Everyone in the greyhound industry was saddened to hear about the closure of Drumbo Park. It was by all accounts a well run track that entertained far larger crowds that what is seen in Southern Tracks. The lesson from Drumbo that the Southern industry needs to take from this closure is that even a well attended track cannot survive from the income of “bums on seats” alone.  The €310,000 that IGB receives from tax payers every week should not be taken for granted as income. It is currently keeping our industry afloat and has led to a lazy arrogance but we now have an industry that will not survive for a week when this handout is inevitably withdrawn.

Mr Gerard Dollard was appointed CEO in July of 2017 and in spite of the critical situation he inherited, nothing changes. IGB have announced that Indecon “will provide an assessment of stadium infrastructure and financial sustainability, along with detailed recommendations regarding the 16 licensed stadia.” This appointment of Indecon begs the question, why do we need a CEO? You are in the job 18 months Mr Dollard, assess the stadia and make decisions.

The bottom line is that the IGB is hemorrhaging money and wants to close more tracks. It will be far easier to blame Indecon for these closures.

Can the industry be saved or is the only solution to close more tracks? 

The IGB is still unable to produce a racing product to a standard that will attract betting punters and give greyhound owners a reasonable income and also provide a standard of greyhound welfare that society expects.

We saw the farcical situation in Kilkenny over Christmas where a dog who only barley qualified (S9) comes out and wins a month later in a very fast time by 14 lengths. Why does this keep happening?

The dog was returned at SP 4/6 . Why does a dog that has S9 for its last line of form go off at 4/6 in a race?

Incidents like this are repeated up and down the country every week of the year which diminish the value of our product as a betting medium. We are all losers when this is allowed to go unchecked. And if that was not bad enough, the IGB own website Talking Dogs was very complimentary to the achievements of all involved in this particular stroke.

The IGOBF have consistently argued that we should follow the example of the racing in Victoria Australia.

The population of Ireland is 6.6 million, our tracks are closing. €5.7million is the IGB contribution to prize money according to 2017 accounts

Victoria has 6.5 million people, prize money levels in Victoria greyhound racing is at an all-time high. GRV prize money in Euro €24.8 million.

$1 Australia  dollar = €0.62

Minimum prize money for a standard metropolitan race is $5,000 (1st), $1,430 (2nd) & $720 (3rd), while standard provincial prize money is a minimum $1,325 (1st), $375 (2nd) & $190 (3rd).

Total prize money in the state has risen to $40 Million. Victoria boasts the richest greyhound race in the world, the $500,000 Group 1 Melbourne Cup at Sandown Park which is comprised of $350,000 (1st), $100,000 (2nd) & $50,000 (3rd).

It is becoming increasingly common for elite greyhounds in Victoria to win in excess of $500,000 in prize money during their career.

The Irish greyhound industry has been in serious decline for 11 years in-spite of the IGB receiving €145 million of taxpayers money over the 11 year period. We have failed t0 produce a racing product that will allow punters to bet with confidence. Nobody believes the form on an Irish greyhound card, that is why an unraced S9 dog can start at 4/6.

One of the ironies of the stroke that was pulled in Kilkenny is that these people are actually doing far more harm to themselves than anyone else. If the Irish industry was run straight, bitches of this standard would be worth multiples of the values they achieve here now.

Every company has quality control, this is the system or the people that insure that the product is leaving the premises at a standard that customers will buy the product. In the IGB the Quality Controller is the Head of Regulation, it is his job to insure that the racing product is produced to a standard that punters will invest.

The evidence is clear, 11 years of declining tote, the Morris Report, Mays Hurryonboy still has a 28.40 time in Dundalk, multiple drug failures etc etc . Our Quality Controller has failed the industry for years and has been allowed to get away with it. What is Mr Dollard going to do about it?  judging by his past form he will probably ask Indecon to investigate it after he closes a few tracks.