Thursday 21 September 2017

Government prioritising horse and dog racing over ill children

Health Minister Simon Harris Picture: Tom Burke
Health Minister Simon Harris Picture: Tom Burke
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

We have heard a lot lately about the heart-breaking plight of families battling the Government to secure funding for life-saving cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi.

Distribution of the drug is delayed due to an annual cost of around €80m. This, coincidentally, is the exact amount paid out by the Government this year to horse and greyhound racing, bringing the total handed over in the past 15 years to more than €1bn.

As revealed recently in the Dáil, a significant portion of the horse racing grant goes into prize money for "very rich owners and trainers", while the €16m for dog racing is propping up a cruel and collapsing industry which the public is overwhelmingly rejecting - evident in a 50pc drop in track attendance and a 58pc fall in sponsorship.

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