid however with tote gone, restaurants, admissions etc gone our ability to earn income was severely restricted.
    THE IGOBF: Can we encourage more long-distance races?
    Prize money is better for longer distance racing and they are very popular with the racegoers.
    RCÉ: The difficulty managers are reporting is filling races over longer distances. RCÉ is committed to this issue. Track managers are in communication via WhatsApp with one another and can try to facilitate owners looking for longer distance races but it is proving hard to fill these stakes and races.
    We are also getting reports of lower pools of dogs available for racing presently in certain tracks.
    THE IGOBF: Kennel cough and sickness has affected pools of dogs available to race presently at a number of tracks.
    RCÉ: We are aware of kennel cough and recently issued guidance for the same on Talking Dogs.


  • Video production update Series Two #Behind The Track series
    THE IGOBF: The target date for the release of series two will be a date to be announced in November.
    Series one of #Behind The Track was a huge success with hundreds of thousands of views on ‘Irish
    Greyhounds Sunrise to Sunset’ on Facebook, ‘Racing Greyhounds of Ireland’ on Youtube, Instagram, Twitter and Tiktok. The RGOI Youtube channel has had over one million views and over 4,600 subscribers since January 2021.
    RCÉ: We are looking forward to the series and are sure it will be just as successful as the first series.
    We believe there is a very exciting video planned in Enniscorthy. THE IGOBF: All is going to plan and will be revealed in due course.
  • Christmas programme at tracks post-Covid
    THE IGOBF: As it is looking very positive re restrictions being lifted will there be additional race meetings added in December?
    RCÉ: We will be adding additional meetings as bookings fill. We must also ensure we have sufficient dogs available for racing in the pools before extra meetings can be added. It is important to get the entries in from owners and trainers so our racing pools are strong coming up to Christmas at all the tracks.
    THE IGOBF: We have a suggestion to run a memorial night to remember those loved ones lost in the difficult times we have been through.
    RCE: November would be a good month to stage a memorial night at the various tracks. This proposal is something we will work on with track management. We will be announcing the dates for racing post-Christmas/New Year also.
  • Folen’s Publication.
    RCÉ: At present we do not have an update to report.
    The Department of Education has stated that they do not have an input into the textbooks that are
    published by publishers.
    We are waiting for the CEO of Folens to come back to us with a response. We are open to working with
    them to find one.
  • Tracks update ie Clonmel, Lifford, Galway, and Waterford.
    RCÉ: Clonmel is back to one night’s racing.
    When compliant with the terms of the recent agreement we will look at granting a second night of racing.
    Liffords reopening date has been pushed out to March 2022 as October 2021 was just not realistic.
    RCÉ had a recent meeting with Galway GOBA and it was a constructive meeting with all sides working
    towards solutions to reconcile race nights lost to rugby matches.
    In the Waterford track, a lot of work had been carried out between the 1st and 2nd bend to correct drainage issues. The reports so far are that the works are successful, and they will be closely monitoring it during winter conditions.
    THE IGOBF: Reverting to one night’s racing at Clonmel punishes the owners and trainers and they are at a loss of racing and income.
    RCÉ: Clonmel is a private track run by a board of directors. We accept that the owners and trainers are
    losing out and we are prepared to allow tracks e.g. Waterford and Thurles to run some additional races for Clonmel dogs if the Clonmel Dogs are entered in their racing pools.
    THE IGOBF: Is there a difficulty with Clonmel because it is a privately run track?
    RCÉ: We would have to commend the way most private tracks are being run. Most private tracks are doing excellent work. Clonmel track must be compliant with the terms of their agreement.
  • Appearance and Presentation of Industry Representatives
    RCÉ: We have proposals for uniforms which include all ground staff, racing managers and a uniform jacket for the Control Steward which makes all staff clearly identifiable.
    THE IGOBF: Following on from practices learned from Covid and in keeping with the improved presentation we
    believe all owners/trainers should have their own personal uniform parade coat which can be worn and purchased at tracks.
    RCÉ could use the opportunity to promote the IRGT by using a logo on the industry-standard parade coats worn by the owner/trainer/handler in the parade ring.
  • Survey re improvements to IRGT
    RCÉ: This survey is available on the RCÉ website and is open to all participants. We appreciate the
    submissions made already by your members and there will be further communication and consultations with THE IGOBF representatives from the company employed to undertake the report.
    OKS ‘Consultants are working on developing a new strategy with the IRGT.
    THE IGOBF: Would RCÉ look at the possibility of including an online shop on menus and racecards whereby
    profits on products eg hats, snoods, mugs etc would go towards extra funding for the IRGT?
  • Any Other Business
    RCÉ: The Code of Practice on The Care and Welfare of Greyhounds is gone to the Minister of Agriculture for final sign off.
    There have been 25 applications for 3 positions on the Board of Greyhound Racing Ireland.
    The Minister for Agriculture is responsible for choosing the three appointments.
    The final candidate for the post of CEO has been selected and will be announced next week.
    THE IGOBF: Can we have clarification that due to Brexit vat may be payable by the buyer on greyhounds sold to the UK from Ireland in January 2022?
    RCÉ: We have had no communication from the Department of Agriculture yet as to any changes but we will come back to you on this matter.
    THE IGOBF: We are seeking clarification re back grading of dogs in sprints.
    RCÉ: To be back graded in sprint races the greyhound must run over the sprint distance and the same
    applies over the standard distance. Sprint races are not as popular with punters as races over the standard distance and asking for more sprints on a race card is not a policy we wish to encourage.
    We need to get away from 5 or 6 sprint races on a night’s racing.
    RCÉ: Budget 2022 is important for RCÉ and the future of our industry.
    The Power Economic Report 2021 is a positive and powerful statement about the economic significance of The Irish greyhound industry. RCÉ will also be considering making a separate regulation for the euthanasia of racing greyhounds. The Department of Agriculture advises that RCÉ has sufficient powers under The Greyhound Racing Act of 2019 and the Welfare of Greyhounds Act of 2011 to enact regulation on this matter.
  • A word of Thanks
    THE IGOBF: On behalf of THE IGOBF thank you Mr Dollard for your co-operation and commitment.
    Many matters have moved on a long way and there have been improvements and better communication with stakeholders.
    Best wishes in your new role.

The meeting concluded at 5.33 pm


Helen Morris
Secretary THE IGOBF