Today 26th November 2018 the Committee of the Federation met with the new Chairman Mr Frank Nyhan & CEO Mr Ger Dollard. GOBAs in attendance were Cork, Mullingar, Tipperary, Enniscorthy & Mid-West. It was a very pleasant and constructive meeting with both sides looking to work with each other in order to try and steer our industry out of trouble.

The IGOBF emphasised that the aim for the industry must be to make every race worth a minimum of €1200 in total prize money. The IGB needs to develop a business model that can generate this level of return without assistance from the Horse and Greyhound Fund. We also made it clear that we do not agree with the current direction towards BAGs racing being adopted by the IGB and questioned the sustainability of selling our racing at a price that is dependent on subsidy from The Horse and Greyhound Fund.

The IGOBF has consistently campaigned for gearing our product to the online audience and improving the standard of integrity to the levels required by an audience that has a choice of multiple betting mediums to invest in. We highlighted cases of breaches of regulation that were contributing to reputational damage to the industry.

At our previous meeting with the CEO in May 2018, The IGOBF pointed out that IGB were in multiple breaches of regulation and gave, as an example, allowing dogs to run in sales trials when they only had one trial on their card. The Greyhound Act stated that a dog must have 2 trials on their card before being admitted to an official licenced sale. The reason for the rule was to give the buyers more confidence when considering buying a dog. However, in typical old IGB fashion, rather than apply the rule, the IGB called their buddies in Leinster House who rushed through a Statutory Instrument in June (before Mr Nyhan was appointed) to change the rule and now dogs are only required to have 1 sales trial.

The IGB executive has performed hopelessly over the last 10 years and their inability to apply the simple 2 trial rule is typical. Of course, Minister Andrew Doyle is partially to blame as he should not have entertained their request for a quick fix. It is not easy to accurately apportion blame for the abysmal performance of IGB over the last 10 years, some executive members have publicly criticized the Board and cited interference by the Board as an issue. The Irish greyhound industry is now close to its last chance (2018 tote has declined from 2016) and the appointment of Frank Nyhan is something we should all be grateful for. He is a man of the utmost integrity and his no nonsense approach is a breath of fresh air. The IGB executive have no excuses now, shape up or ship out.