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Racing greyhound Sanjana pays fitting tribute to memory of late owner Niall Dunne

Thursday, 9th May, 2019 10:13am
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Racing greyhound Sanjana pays fitting tribute to memory of late owner Niall Dunne

Trainer Johnny Morrissey, his granddaughter Abbie and syndicate member Richard Dunne with Sanjana..jpg

Racing greyhound Sanjana pays fitting tribute to memory of late owner Niall Dunne

Trainer Johnny Morrissey, his granddaughter Abbie and syndicate member Richard Dunne with Sanjana..jpg

‘The apple of his eye’ is how members of the Mister D syndicate describe late owner Niall Dunne’s relationship with greyhound Sanjana.

 

Niall passed away in July 2018 after a battle with cancer, but the syndicate, containing Niall’s family and friends, took ownership of Sanjana after his death and began racing her to pay tribute to his memory.

 

Niall is perhaps best known for kennelling North Bound to victory in the 2013 Easter Cup at Shelbourne Park.

 

Sanjana, whose name was chosen by Niall, is a Hindi name which can translate to ‘soft’ or ‘gentle’ in English.  She has since won three races in Thurles Greyhound Stadium for the syndicate, who are mainly based in Boherlahan, Co. Tipperary.

 

Sanjana’s trainer, Johnny Morrissey, a lifelong friend of Niall’s, said: “The one thing about Niall was, he gave his life to greyhounds. He never took a holiday in 30 years. He was there with them every evening. Sanjana was the only bitch of this particular litter and he always said ‘mind my Oaks bitch’. Eventually we might run her in the Oaks next year, she probably will get better this summer. She has a great temperament and is a great tribute to Niall. Greyhounds were his life and he was a very dedicated man to his dogs.”

 

Niall’s son and member of the Mister D syndicate, Richard, commented: “She’s won a few races which has been fantastic for all of us as we all make the effort to go and watch her whenever we can. There’s more than 10 of us in the syndicate. The important thing isn’t winning though, Sanjana meant a lot to Dad and she means a lot to us now too. She will be kept as a pet when she retires and hopefully has some more time ahead of her on the track yet.”

 

A key pillar of the IGB’s Strategic Plan 2018-2022 targets increasing syndication to widen dog ownership and ensuring the continuity of dedication to greyhound racing. There are over 7,000 active greyhound owners in Ireland, according to a 2017 report prepared by Jim Power Economics Ltd in 2017.

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