LIMERICK Youth Service is on a winner after its greyhound Cashen Spirit romped home on its track debut.
The Christmas win at Limerick Greyhound Stadium has been the high point to date of a unique project for young people attending the service in Limerick city.
The dog is trained by Chris Houlihan, who has extended an open invitation to the young service users to visit his kennels in Ballyduff, County Kerry.
Working with Chris and his team, the young people learn all there is to know about the sport and the business - as well as animal welfare.
And all the hard work culminated in a debut race for Cashen Spirit at the Limerick track, for which he was lead out by the LYS’ own Leon Roche.
“After all the work the young people and Chris have put into the project, it was great to see Cashen Spirit win so convincingly,’ said Louise O’Connor, greyhound project co-ordinator, of the “simply amazing” win in which their charge came home with two and a half lengths to spare over the rest of the field.
The dog had blazed out of the traps and led from start to finish in front of a very vocal group of supporters from Limerick Youth Service.
Ms O’Connor was full of praise for the young people involved in the project, some of whom care part of the service’s Abbey Youth LTI and others from the Ballynanty Garda Youth Diversion Project.
“The young people took a great interest Cashen Spirit and, having been involved in the project since its onset, it gave them a sense of ownership and responsibility,” said Ms O’Connor.
It is hoped that this will only be the beginning for Cashen Spirit and any profits he makes will go back into Limerick Youth Service and the Greyhound Trust Board.
Limerick Youth Service wished to thank Chris Houlihan, who is not only training the dog but also covering veterinary fees.
Others whose kind support is appreciated include Limerick Greyhound Stadium, the Irish Greyhound Board and Gain Pet Foods.