The Irish Greyhound Owners and Breeders Federation was formed to give owners and breeders a voice and to provide a platform to air concerns. Dail Eireann has recognised the IGOBF by including it on the register of nominating bodies under the SEANAD ELECTORAL (PANEL MEMBERS) ACTS 1947 TO 1972.

There is no doubt that the decline of the industry since 2008 has caused a split in opinion on how best to address this decline. The IGOBF has campaigned for a level playing field for all by applying all the rules and applying them to all participants equally. There is a sizable noisy cohort within the industry that disagree with this and who believe that larger owners/trainers or well-connected people should be allowed a level of tolerance when it comes to use of drugs and breaches of rules of racing.

The refusal of the IGOBF to accept the two-tier level of regulation and the highlighting of multiple infringements of rules has not been well received within IGB with a result that IGB refused to meet with IGOBF. The IGB were repeatedly embarrassed at Oireachtas hearings when questioned as to why they refused to meet with the officially recognised greyhound representative organisation.

Rather than deal with the problems of the industry highlighted by the recognised IGOBF, the IGB “encouraged” the formation of a sham IGOBF that would give unquestioned support to the IGB and would accept the two-tier application of rules. This new sham organisation received support from individuals aligned to Fine Gael and had the nominating vote for the Seanad transferred from the official IGOBF to the newly spawned sham IGOBF in February 2019.

Ger Dollard, CEO of IGB, wrote to the official IGOBF in April 2019 and said he would no longer meet with the official IGOBF as he would only meet with the sham IGOBF who were now the Seanad recognised greyhound owner’s representative organisation.

However, following an appeal by the official IGOBF, the Seanad wrote to Dave Cunningham on 15th July 2019 stating that the decision of February 2019 was reversed.

The original and still official IGOBF under the Chairmanship of Tony Walsh is the recognised greyhound owners representative organisation.

This adds further pressure on Mr Dollard who stated in April 2019

“For the record I am facilitating meetings with the recognised IGOBF organisation only and not other groups.”