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Dublin: 10 °C Thursday 25 April, 2019

Ruairí Quinn raises concerns over gambling exposure on school tours

Asked about tours of greyhound stadia, the minister said betting activities were “not appropriate” for children.

Image: INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

EDUCATION MINISTER RUAIRÍ Quinn has expressed concerns over the potential exposure of children to gambling during school visits to greyhound stadia.

The Minister said it was up to individual schools to decide which places to  visit – but said betting activities were “not appropriate” for young children.

Quinn was responding to a question from independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan, who said free school tours offered by the Irish Greyhound Board “may encourage the culture of gambling and betting” among children, “as well as the culture of blood sports.”

Quinn said the objective of such visits “should be to provide a significant benefit in the educational, intellectual, cultural and social development of pupils taking part”, adding:

I would share the Deputy’s concern that schools might expose children to gambling and betting as these kind of activities are not appropriate for young children.

The Irish Greyhound Board offers regular free tours of eight stadia around the country. According to its website, the tours include a “close up” of greyhound practice sessions, details of the hare system, and talks on greyhound racing and the welfare of the dogs involved. Children also receive a “goody bag” to take home.

The Irish Greyhound Board could not immediately be reached for comment.

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Michael Freeman

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