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