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 GRI
(b) Lifford update
(c) update on the improvement plan and finances available for Kilkenny Greyhound Stadium.
(d) Derby 2022

Damian Matthews, Chairperson of the IGOBF opened and welcomed everyone to the meeting. He then went through a visual presentation of IGOBF accounts put together by the Treasurer, Susan Hayes. All aspects of the accounts were clarified, and any queries answered.
The meeting then moved on to concerns over the appointment of a new CEO to GRI.
Damian Matthews recalled his communications via email to the Minister on 21/4/2021 on behalf of IGOBF. That message is now even more relevant and urgent than when it was written only 13 months later.

Statement from IGOBF 22/07/2021

In light of the current challenges facing the industry, the IGOBF cannot overemphasise RCE’s role in the appointment of a knowledgeable, experienced and competent CEO for the greyhound industry. A leader with a clear vision and a willingness to engage with all the stakeholders who are tirelessly working for the betterment of our industry is required.
The vital importance of first-hand experience of greyhound racing and above all a passion for our great sport must be an essential prerequisite for any future candidate for the position at this point in time.
We need a CEO that will ‘hit the ground running’ and that will continue to build on the greyhound industry’s role  as a very significant contributor to the Irish Economy.

Ireland has always been the home of the greatest racing greyhounds in the world. Our unique Irish culture and our world famous Greyhound heritage is something that must be nurtured and protected and celebrated.
Welfare must take top priority and the new CEO must continue the good work that has already been achieved.
All members of IGOBF fully understand and appreciate the importance of appointing the right candidate to the position of CEO and we are willing to work and engage with the appointed successor.
The future success of our sport depends on the right candidate been selected for the job as opposed to a political appointment. All too often a square peg is put in a round hole. The future of our industry depends on a successful appointment.

Damian Matthews

Mr Wayne McCarthy, Board member of GRI took the floor and outlined the process and protocols of selection. He then fielded questions from the floor. The main thread of the discussion was the need participants felt for a CEO with knowledge, connection and passion for the industry. It was felt that the criterion for selection needs to be weighted to have greater emphasis on in-depth knowledge of the greyhound racing industry. Mr McCarthy pointed out the problems faced by GRI is in the lack of candidates who came forward with applications who met those criteria and also who qualified for the necessary academic requirements of the position. It was stated that the current financial package for the CEO was not in line with packages offered to a CEO in similar positions e.g., the CEO of Horse Racing Ireland is on a package in the region of €190,000. This is substantially more than the salary for the CEO of GRI and this needs addressing.
Suggestions from the floor included that the recruitment company engaged should be head hunting suitable candidates in Ireland and abroad.
There does not appear to be a pathway within the industry that leads to CEO and that needs addressing .
It was felt that recognised and respected persons/stakeholders from within the industry should be involved in the interview and selection stage of CEO.
Continuing to fall back on the same selection process which to date has not served the industry adequately is only going to have the same outcome.

(b) Lifford update

It was asked what was happening regarding Lifford. Mr McCarthy outlined that he believed there were slight sticking points that needed to be addressed by the respective legal teams. It was put to Mr McCarthy that it is IGOBF ‘s understanding that the legal teams have met in recent weeks and come to agreement and that being the case this issue needs signing off on as a matter of urgency. The participants in the North West of Ireland have gone through protracted highs and lows and if all is in order let them start racing at the earliest opportunity.

(c) Kilkenny Update

The meeting was informed that funding for improvements to Kilkenny track are in place and awaiting signing off on by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and the paperwork had been on their desk awaiting signing for a substantial time.
It was highlighted from the floor that in that time building costs had risen in the region of 50%.

(d) Derby 2022
The Derby Semi-finals and Final will be screened on Virgin Media.
Ivan Yates will be joining Ian Fortune to present the coverage and this is a hugely positive boost for our sport.
The IGOBF called on all supporters to get behind positive promotion of our 2022 Derby Final and let’s get as much positive coverage as we can and get people talking about, watching, supporting and attending the Irish Greyhound Derby.

Jackie Cahill TD and Chairman of the Agricultural Committee was in attendance and said he would be looking at issues and raising them with the Minister for Agriculture. He will ask questions regarding Lifford and Kilkenny and hoped to get back to IGOBF within the week.

The meeting gave those in attendance an insight into the selection of the CEO and an opportunity for constructive discussion on the various topics.

The IGOBF on behalf of members and all those in attendance wish to express their sincere thanks to Jackie Cahill TD Chairman of the Agricultural Committee and Mr Wayne McCarthy Board member of GRI.
Also thanks to Councillor Peggy Ryan for her attendance at short notice.

Damian Matthews



Irish Greyhound Derby Junior Nominator Competition

Just 2 weeks to go before the commencement of the 2022 Irish Greyhound Derby and we have an exciting competition for all our young greyhound enthusiasts!

Simply, text or Whatsapp 0851294406, the name(s) of the child/children you’d like to enter and they will be randomly assigned a greyhound to follow in this year’s Irish Greyhound Derby.

*Nominated person must be under 18.

*Prizes for the six finalists.

*Closing date Sunday 14th August.

