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Personal friends: Irish Greyhound Board chairman and Pat Deering TD
16 May 2017

The chairman of a parliamentary committee dealing with greyhound industry legislation has admitted that the head of the Irish Greyhound Board is a "personal friend of mine".

Pat Deering TD (Fine Gael, Carlow Kilkenny) made the comment at the start of a May 2nd meeting at which ICABS and Greyhound Rescue Association of Ireland highlighted animal cruelty and dog doping in the industry.

Deputy Deering, the chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine announced that he wanted to put on record that "the chairperson of the Irish Greyhound Board, Mr Phil a personal friend of mine."

As highlighted previously by ICABS, Phil Meaney (who recently appeared on the front of the Sporting Press newspaper alongside an individual banned from greyhound racing in Australia after he was filmed at a "barbaric and inhumane" live animal baiting session) was Patrick Deering TD's director of elections in the 2011 General Election. The Department of Agriculture confirmed at the time that Mr Meaney was "a member of the executive committee of the Irish Coursing Club and a member of the finance committee of the Irish Coursing Club".

Mr Meaney was subsequently appointed to the position of chairman of the Irish Greyhound Board. According to the Irish Independent of May 1st 2011, "The Government was in one hell of a hurry to appoint Mr Meaney to the top Irish Greyhound Board job. [Agriculture Minister Simon] Coveney even admitted to having been politically lobbied, but insisted that was not a factor...Fine Gael Carlow TD, Pat Deering, conceded that he had lobbied on behalf of Mr Meaney."

Deputy Deering has shamelessly defended cruel hare coursing. In June 2016, he was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's bill which sought to ban coursing. KCLR radio later reported that "Pat Deering has described as invalid, claims by animal rights activists that hare coursing represents cruelty to animals." This despite him being provided with evidence of hare injuries and deaths.

In December 2016, Pat Deering voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted 80 million of taxpayers' money to the horse and greyhound racing industries - 64 million to horse racing and 16 million to greyhound racing.

Watch a video of the meeting

Read a transcript of the meeting


Complain to Pat Deering about his shameful stance on animal welfare issues.

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Irish Government: Stop Giving Millions of Euro to Cruel Greyhound Industry

Given the ongoing fall in attendances at tracks, it is clear that the general public has little interest in greyhound racing. Tell the Irish Government to stop wasting precious funds on this dying industry.

Michael Noonan
Minister for Finance
(CC: Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed, Minister of State Andrew Doyle)
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6764735

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Tweet to @EndaKennyTD

Michael Creed TD
Minister for Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: +353 (0)1-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: +353 (0)1-661 1013.
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Andrew Doyle TD
Minister of State, Dept of Agriculture
Tweet to @ADoyleTD

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