Greyhound sector 'abhorred' by depiction in Junior Cycle book

Greyhound sector 'abhorred' by depiction in Junior Cycle book

Representatives of Greyhound Racing Ireland and the Irish Greyhound Owners and Breeders Federation have called for the material to be removed. 

Representatives of the greyhound sector have sought the removal of a text from a Junior Cycle civic, social, and political education (CSPE) book they describe as a "misleading and inaccurate" representation of greyhound racing here. 

Greyhound Racing Ireland (GRI) and the Irish Greyhound Owners and Breeders Federation (IGOBF) have written to Folens, the Department of Education, and the Department of Agriculture seeking the removal of a class exercise about greyhound racing.

'Problems' with greyhound racing 

Published by Folens, the CSPE book,  Make A Difference, includes a piece called ‘Going to the Dogs’ which lists a series of what it describes as problems with greyhound racing, and invites students to think up a possible solution in response.

The text includes statements such as ‘some greyhounds are raced when they are not well or fit enough to race’, ‘unsuccessful greyhounds are sometimes abandoned or even put down’, and ‘when some greyhounds become too old to race, they are abandoned or put down'. 

CPSE make a difference re Jess Casey story greyhounds August 2021
CPSE make a difference re Jess Casey story greyhounds August 2021

Another point of the text reads: “Greyhounds bred in Ireland have green tattoo marks in both ears to identify them. Some owners cut off the dogs’ ears when they abandon them so they cannot be identified.” 

The text also includes an opening statement to say that greyhound racing is legal in Ireland, many dogs seem to enjoy the chase and come to no harm, and that most dogs are well cared for. Students are also encouraged to write to the Minister for Agriculture with some actions the Government can take to protect the welfare of greyhounds in Ireland.

Text 'misrepresents' the sport 

Frank Nyhan, chairman of GRI, said the text "entirely misrepresents the sport and industry at an important formative time for these students".

Damian Matthews, chairman of the IGOBF, says his members are ‘abhorred’ by the publication which seeks to “marginalise the greyhound racing community". 

He described the text as "an attempt at social exclusion".

“We totally oppose this material being published or any similar material being taught in schools which use propaganda to socially exclude the greyhound community from society,” he said.

Gerard Dollard, chief executive of GRI, said the piece does not make any reference to the care and welfare initiatives progressed by GRI over the past two years. 

Folens did not respond to a request for comment. 

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