UL students learn to love retired greyhounds

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Members of the UL Greyhound Racing Society on campus during the filming of their video for the IRGT’s ‘Our People, Their Stories’ campaign.
Members of the UL Greyhound Racing Society on campus during the filming of their video for the IRGT’s ‘Our People, Their Stories’ campaign.

THE work of student volunteers at the University of Limerick has been highlighted in a nationwide campaign to publicise the work of the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust.

UL’s Greyhound Racing Society has been recognised in ‘Our People, Their Stories’, a look behind the scenes at the charity’s work in the rehoming of retired greyhounds and keeping them as domestic pets.

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UL’s Greyhound Racing Society was formed in March 2017 by students Joe Sheahan and Julianne O’Keefe and was the first of its kind in the country.

“I set the society up because I felt it was important to bring like-minded people together over their love and passion for greyhounds,” Mr Sheahan said.

“I have a family background in horse racing, coming from a rural part of County Limerick. We have a dog in active training in the society and our on-campus walks with the retired greyhounds are important. It’s great to see that work being highlighted,” he explained.

The society receives funding from the Irish Greyhound Board to train their dog, Trap Queen, who has had three wins at the Limerick Greyhound Track.

It also organises regular walks with retired greyhounds across the UL campus to highlight the importance of a ‘whole of life’ approach to the racing greyhound.

The Irish Retired Greyhound Trust (IRGT) was first established by the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) in 1997.

It is jointly funded together with greyhound owners, through a two per cent deduction from prize money, which is then matched by the IGB.

Since 2008, the IRGT has helped to re-home more than 5,300 greyhounds with 850 re-homed since the beginning of the year.

A further 58 greyhounds will be re-homed as pets in Ireland, the UK, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Belgium, by the end of the year.

The IRGT now assists up to seven Irish Private Rehoming Agencies, including EMOL Rescue in Limerick, by providing financial assistance towards either their veterinary or transportation costs.

The charity also continues to source additional rehoming opportunities in Ireland, Europe and the US to increase the number of retired greyhounds that are re-homed.

by Gary Feeney
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