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Besom Productions

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A Dog's Life

Director: Brendan McAleer
Producer: Margo Harkin
Production: Besom Productions Ltd.
Broadcaster: Broadcast on 21 December 2004 on TG4


1 x 25 min. doc. in the Irish language on greyhound racing in Ireland as part of the series Cogar for TG4. (English language subtitles)


`Saol a’Mhadra’ takes a look at the highly visible thrills, and not so visible underbelly, of the rejuvenated entertainment empire of greyhound racing.
Tá luach €240 milliún ar rásaíocht con do Státchiste na hÉirinn. Breathnaíonn Saol a’ Mhadra ar an spórt seo agus an ráchairt atá air tríd scéalta uinéirí agus traenalaí con agus a lucht tacaíochta. Leanann an clár Niall Murphy agus a chú Maverick agus iad ar thóir an chéad áit ag raon rásaíocht Leifear. Ceistíonn `Saol a’ Mhadra’ céard a tharlaíonn do na ainmhithe seo tar éis de na ré a bheith thart agus an rialú atá tugtha isteach ag Bord na gCon le deireadh a chur le cruáil cuin.

Ireland is the largest breeder of greyhounds in the world supporting an industry worth €240 million annually to the Irish exchequer. It seems that we are a nation of gamblers with more money than ever to indulge in one of our favourite pastimes. In recent years a massive government investment in new racing stadia and facilities has attracted a broader family audience. Saol a’Mhadra reflects on the history of the sport and on the sea change in the training and racing of dogs. The programme contains arresting footage of greyhounds being cosseted in jacuzzis and training on treadmills and asks if it is right to breed vast numbers of greyhounds solely as magnificant racing machines rather than companion animals. The origins of greyhound racing in Ireland is provided by legendary broadcaster and lifelong greyhound enthusiast Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh who sees the positive side of the sport while animal rights activist Bernie Wright believes that the breeding of greyhounds for racing should be banned outright.

Domestic viewing copies available on DVD for £17 (inclusive of VAT) plus postage and packing. For Institutional rates and/or other teaching purposes, please contact Margo at