Wexford Sinn Féin TD, Johnny Mythen, has stated that he and Sinn Féin ‘unequivocally and absolutely support continued investment in the Greyhound sector through the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund…
Mythen went on to say that Greyhound racing was an important aspect of local communities, generating significant economic activity in local economies, and that he fully recognised the social value of a sport ingrained in our culture.
However, he said that his party want full transparency and accountability for all state funding, and they want to ensure that the funding benefits all players in the sector.
Speaking to Wexford Weekly on Tuesday, Deputy Mythen said:
“Last week Sinn Féin sought to amend to the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund regulations due to concerns that the way the money is allocated does not support either sector in the most effective manner.
“The existing way the fund is distributed poses a threat to the continued funding of our greyhound sector in that it is on a fractional basis intrinsically linked to the Horse Racing sector – I believe that the Greyhound Racing sector is more than capable of advocating for and justifying funding on its own two feet.
“At the moment funding to Greyhound Racing is linked directly to that secured by the Horseracing sector. In our view each sector should make its own separate business plan and receive funding accordingly. This could mean that Enniscorthy greyhound track, for example, could make a case for additional funding if needed.
“I know from talking to people involved in Greyhound Racing that many say they personally do not benefit from the fund. This is concerning – is the money supporting the broadest possible cohort of people? That’s what Sinn Féin want to make sure happens.
“It’s incredibly telling that successive Fianna Fáil Ministers for Agriculture are unwilling to examine these matters – Sinn Féin in government would deliver continued investment to our greyhound racing sector, but we will not capitulate for committing to ensuring that the expenditure of that investment delivers for the broadest group of people in a fair and equitable manner to all involved in the sport.
“Some Fianna Fáil councillors are intent on manipulating the issue for political purposes and are attacking Sinn Féin because we want transparency and accountability. They are doing Wexford and the greyhound sector a grave disservice,” he said.
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