Greyhound Racing Ireland – who recently took over from the Irish Greyhound Board as the controlling body in that country, have today announced that their funding from the Irish Government is to increase by €2.4m to €19.2m for 2021
The statement reads:
Rásaíocht Con Éireann (Greyhound Racing Ireland) welcomes the allocation of €19.2M from the Horse & Greyhound Fund 2021 for greyhound racing. The 2021 allocation represents an increase of €2.4M on the corresponding allocation for 2020.
Greyhound racing and the greyhound industry has, like most businesses, operated in an extremely difficult environment during 2020. It is likely that restrictions will continue to apply during 2021 and RCÉ has to adapt its operations to reflect the reality of the commercial and operating environment.
Frank Nyhan, Chairman, Rásaíocht Con Éireann, stated “The greyhound community has been operating in very difficult circumstances. I very much welcome the additional allocation of €2.4M provided as part of Budget 2021 which is a very necessary support to greyhound racing and the greyhound community. The Board of RCÉ will be meeting in the coming days to discuss its overall budget for 2021. The actions taken by the Board of RCÉ, to date, have been towards safeguarding public health while at the same time ensuring, insofar as is possible, that racing can continue at our tracks.
The Board’s priority remains focused on care and welfare and ensuring that all required financial resources are provided to support a very comprehensive programme. The traceability system for the racing greyhound is nearing completion and will be available before year end. RCÉ will also be progressing the full implementation of the Greyhound Racing Act of 2019 which was recently commenced by the Minister and drafting the appropriate regulations and other measures necessary to give effect to the provisions of the Act.
I want to thank the Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD and his officials for their efforts and support in achieving the additional financial allocation for 2021”.
The annual accounts of RCÉ for 2019 which are shortly due to be published show an overall expenditure of some €30M during the year. When account is taken of the Horse & Greyhound Fund of €16.8M additional spend of some €13M arises. This income is generated from gate admissions, tote operations, restaurant facilities and other areas. All of these income sources have either been eliminated or been severely impacted by Covid-19.