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It has been revealed in the Irish Examiner (October 24) that the Irish Greyhound Board’s debt has increased significantly, with €21 million spent on a racing stadium in Limerick which has been criticised by the Comptroller and Auditor General.
Again the Irish taxpayer is picking up the tab for this reckless spending, courtesy of a €13.6m grant in the latest budget while other deserving sectors see their budget allocations dwindle year after year.
This week, it was the minister for the environment’s proud boast that he had given a measly €2m to the increasing homeless problem. Up to 45 families become homeless every month and the Government chooses to pour €13.5m down a black hole that is the greyhound industry.
Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has no problem throwing good money after bad at a time when an Indecon report commissioned by the same minister into the greyhound industry reveals there have been “substantial falls in attendances (at the dog tracks) and revenues”.
The report states that the “figures on turnover for Bord na gCon showed a worrying downward trend since 2006”, concluding that “the scale of the decline is dramatic”.
It’s way past time for the Government to divest itself of greyhound racing, scrap Bord na gCon and the Greyhound Industry Act and stop wasting taxpayers’ money on a discredited game where animal welfare leaves a lot to be desired.
Eadaoin de Oirghiolla
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