National Greyhound Consultative Forum held by IGB in Limerick
The National Greyhound Consultative Forum was held by the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) on Tuesday (18 July) at Limerick Stadium. The forum was arranged to seek feedback and engagement as to how the industry can best develop in the years ahead. Invitations were sent to a wide range of industry stakeholders including greyhound owners and breeders groups, private stadia, bookmakers and other trade groups. Eighteen people from a cross-section of greyhound stakeholders attended the meeting.
Interim CEO of IGB, Dr Sean Brady commented “This forum is the start of our industry coming together to focus on our renewal and future development. The IGB’s efforts will be undermined unless we have buy in from all stakeholders. Our industry faces enormous challenges such as new wagering technologies and the public concern over welfare. These issues are far too serious for some who may prefer to wait in the long grass and not participate. A debt free future now presents a unique opportunity for our sector to come together to address these challenges.”
The forum was opened and chaired by IGB Chairman Phil Meaney who acknowledged the industry had come through a very challenging period but would soon be in a position to re-invest. This was followed by a business update with presentations by the IGB executive team; on welfare and exports, marketing, regulation and integrity measures, including wagering and the fall in on-course revenues across Tote operators. The final presentation was delivered by Dr Sean Brady who stressed the need for the sector to work together constructively in addressing these challenges.
The agenda then allowed for a discussion by all stakeholders as to the future direction of the industry. The discussion covered a number of issues which included the grading system, regulation, recent legislation, improving communications and addressing the public concern about greyhound welfare. Another forum meeting is to be held before year end, with Dr Brady inviting all stakeholders to work with the IGB over the coming months to address the common objective to improve the performance of greyhound racing and entertainment in Ireland.