IGB is awash with money or at least it will be as soon as they get their hands on the €23 million for selling Harolds Cross. Phil summoned all his supporters to SPK last week and spent €40,000 on a party to celebrate the ninetieth birthday of Shelbourne Park. The guest list of politicians, assorted z-list celebrities and Irishsports stars including boxer Bernard Dunne, golfer Peter Lawrie, Jimmy Magee and Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh were wined and dined all night and nobody had to put their hand into their pocket.

 

Contrast that with what is happening around the country where IGB claim it has no money to maintain the tracks. Limerick greyhound owners have been frustrated with the unsafe condition of the their track and have repeatedly requested that sand would be placed on the track. This frustration reached boiling point this week when a load of sand was delivered but was full of stones. The Mid-West GOBA made representation to Head of Greyhound Welfare at IGB on Wednesday August 30 and warned of the poor quality of the sand. The Welfare Officer was unaware of the problem but advised that he would investigate. 24 hours later the Head of Welfare responded and stated that the sand was indeed of poor quality, was not fit for use on a greyhound track and would not be used.

The Mid-West GOBA representative then asked when replacement sand would be placed on the track as this sand was now deemed not suitable. The Welfare Officer could not say when new sand would arrive but racing would continue regardless. The Welfare Officer stated that sand on the track was not his responsibility but the responsibility of Limerick Track management. Mid-West GOBA asked for the name of the Limerick Manager as the previous manager has been removed, The Head of Greyhound Welfare claimed he had no idea who is the current general manager of Limerick stadium, even though Head of Welfare has his office in the same Limerick stadium.

The representative of GOBA then asked the Head of Welfare if he shared or agreed with the concerns of greyhound owners who felt that the depleted level of sand has led to an unsafe track which resulted in an unacceptable level of injuries to greyhounds, particularly dogs breaking hind legs at the first bend. Head of Welfare once again pointed out that the track was not his responsibility and that he was not familiar with the condition of the track even though it is less than 30 metres from his office. He also claimed that the level of injuries at Limerick was no better or worse than other IGB stadia.

 

IGB has a shocking record on greyhound welfare and this lack of concern will be the undoing of the industry.

 

Racing went ahead last night (Friday Septemebr 1) in Limerick. Mall Trigger broke a hind leg at the first bend. He is unlikely to race again, but who cares there is another party in Shelbourne Park tonight.