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Health considerations ‘at forefront’ of IGB plans ahead of greyhound racing return

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Greyhound racing trials drew a big turnout of dogs and owners in Galway and Limerick this week ahead of the sport’s behind closed doors return next week.

In line with Phase 2 in the roadmap for re-opening society and business in Ireland, greyhound racing will be permitted behind closed doors. Since Monday, a series of greyhound trials have been underway at fourteen tracks across the country as organised by the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB).

Owners and trainers were requested to bring their own muzzles and trap sheets when attending the trials.

Racing returns at Galway on Tuesday and Wednesday evening with Limerick cards scheduled for Friday and Saturday of next week.

Chairman of the IGB, Frank Nyhan said the return was “critical for the wider industry and to support jobs across our stadia network, greyhound owners, breeders trainers and a wide range of support services. The loss of racing for the twelve-week period has impacted on the greyhound industry similar to all other industries during this difficult period”.

Officials within the IGB have said health considerations will be “at the forefront of our activities”. Protocols and response plans have been prepared with stadia and tracks equipped to adhere to recommendations from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).

During the suspension of greyhound racing, the IGB put in place a COVID-19 Greyhound Care Payment Scheme which provided a subsistence payment in respect of 6,647 greyhounds to ensure that the care and welfare needs of racing greyhounds were fully addressed during the period of suspension. Expenditure on the scheme will be of the order of €1.3m.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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