Irish Greyhound Owners & Breeders Statement  

9th July 2014

The publication this week of the long awaited Indecon Review confirms many of the issues highlighted by the Irish Greyhound Owners & Breeders Federation over the last two years.   Unfortunately nobody was prepared to listen.  The IGOBF have written to various people in the IGB over the last year, the correspondence has been either ignored or when answered, the answers have been in adequate.

At a meeting in January 2013 the Irish Greyhound Owners & Breeders Federation published & presented a Booklet outlining the serious financial state of the Irish Greyhound Board.  The figures presented in this Booklet were disputed in a letter to the Sporting Press from then CEO Adrian Nealon.  The IGOBF figures have now been vindicated by Indecon.

In May 2013 the Federation agreed to a meeting with the IGB and requested the meeting to take the form of a Presentation by the IGB Head of Regulation, Chief Financial Officer and Head of Marketing.  The reply from IGB Chairman Phi Meaney was  “We feel at this juncture that it would be inappropriate for any member of the executive to make a presentation to the Federation. ”

Still concerned with the serious financial state that the Greyhound Industry the Federation then concentrated their efforts on writing to the Public Accounts Committee which resulted with the IGB Chairman Phil Meaney ,Head of Finance Michael Murnane and then CEO Adrian Nealon appearing before the PAC in November of last year to answer a series of questions on the financial state of the Board.

Following his address to the Seanad in February Junior Minister Tom Hayes agreed to a meeting with the IGOBF to discuss their concerns.    Two meetings were subsequently arranged and then cancelled, the last one with just 24 hours notice.  Again no regard for the concerns raised by the Federation.

The Report authored by Indecon has said the industry is declining in almost every sector and its reliance on new business opportunities will not be enough to allow it to survive.   The Report also labelled the €23m Limerick development as the single largest contributing factor to the IGB level of debt.

The IGB can produce endless strategic plans but we need to have the personnel in the organisation to implement these plans.   When one examines the individual Executive and Board members credentials and past achievements it is difficult to be optimistic.  The Indecon Review analysis of Board skills indicates that there were skills gaps.

Unfortunately the IGOBF does not share the same confidence in the IGB as Junior Minister Hayes and Minister Simon Coveney.  The Irish Greyhound Owners & Breeders Federation is now looking to the newly appointed CEO and the newly appointed Director of Racing Governance & Compliance to bring the Industry forward from its current decline.