Petition update

Irish Greyhound Board’s employment claims are “FARCICAL”

Irish Council Against Blood Sports ICABS
Ireland, Ireland

Mar 4, 2019 — 

“Claims from the Irish Greyhound Board that the industry employs in excess of 5,000 people are FARCICAL” - that’s according to the Irish Greyhound Owners and Breeders Federation in a recent statement.

The jobs claims are used annually by Agriculture Minister Michael Creed and the government to try and justify the transfer of millions of euros of taxpayers’ money to greyhound racing. €16.8 million has been granted for 2019, bringing the total to over a quarter of a billion euros since 2001.

“The IGB tries to validate this figure by claiming that this is the figure that independent economic consultant, Jim Power, has calculated,” the IGOBF outlines in its statement. “However, when you read Jim Power’s report, Power states that he has received this figure from the IGB.”

An extract from the report is presented in which it is clear that the source of the claimed employment figures is the Irish Greyhound Board itself.

The greyhound breeders federation states that “these figures are - like much of what emanates from the Irish Greyhound Board - inaccurate.”

“There are no 180 people working for the Irish Coursing Club (ICC),” the statement continues. “How did the IGB come up with a figure of 300 people manufacturing food for greyhounds. Is it possible that some people have been counted multiple times? Are the ICC employees also IGB control stewards? How did anyone calculate that there are 1,170 people employed in the greyhound betting sector when tote staff have already been included as being on the IGB payroll. The CEO might explain how he came up with these numbers.”

It adds: “The Irish Greyhound industry would not last a week if the Horse and Greyhound fund was withdrawn and politicians have repeatedly warned that it will be withdrawn at some point. It is grossly negligent for the IGB to not plan for a future without this taxpayer funding.”

In 2016, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed claimed that the greyhound industry "employs over 10,300 people". A few months later, he admitted that the Irish Greyhound Board "currently directly employs 128 full time staff and approximately 720 part time staff".

The thousands of jobs claim has been ridiculed at a meeting of the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Labour Party's Willie Penrose said: "Some people tell me that the estimate that there are 10,000 people employed in the industry is such a gross over-estimate that it's almost laughable." Deputy Penrose restated his doubts about the figure during a subsequent speech in Dail Eireann, referring to it as an "old figure".
Minister of State Andrew Doyle told the Dail at the time that "a report by the economist Jim Power in 2010 estimated the greyhound industry employed over 10,300 people", to which Willie Penrose replied: "Jim Power's report was produced six or seven years ago. Let us come into reality."

"The figure is more than questionable and does not stand," he added.

Sinn Fein's Martin Kenny TD (Sligo-Leitrim) has echoed these doubts - "I wonder about the quality of these jobs and whether they are counted as whole-time equivalents as they are in the HSE, schools and other State bodies. How many real jobs are there? For example, Bord na gCon claims there are 10,300 people employed in the greyhound industry. I would love to know where these people work and the basis of the claim that the industry contributes €500 million to the economy each year. I am told by dog breeders and trainers that the greyhound industry is in crisis and will disappear within the decade if radical reform does not take place."

In its latest annual report, published last July, the Irish Greyhound Board's jobs figure had been slashed by over half. It claimed that the government subsidies support "five thousand jobs, directly and indirectly, across 16 tracks nationally". The only evidence of jobs in the report was 125 full time staff at the Irish Greyhound Board and its subsidiaries and 100 race night casual staff.


If your local TDs voted in favour of funding for greyhound racing (see list below), contact them and urge them to stop supporting this cruel industry. Visit the Oireachtas website for names of TDs and their contact details

Urge Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe to stop funding horse and greyhound racing.

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion St, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Tweet to: @campaignforLeo
Leave a comment on Facebook:

Paschal Donohoe TD
Minister for Finance
Phone: +353 (0)1 6045810
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Tweet to @Paschald

HOW TDS VOTED (November 2018)

Bobby Aylward, Maria Bailey, Seán Barrett, John Brassil, Pat Breen, Colm Brophy, James Browne, Richard Bruton, Peter Burke, Mary Butler, Catherine Byrne, Dara Calleary, Seán Canney, Ciarán Cannon, Pat Casey, Shane Cassells, Lisa Chambers, Michael Collins, Niall Collins, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Simon Coveney, Barry Cowen, Michael Creed, John Curran, Michael D'Arcy, Jim Daly, Regina Doherty, Paschal Donohoe, Timmy Dooley, Bernard Durkan, Damien English, Alan Farrell, Frances Fitzgerald, Peter Fitzpatrick, Seán Fleming, Noel Grealish, Brendan Griffin, Michael Harty, Seán Haughey, Danny Healy-Rae, Michael Healy-Rae, Séamus Healy, Brendan Howlin, Paul Kehoe, Billy Kelleher, Alan Kelly, Seán Kyne, John Lahart, Michael Lowry, Marc MacSharry, Josepha Madigan, Micheál Martin, Helen McEntee, Finian McGrath, Mattie McGrath, Michael McGrath, John McGuinness, Joe McHugh, Tony McLoughlin, Mary Mitchell O'Connor, Kevin Moran, Aindrias Moynihan, Michael Moynihan, Margaret Murphy O'Mahony, Eoghan Murphy, Eugene Murphy, Hildegarde Naughton, Tom Neville, Carol Nolan, Michael Noonan, Darragh O'Brien, Jim O'Callaghan, Willie O'Dea, Patrick O'Donovan, Fergus O'Dowd, Kevin O'Keeffe, Fiona O'Loughlin, Frank O'Rourke, Jan O'Sullivan, Éamon Ó Cuív, Willie Penrose, Thomas Pringle, Michael Ring, Shane Ross, Brendan Ryan, Eamon Scanlon, Seán Sherlock, Brendan Smith, Niamh Smyth, David Stanton, Robert Troy, Katherine Zappone.

Mick Barry, Richard Boyd Barrett, John Brady, Tommy Broughan, Pat Buckley, Joan Collins, Ruth Coppinger, Seán Crowe, Dessie Ellis, Martin Ferris, Kathleen Funchion, Gino Kenny, Martin Kenny, Denise Mitchell, Imelda Munster, Catherine Murphy, Paul Murphy, Jonathan O'Brien, Louise O'Reilly, Eoin Ó Broin, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, Eamon Ryan, Róisín Shortall, Bríd Smith, Brian Stanley.

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