FORMER Father Ted actor Pauline McLynn will be protesting outside the Curraheen greyhound track on Saturday night amid growing concerns about animal cruelty in the industry.
Ms McLynn will be joining Greyhound Awareness Cork, an organisation which campaigns for the welfare of greyhounds.
Speaking to The Echo, she said: “Now is the time to make noise for the greys.
“It is gobsmacking the abuse and cruelty in the industry and, of course, it is all about the money.”
She said that nothing but a full ban on the sport would be adequate.
The actor said that people need to realise the taxpayers are propping up a dying industry.
“€300,000 a week is being pumped into greyhound racing, it is ridiculous.”
Greyhound Awareness Cork protest once a month outside the Curraheen track from 6.30pm to 8pm between the months of April and September.
Greyhound activist Katie Corcoran, who campaigns with Greyhound Awareness Cork, said that since the airing of the Prime Time Investigates programme on RTÉ which looked into the world of greyhound racing, the numbers expressing interest in attending the protest outside the track had tripled.
“We have been protesting since 2016. We got a large number at the first protest and since then we have had a steady number of people, around 20 to 30 people, attending every month.
“Since the documentary came out we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of people who want to campaign against the animal cruelty concerns that were shown to be within the world of Greyhound racing.”
The activist said that they were expecting between 80 to 90 people to attend the protest tonight at the track.
Ms Corcoran said that the main aim of the organisation was to highlight the welfare of greyhounds and make people aware that their night at the dogs was “supporting animal cruelty”.
“We are raising awareness about the number of dogs that have died at the track here in Cork and also about the drugging that goes on in the industry.”
Discussing the RTÉ documentary, Ms Corcoran said she was horrified and shocked by the content, but not surprised.
“I hope it opens people’s eyes and helps them to understand what it means for the dogs when they have a night at the track.”
Today, the Irish Greyhound Board issued a statement condemning the illegal practices outlined in the Prime Time Investigates programme.
The Board has asked that an overall costed five-year plan for the ‘care of the greyhound’ by devised for consideration by the National Greyhound Consultative Forum and for approval by the Board in the current year.
Chairman of the Irish Greyhound Board, Frank Nyhan, commented: “The actions evident by an irresponsible minority within the greyhound industry have no place in this sport and will not be tolerated. The IGB will continue to work with all agencies to ensure that such illegal activity is rooted out and those responsible are subject to prosecution for breaches of the law.”