Snip Nua

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For the Irish government committee also known as An Bord Snip Nua, see McCarthy Report.
Snip Nua
Species Dog
Breed Greyhound
Sex Female
Born April 2008
Died 14 December 2009
Harold's Cross Stadium, County Dublin, Ireland
Years active 2008–2009
Owner Fior Gael syndicate, (members included comedian Dara Ó Briain and Frank McNally, business editor of the Irish Times)[1]

Snip Nua was a racing greyhound who featured in the BBC television show Three Men Go to Ireland.


Born in the spring of 2008, Snip Nua [2] was a racing greyhound who became famous because she featured in the BBC television show Three Men go to Ireland, which was broadcast over the Christmas holidays in December 2009.[3] The show was eagerly anticipated in Ireland as it promised to provide good publicity for both Greyhound racing and Irish tourism,[4] and was even referenced on the Irish tourist board website.[5]

Due to its inclusion in the television programme, Snip Nua's performance at Mullingar Greyhound stadium in the Three Men Go to Ireland race was watched by an estimated 5-7 million people in the UK alone.[6]

Fior Gael syndicate[edit]

Snip Nua was owned by a 16-member syndicate, Fior Gael.[7] In Ireland, syndication is a popular way of spreading the cost and responsibility of greyhound ownership.[8] The Fior Gael syndicate was made up of a group of professionals and business people, among them barristers, lawyers, and journalists. Notable members of the syndicate included Frank McNally, business editor of The Irish Times, and comedian Dara Ó Briain. Ó Briain once described his membership of the syndicate as his worst financial investment.[9]

He claimed that despite owning six dogs in seven years the syndicate had only had one win. At the time of the Three Men show, Snip Nua was the syndicate's latest dog. She appeared to be a promising racer who might break the syndicate's poor run of success, and in her first races, the young dog indeed put in some strong performances [10]

Death and legacy[edit]

Snip Nua's career as a professional racer was short; on 14 December 2009 she was euthanized after sustaining a hock injury at Harold's Cross Greyhound Stadium.[1][11] The fact that Snip Nua's TV debut was aired after her death without any mention of that fact by the BBC caused offence among groups concerned about the welfare of racing greyhounds such as Greytexploitations and Greyhound Action.[11][12]

Although the rules of the Greyhound Racing Board in the United Kingdom sanction the destruction of dogs on economic grounds,[13][14] the Dublin Society for the Protection of Animals has described this practice as 'tantamount to animal abuse'.[1][15] In early 2010 a series of demonstrations were held at Dara Ó Briain's UK show dates to try to persuade both him and the BBC to publicly denounce the sport of greyhound racing due to the dog's death.[16][17][18] In February 2012 the BBC repeated the Three Men Go To Ireland show but took the unusual step of removing all footage of Snip Nua from the episode.[19]


  1. ^ a b c Swords, Warren (31 January 2010). "Dara's Dog Starred in Three Men after She Was Put Down; Comedian Too Upset to Talk about Death of His Greyhound Snip Nua - The Mail on Sunday (London, England)". HighBeam Research. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Gunnar von Boehn. "Pedigree of Snip Nua". Retrieved 10 November 2010. 
  3. ^ "Two Programmes - Three Men Go to Ireland, Episode 1". BBC. Retrieved 10 November 2010. 
  4. ^ "BBC "Three Men in a Boat" stars at Mullingar Greyhound Stadium". Westmeath Examiner. 8 October 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2010. 
  5. ^ "Three Men in a Boat". Retrieved 10 November 2010. 
  6. ^ "7M British TV viewers to see Mullingar in 'Three Men In A Boat' special". Westmeath Examiner. 29 December 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2010. 
  7. ^ [1] Archived November 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ [2] Archived August 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Gray, Sadie (26 November 2006). "Fame and Fortune Stake in dogs is no laughing matter". The Times. London. 
  10. ^ "An Irishman's Diary". The Irish Times. 10 October 2009. 
  11. ^ a b "Did the BBC Callously Dismiss the Deaths of Two Greyhounds?". Retrieved 10 November 2010. 
  12. ^ "Greyhound Action". Greyhound Action. 26 March 2010. Retrieved 10 November 2010. 
  13. ^ "Retirement Form for GBGB-Registered Greyhounds" (PDF). Greyhound Board of Great Britain. January 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  14. ^ "Rules of Racing". Greyhound Board of Great Britain. Retrieved 10 November 2010. 
  15. ^ "The Killing Tracks of Britain". Retrieved 10 November 2010. 
  16. ^ Boyle, Darren (25 April 2010). "IT'S A DOG'S LIFE FOR DARA; Activists Target Comic after His Greyhound Dies - Sunday Mirror (London, England)". HighBeam Research. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  17. ^ Peters, Tony (21 April 2010). "Greyhound death demo greets Dara". UK Indymedia. Retrieved 10 November 2010. 
  18. ^ "John: Going to the dogs". Huddersfield Examiner. 27 May 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  19. ^ Swords, Warren (11 March 2012). "Three Men, Minus the Dog That Stole the Show - The Mail on Sunday (London, England)". HighBeam Research. Retrieved 19 June 2014.