Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (98)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

98. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on a media report (details supplied) that greyhound racing here is perceived as lacking integrity in view of concerns such as doping and irregular betting being made by high profile racing sources; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13949/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

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. Bord na gCon is a body corporate and a separate legal entity to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The Greyhound Racing Bill continues to pass through the Houses of the Oireachtas and specifically addresses doping, integrity and fair play through a comprehensive range of enabling provisions allowing Bord na gCon to make regulations to deal with doping control and the conduct of racing; these progressive measures should allay any public concerns that may exist on industry regulation.

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. The comments made by SIS reflect an historic view of greyhound racing. The fact that nine race meetings are now broadcast from Irish greyhound tracks - up from the initial four meetings in 2016, demonstrates that the quality and integrity of Irish greyhound racing is gaining wide acceptance in the UK and other jurisdictions.