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