Since Tuesday of this week, RTE ’s Drivetime programme has broadcast what it promoted as an “investigation” into the greyhound industry.
The series which had obviously been prepared over a lengthy period ignores the considerable progress made on all matters raised in the programmes including finance, regulation, governance and anti-doping and has damaged the industry.
In the course of three programmes broadcast to date, Greyhound Racing Ireland (GRI) was not offered any opportunity to challenge or rebut criticisms, inaccuracies and misrepresentations made by a number of contributors to the programmes.
RTE has now issued an invitation to GRI to provide a spokesperson to address matters raised in recent days. GRI, however, has serious concerns in respect of RTE’s conduct surrounding the reports aired and to be aired in the course of the Drivetime programme . The deliberate exclusion of GRI from the programmes compounds the Board’s deep feeling of unease about the approach adopted by RTE.
The broadcast material and the issues which RTE covered and intends to cover, concern matters of the utmost importance to the Board and the greyhound industry. IGB, having been excluded from reasonable and fair participation in the programmes to date, is now being invited to retrofit commentary on issues raised in programmes which have already been broadcast at different time slots and to different audience segments over several days.
GRI regards this attempt at achieving some kind of balance by RTE as wholly inadequate and declines to participate.
It should also be noted that all of the issues raised in the programme have already been dealt with comprehensively by GRI in media, in engagement with the Public Accounts Committee and the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine and are a matter of public record.