Meeting Minutes, News
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 –
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.
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.
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
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.
The treasurer Susan Hayes presented the 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
Media, Meeting Minutes, News
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.
Our upcoming AGM is planned for
Wed evening March 29th 7.30pm to 9.30pm
VENUE:- Killeshin Hotel Portlaoise R32 TYW7
Please encourage a strong attendance
Please email email@example.com regarding any issues your members would like to be addressed and they will be put forward throughout 2023. Please find attached the initial Key Issues that we will be addressing with GRI in the 1st quarter of this year.
Yours in Sport,
The IGOBF Key Issues for 2023
1. Costs and financial issues
1a. Ring Fence significant portion of the Horse and greyhound fund for prizemoney. (60%)
Prizemoney is a top priority.
1b. The feeding of Category 2 meat to all greyhounds (including racing greyhounds) should be supported by GRI and the Department of Agriculture and the current screening limits for demoxothene should not change.
1c. Private tracks
25% increase in annual funding grant for all private tracks with immediate effect to counter the inflation crisis.
1d. Freeze race entry fees at current levels.
No more additional costs on owners, trainers,transporters and especially on breeders.
Restore the breeder’s prizemoney initiative.
Restore trainer’s incentive.
Remove vat on dog food.
Streamline passport/vaccination export/transportation procedures and costs.
2. Welfare and Integrity
2a. An agreed action plan for track maintenance at every track for trials and racing. Safety must be a priority at every track with the emphasis on the surface being properly prepared,maintained and monitored.
2b. Funding for welfare,integrity and rehoming spending be ring fenced at existing levels (over €3m last year)
2c. Drug testing.
We are seeking an up-to-date evaluation of best practices, more detailed information about thresholds, more regular communication to our members about all aspects of drug testing.
We must build trust and confidence in the testing system.
3. Future planning
3a. Clear communication from GRI regarding upgrading to Shelbourne Park, Kilkenny track, Lifford and all other industry developments.
3b. An overhaul of the Barking Buzz platform.
We want new revenue streams into our sport we must consider engaging with the top betting companies and bring our live racing streaming to a global market.
3c. That the board of GRI be remodelled to resemble the HRI board with representatives of all stakeholders such as owners,breeders, trainers,sponsors,transporters, stud keepers etc.
3d. A professional articulate spokesperson delegated to deal with negative publicity, online bullying, targeting sponsors, anti-racing propaganda and we require an agreed strategy to be developed to counter those who deliberately defame/tarnish greyhound racing in the media and with politicians etc.
Our members are prepared to play our part to defend our sport and it should be a united approach.
These are the prizewinning entries in the IGOBF sponsored Christmas Competition for our young people. The winners are published in last week’s Sporting Press (Thursday 22nd November). Thank you all for the wonderful entries. The standard was extremely high. Well done to our Junior Irish Greyhound Owners.
Christmas card verses with a greyhound theme.
Cheers to a greyhound by the fire, warm Christmas memories, and you.
A.M. Age 6
Christmas is coming
The bookie’s is getting fat
Please put a tenner on the
The right greyhound trap
If you haven’t got a tenner
A euro will do
If you haven’t got a euro
May God bless you!
U14 Co Limerick
Jingle all the way
Oh what fun it is to go
To Shelbourne park
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a greyhound was stirring, not even a Mouse
The leads and covers were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The puppies were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of puppy treats danced in their heads;
And mamma in her onesie and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
On, COMET! on CUPID! on, DONNER and BLITZEN!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the kennels roof-the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of dog treats, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of dog treats he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the kennel ; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!
Fairytale of Shelbourne Park
It was Christmas Eve babe
In the Getting Out Stake
An old man said to me, won’t see another one
And then he sang a song
The Rare Old Mountain Dew
I turned my face away
And dreamed about Trap two
Got on a lucky one
Came in eighteen to one
I’ve got a feeling
This year’s for me and you
So happy Christmas
I love you baby
I can see a better time
When all our dreams come true
Art and photography winning entries:
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and best wishes for 2023!
BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby Final:
What an exciting and enjoyable BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby so far. This year, young greyhound enthusiasts had the additional excitement of following their nominated dog throughout the Derby. Over 6 weeks ago, 341 children were randomly assigned a greyhound in this year’s Derby and we are down to the final 12 nominators.
BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby Semi – Final Night:
Last Saturday night, the 26 junior nominator semi finalists were invited to attend the BoyleSports Derby semi-finals with their families. The families gathered in the Derby Suite with finger food and refreshments provided by Shelbourne Park. Frank Nyhan, Chairman of Greyhound Racing Ireland and Wayne McCarthy, GRI Board Member welcomed everyone and IGOBF Chairman Damian Matthews addressed the attendees, providing words of appreciation and encouragement to all the junior nominators and their families. IGOBF Secretary Deirdre Leahy presented each junior nominator with a momento of the event, including, a rosette, certificate and medal as well as a letter of appreciation from Greyhound Racing Ireland including family passes to their local track. The lucky finalists also got to meet their nomination at the kennel area after their respective semi finals.
Unfortunately, some of the junior nominator semi-finalists couldn’t make it to Shelbourne Park on Saturday night but no doubt they were cheering on their nominated greyhound at home. For many, this was their first time at Shelbourne Park. An enjoyable night was had by all and hopefully this is the start of something special in the lives of these wonderful young greyhound enthusiasts.
Deirdre Leahy and Kevin Davies (Crafty Kokoro)
Deirdre Leahy and Conor Slevin (Cryptopunk)
Deirdre Leahy and Liam McLoughlin (Callaway Pro Am)
Deirdre Leahy, Anthony Reidy and Lacey Reidy
Sinéad O’Reilly (Coolavanny Hoffa) and Deirdre Leahy
Deirdre Leahy and Myles Kearney (Coolavanny Hoffa)
Deirdre Leahy and Rhylie McBride (Ballymac Finn)
Deirdre Leahy and Mark McDonnell (Maries Wedding)
Deirdre Leahy and Lauren Lynch (Gortkelly Nestor)
Deirdre Leahy and Lilly O’Sullivan (Gortkelly Nestor)
Peter Divilly and Kevin Davies
Peter Divilly and Kevin Davies
Rhylie McBride with Shane Dowling and Ballymac Finn
Shane Hanlon, Jennifer O’Donnell, Anthony and Lacey Reidy with Born Warrior
Mark McDonnell and Keeley McGee with Maries Wedding
Junior Nominator Semi-Finalists
Anthony Reidy with his mom Lacey
Harry, Charlie, Molly and Lilly O’Sullivan
Eimear and Sinéad O’Reilly
Bill, Anthony and Lacey Reidy
You can support this and many other IGOBF projects by purchasing a ticket for the IGOBF Buster Draw. Tickets are just €5 and the person with winning sequence of the Derby Final will win €500.
Tickets can be purchased by clicking the link below:
IGOBF Boylesports Irish Derby 2022 Buster Competition