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Minister Hayes Attends the Gathering of Memories and Trophies in Tralee

Tom Hayes, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine today attended at Kingdom Greyhound Stadium, Tralee for ‘The Gathering of Memories and Trophies’ organised by the Kerry Greyhound Owners & Breeders Association.

Speaking at the event, the Minister highlightedthe immense contribution made by greyhound racing industry, noting that Bord na gCon estimates the industry is “responsible for sustaining in excess of 10,000 full and part-time jobs directly and indirectly, many in rural communities and injects an estimated €500 million into local economies”. The Minister observed “this stadium is an excellent facility and is a widely regarded platform for trainers and dog owners to showcase their dogs and pit them against the best in a distinguished field”, and also took the opportunity to acknowledge the strong tradition of greyhound racing in Kerry.

Minister Hayes described ‘The Gathering 2013’ as one of the most successful tourism initiatives undertaken in this country and said “that this event here tonight is very well aligned with the concept of ‘the gathering’ launched by an Taoiseach in May 2012”. The Minister described the night as “ a unique  occasion, as it is the first time in the history of greyhound racing in Kerry that all Trophy Winners from the 1920’s up until the present day have been invited to gather together to recognise and celebrate past achievements in this great stadium.” Minister Hayes acknowledged the hard work of John O’Keeffe, the chairman of the Kerry Greyhound Owners and Breeders Association and his hard working committee in bringing the event which would benefit local charities to fruition.

Minister Hayes concluded by wishing “all the greyhound racing fraternity – owners, breeders, trainers, racegoers, stadia operators, sponsors, officials, the Board and the Executive of Bord na gCon continued success in the future”.

Date Released: 26 August 2013