Belfast Telegraph

Greyhound board ends association with Rose Of Tralee festival

It follows ‘malicious online threats’ following revelations of culling in the greyhound industry.

File picture showing contestants in the 2014 International Rose Selection at the launch of that year’s Rose of Tralee Festival (Brian Lawless/PA)
File picture showing contestants in the 2014 International Rose Selection at the launch of that year’s Rose of Tralee Festival (Brian Lawless/PA)

The Irish Greyhound Board has ended its relationships with the Rose Of Tralee Festival after alleged threats against competitors.

The Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) and the Kingdom Greyhound Stadium, confirmed they “reluctantly” reached the decision to withdraw financial support from the 2019 Rose Festival on Friday.

The move comes after weeks of scrutiny and criticism of the IGB following an RTE programme which exposed the mistreatment and culling of dogs in the industry.

The decision was taken following “much engagement” and consultation with festival organisers.

“Many festival ambassadors, including the Roses themselves, have been the subject of malicious online threats in recent weeks which the Rose Of Tralee Festival and the IGB find totally unacceptable,” a statement said.

“The long standing partnership between both the festival and IGB has been positive for the area with both organisations playing significant roles in the community and the local economy and both parties involved with many charitable organisations throughout the country.

“The IGB respects the right to protest but this must be done in a peaceful manner, including in online and on social media.

“Kingdom Greyhound Stadium will continue to support local businesses and charities throughout Kerry and are very proud of this tradition.

“The IGB and Kingdom Greyhound Stadium regret this decision and wish the Rose of Tralee and all associated with the event the very best of luck with this year’s festival.”

Protesters have been calling for a boycott of all sponsors and a stop to greyhound racing in Ireland since the RTE programme aired.

A number of sponsors have already ended their relationship with the group, including Barry’s Tea and FBD Insurance.

A government review is to scrutinise funding for the IGB, while Minister for Sport Shane Ross has called for resignations.

Mr Ross has said that it was not good enough that the board did not act earlier to ensure the safety of the dogs.

The IGB has since set up a confidential phone line for the public to report animal welfare concerns.

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph