Brexit poses enormous challenges for the Irish greyhound sector
The Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) outlined the enormous challenges facing the industry at the fourth all-island sectoral dialogue on Brexit for the Equine and Greyhound sectors on Friday ( 9 June), hosted by the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine in Portloaise.
The meeting was opened by Minister Michael Creed TD before discussion groups examined the potential impact and response to Brexit. A presentation was delivered by IGB’s Director of Commercial Operations Colin Walsh that included the impact of currency fluctuations on greyhound stadia close to the border such as Dundalk. Breeders have been significantly affected by the depreciation in Sterling as 85% of greyhounds in the UK are imported from Ireland, with many now being sold at below-cost.
The IGB outlined their priorities to officials from the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine which included: frictionless movement for greyhounds between Ireland and the UK which can be aided by better traceability between the IGB and the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB), minimised travel time to ensure greyhound welfare and no disadvantage in trade terms for feed producers in the Republic of Ireland.
Speaking after the meeting, interim CEO of IGB Dr Sean Brady commented, “There are up to 10,000 jobs directly and indirectly dependant on the greyhound sector which contributes €230 million to the Irish economy. The industry is uniquely reliant on the UK market as other markets do not currently exist. Speaking to people within the industry, there is recognition that the next few years will be very uncertain but the Brexit meeting with the Department was very useful in addressing this challenge. I would like to thank Ministers Michael Creed TD and Andrew Doyle TD for meeting different stakeholders.”