Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Questions (475, 481)

Clare Daly

Question:

475. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on whether it is appropriate to continue funding the greyhound industry in view of the recent assessment by sports information services (detailed supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11540/19]

View answer

Mick Wallace

Question:

481. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on continued funding for the greyhound industry in view of a recent report from the company which broadcasts Irish greyhound racing globally that informed the Irish Greyhound Board in October 2018 that greyhound racing here has a serious integrity problem due to doping and irregular betting patterns; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11695/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 475 and 481 together.

Bord na gCon is a commercial state body, established under the Greyhound Industry Act, 1958 chiefly to control greyhound racing and to improve and develop the greyhound industry.

In relation to the comments made in the article on betting, any patterns of irregular betting that are brought to the attention of Bord na gCon are investigated and if necessary, the results of any investigation are forwarded to An Garda Síochána.

I consider the greyhound sector to be an integral part of many regions within Ireland and as a source of pride and enthusiasm for participants and spectators. A report by Economist Jim Power in November 2017 calculated that there are 5,058 full and part-time jobs within the sector, with a further 7,313 greyhound owners deriving economic benefit from the industry. The impact of this employment creates €171 million in additional spending while the greyhound owners contribute €135 million in spending. The national industry therefore contributes €300 million in additional economic activity.

For these reasons I have no plans to cease funding for the sector.