The board of Greyhound Racing Ireland (GRI) has proposed the appointment of Dearbhla O’Brien as new chief executive replacing outgoing incumbent Gerard Dollard.
O’Brien’s appointment has been put forward to Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine for approval to lead Irish greyhound racing’s governing body.
The GRI’s preferred candidate is the current CEO of WorkandTravel.ie – Ireland’s leading work abroad and foreign internships provider. O’Brien was promoted to CEO of USIT Ireland in 2010 following success as Commercial and Marketing Director over a seven-year period.
O’Brien is expected to takeover GRI leadership from January 2022. During the intervening period GRI will be led by Deputy CEO Philip Peake until O’Brien takes up the position.
“Dearbhla’s organisational values, vision, communication skills, and commercial and marketing knowledge makes her an excellent choice as CEO as we look to build on the significant progress made in several key areas in recent years,” said GRI Chair Frank Nyhan.
“These include in areas of greyhound welfare, traceability and the overall strengthening of the sector following a difficult operating environment brought about by the pandemic.”
2022 is expected to be a transformative year for Irish gambling, as the Dali settles on the final legislative framework of the ‘Interim Gaming and Lotteries Act’, to update the nation’s gambling laws that remained static since 1931.
GRI has licensed a total of seventeen tracks in the Republic, of which nine are owned and controlled by the Board. The remainder are owned and operated by private enterprise.
The governing body operates Tote facilities at all greyhound tracks and applies an on-course levy on all bookmaker’s betting on greyhounds in Ireland to supplement prizes and upkeep the stadia and welfare greyhound racing.