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Minister McEntee attends the BETDAQ Night of Champions Event at the Kingdom Greyhound Stadium, Tralee - 30 June 2012

Speaking at the BETDAQ Night of Champions Event at the Kingdom Greyhound Stadium in Tralee, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Shane McEntee TD, referred to the occasion as "a novel sporting event" which sees "Kerry GAA County Board, Bord na gCon and the town of Tralee teaming up for an occasion which will be broadcast live for the first time from the Kingdom Greyhound Stadium around the world".

The Minister said that "Football and greyhound racing are sports in which Kerry excels. Both sports are firmly planted in the Irish psyche and bring communities together both socially and economically.  They each play a great part in lifting the nation's spirit, especially in difficult times and are sports in which all sections of society can participate".  The Minister also spoke about the close links between the greyhound racing industry and the tourism industry and praised the efforts of Bord na gCon (BNG) as it has "successfully identified and grown a niche market for its product among continental European visitors. The greyhound racing industry has being instrumental in attracting considerable numbers of overseas visitors to our shores. Over 40,000 tourists visited Irish greyhound stadia last year through organised tour packages, mainly from Germany, France and the United Kingdom and BNG continue to work with new markets in Spain and Italy. It is noteworthy that Bord na gCon’s website is now read in 116 countries in 90 languages world-wide. Bord na gCon is making great strides in ensuring that visitors to Ireland are given an opportunity to include a visit to the dogs on their list of must see attractions during their stay here".

The Minister commended the generous sponsorship provided by BETDAQ, The Kingdom Greyhound Stadium Supporters Club and the many other sponsors whose input has been essential to the success of the event.

Date Released: 30 June 2012