Draw will be posted on our website igobf.org and on our social media platforms ‘Irish Greyhounds Sunrise to Sunset’.

Statement from IGOBF

The IGOBF have expressed their concerns to GRI about the recent survey being undertaken.

We wish to state categorically that a very simplistic six question survey with no options other than two or three prescribed answers is not a consultation with greyhound owners and trainers.

Damian Matthews

Chairperson IGOBF

Thank You for Supporting The IGOBF English Derby Buster Draw

Congratulations Margaret Nolan

The winner of the €5,000 prize in the IGOBF English Derby Buster Draw is Margaret Nolan from County Kildare. Margaret is a long time owner and breeder of greyhounds and is 85 years young. Margaret is a regular visitor to Shelbourne Park and will be in attendance on Saturday 16th July for a presentation of the IGOBF Buster prizemoney by representatives from IGOBF.

Margaret was watching the English derby final 2022 on RPTV with her buster ticket receipt in her hand and knew immediately when she saw the result of the race that she had the winning combination sequence. The entire family are great supporters of IGOBF and Margaret’s daughter Daire Malone quickly messaged IGOBF chairman Damian Matthews with a screenshot of Margaret’s winning buster ticket receipt. The winning sequence and proof of purchase was confirmed with the IT controller and Margaret Nolan was announced as the winner of the E5,000 prize.

All the family are involved with greyhounds for many years and they are “over the moon” that their mother won the prizemoney because she is great to support good causes and they are also very supportive and appreciative of the work that the IGOBF do for the greyhound owners and breeders. Proceeds raised from the IGOBF English Derby Buster 2022 will be given back to the owners as prize money at greyhound stadia in Ireland including the tracks in Northern Ireland.


Thank You

We would like to thank the following people for supporting The IGOBF by buying tickets for our English Derby Buster Draw:

