Bord na gCon chairman criticises Cowen treatment


THE CHAIRMAN of Bord na gCon has criticised the treatment of Taoiseach Brian Cowen.

Speaking at an unveiling ceremony in honour of legendary greyhound Mick the Miller in Killeigh, Co Offaly, at the weekend, Dick O’Sullivan told the Taoiseach: “Every decent Irish man and woman in this country feels angered and embarrassed by the treatment handed out to you over the last 12 months”.

He said the “silent majority” was angered by the way the nation had treated its leader. “If we in this country are not respectful and do not respect our leaders, we do not respect ourselves,” he said.

Responding to the comments, Mr Cowen told the gathering “we’re well able for it”, before adding, “and whatever we do, no one died as they say, and we won’t lose our sense of humour”.

Mr O’Sullivan was appointed chairman of the greyhound board in 2006 by then minister for sport John O’Donoghue.

Hundreds of people attended Saturday’s ceremony in Killeigh to witness the unveiling of Elizabeth O’Kane’s sculpture of Mick the Miller.

Chairman of the Mick the Miller commemoration committee Brendan Berry described Mick the Miller as “the most famous greyhound of all time”.

He thanked Offaly County Council, Bord na gCon and all of those involved in the project.

Mr Cowen regaled the crowd with tales of his father Ber’s dealing in greyhounds. “I remember my father was selling a dog when we were down in Mullingar one night and a fella was giving him four hundred quid for it. Four hundred quid wasn’t too bad at the time and he said, ‘Ber, will you take 400 quid?’ . . .‘You can take the lead and all’ he says . . . for fear he’d change his mind while he got into the car,” he recalled.

“Mick the Miller won 19 consecutive races . . . we all know how good it is to have a bad dog. To have a good one must have been a great thrill altogether,” Mr Cowen added.

Mick the Miller was born in Killeigh in 1929. Bred by Fr Martin Brophy, the greyhound went on to win 15 of his 20 Irish races. He moved to Britain, where he went on to win 36 of 48 races, including the Greyhound St Leger and the English Greyhound Derby twice.