  • Tony Teague,
  • William Croke,
  • Richard Brannigan,
  • Patrick O’Neill,
  • Cera Nolan,
  • Adrian Maher,
  • Leo Murphy,
  • Martin Fahy,
  • Rory Hickey,
  • Few Sons Syndicate,
  • Niall Foley,
  • Darren Higgins,
  • Ger Manley,
  • Derek Loughnane,
  • John Collins,
  • Gavin O’Mahoney,
  • Niall Conlon,
  • Eamonn Faulkner,
  • Christopher Connolly,
  • Alan Britton,
  • Laura Britton,
  • Paul Ryan,
  • Edel Adams,
  • Ciaran O’Brien,
  • Tina Morrissey,
  • Liam Driver,
  • Kaylah Culhane,
  • Ariyah Culhane,
  • Ronan Kearney,
  • Denis Curtin,
  • Noel Sheehan,
  • Tommy Lyons,
  • Adrian Clifford,
  • Tom Lennon,
  • Wayne McCarthy,
  • Stephen McIntyre,
  • Lily McIntyre,
  • Scott Bennitt,
  • Stephen Bourke,
  • John Murphy,
  • Tom Kinane,
  • Gerard Power,
  • Anne Marie O’Brien,
  • Pat Loughlan,
  • Eimear O’Dwyer,
  • Darragh Morrissey,
  • Mort Cronin,
  • John Hayes,
  • Elaine Parker,
  • Dan Flynn,
  • Patrick Dunne,
  • Declan Costello,
  • Niall Gavin,
  • Celine Moran,
  • Maurice Organ,
  • David Hanley,
  • Shari Anne O’Donnell,
  • Jody Thompson,
  • Joe Nolan,
  • Margaret Nolan,
  • Paul Gallagher,
  • Rachael Wheeler,
  • Michael Malone,
  • Niall Handy,
  • Aedamar O’Reilly,
  • Deirdre Wren,
  • Stephen O’Carroll,
  • Robert Green,
  • Damien Lonergan,
  • Helen Morris,
  • Jean Comerford,
  • Eoghan Carrigy,
  • Patrick Plant-Quinn,
  • Pearse Lynch,
  • Feargal O’Donnell,
  • Pat Carroll,
  • Pat Scully,
  • Mary Theresa O’Mahony,
  • Ger O’Callaghan,
  • Padraig and Pat Curtin,
  • Richard Quinn,
  • Shem O’Donnell,
  • Michael Donnelly,
  • Myles Roban,
  • Shay Healy,
  • Peter McGorrey,
  • Paul Allen,
  • Pat Comerford,
  • Niall McGhee,
  • Catherine Nolan,
  • Bridget Nolan,
  • Eamonn Nolan,
  • Sean Conway,
  • Paddy McCormack,
  • Steve Artiss,
  • Patrick Flanagan,
  • Anne Loughnane,
  • John O’Sullivan,
  • Eugene Cooney,
  • Shane Divilly,
  • David McDonnell,
  • Claire Meade,
  • Berkie Browne,
  • Shane Curtin,
  • Daire Malone,
  • Shane Rigney,
  • Willie Rigney (GAIN),
  • Aoife Dunphy,
  • Diana Brodie,
  • John Codd,
  • Davy Reynolds,
  • Kieran and Ellie Mai Houlihan,
  • Thomas O’Donovan,
  • Stephen Dobie,
  • Deirdre Leahy,
  • Michael McLaughlin,
  • Tom Barry,
  • Robert Green,
  • Martin Sweeney,
  • Peter Byrne,
  • Seán Bourke,
  • Tom Fitzgerald,
  • Patrick Wall,
  • Gavin O’Mahoney,
  • Stephen Noonan,
  • Sally Mounsey,
  • Ian Reilly,
  • Michael Dunne,
  • Tony Winters,
  • Pauline Brennan,
  • Gerry Hanley,
  • Yvonne Harrington,
  • Mark McDermott,
  • Tríona Dwan,
  • Ruairí Dwan,
  • Paddy Burke (Bumblebee),
  • Kim Robertson,
  • Maeve Kilcoyne,
  • Jennifer O’Donnell,
  • Mary Crotty,
  • DJ Histon,
  • Jer Woods,
  • Marguerite O’Donoghue,
  • Pat Muldoon,
  • Joe Sheahan,
  • James Corden,
  • Nathan Corden,
  • Brian Kennedy,
  • Eamon Curran,
  • Paul Cooney,
  • John Field,
  • Jeanette Woodhead,
  • Conor Foley,
  • Tom Nolan,
  • Brenda Powderly,
  • Tony Moore,
  • Peter Comerford,
  • Patrick O’Connor,
  • Anne Channon,
  • Nicola Holland,
  • Pat Kiely,
  • John Linehan,
  • Helen Dowling,
  • Liam Dowling,
  • John Flynn,
  • Liam O’Keeffe,
  • William Fitzgerald,
  • Gavin Faulkner,
  • Marie Faulkner,
  • Clem Murray,
  • Emily Goodwin,
  • Fintan Comerford,
  • Mairtin Seoighe,
  • Conor Motherway,
  • Conor Flynn,
  • Shane OFlynn,
  • Alex Grassick,
  • Ciarán Magee,
  • Kevin Marmion,
  • Aileen Lennon,
  • Stephen Reidy,
  • Eilis McCann,
  • Brendan Maunsell,
  • Brendan Óg Maunsell,
  • Linda Maunsell,
  • Sarah Maunsell,
  • Hazel Flanagan,
  • Tommy Caffrey,
  • Fergus Slattery,
  • Stefan Wells,
  • Brendan Kenny,
  • John Kenny,
  • Theresa Holohan
  • Deirdre Leahy,
  • Robert Green,
  • Keith Woodhead,
  • David McGrath,
  • Ross Myles,
  • Willie Ryan,
  • Sean Mullins,
  • Anthony Dwyer,
  • Geoff Parnaby,
  • Shane Dowling,
  • Margaret Barrett,
  • Jennifer O Donnell,
  • Timothy Keane,
  • Kathleen Murphy,
  • Sean Slattery,
  • Willie Joe Murphy,
  • Padraig Gantley,
  • Hugh Coghlan,
  • Denis Lennon,
  • John Cullen,
  • Susan Hayes,
  • Michael Kilcoyne,
  • Joan O Shea,
  • Vincent Morris,
  • Thomas O Donovan,
  • Lester Power,
  • Patrick Flanagan,
  • Christopher Walsh,
  • Fiona & John Goff,
  • Nick Bryan,
  • Niall Foley,
  • Stephanie O’Brien,
  • Glenn Laming,
  • Martin Tucker,
  • Keith Taylor,
  • Rose Kelly,
  • Lisa Finnegan,
  • Damian Matthews,
  • Martin Fahy,
  • Padjoe Dorney,
  • Kieran Connolly,
  • Drumbo Track Supporters Club 10 tickets,
  • Brian Egan,
  • Mike Eckley,
  • Karen Brush,
  • Linda Campbell,
  • Barry Drake,
  • Stephen Gibbs,
  • Trish Cescolini,
  • Damian O’Regan,
  • Julianne O’Keeffe,
  • Kathleen Kavanagh,
  • Kim Sanzone,
  • Padraig Bunyan,
  • Maurice Organ,
  • David Walsh,
  • Michael McMahon,
  • Tina McGrane,
  • John Mulqueen,
  • Kevin Mulqueen,
  • Una O’Sullivan,
  • Yvonne Barry,
  • Gavin O Mahoney,
  • Laurence Lee,
  • Frank Hickey,
  • Jennifer Pyne,
  • Jim Cremin,
  • Jerry Griffin,
  • Peter Mcgorrey,
  • Brendan Barnes,
  • Sean Leahy,
  • Pat Finn,
  • Finbarr O Connor,
  • Droopys stud Dunphy,
  • Sean Comerford,
  • Johnny Burke,
  • Liam Holohan,
  • Damien Pepper,
  • Ian Fortune,
  • Craig Doyle,
  • Plunkett Matthews,
  • Fergus Flynn,
  • Gary Matthews,
  • Miceál Collins,
  • Sarina O’Day,
  • Stephen Harvey,
  • Murt Leahy,
  • Olivia Hogan,
  • Lynda Bonner,
  • Malachy Keaveney,
  • Jeanie Comerford,
  • Clare Hanley.


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