Social Democrats Deputy Holly Cairns has claimed it is "defending the indefensible" for the Government to give €2.4 million in additional funding to the greyhound industry. 

The Cork South West TD is to bring a motion to the Dáil tomorrow to have the plan reversed and the phasing out of State support for the industry by 2025. 

She argued it was "unconscionable" for there to be funding increases for the greyhound sector in the middle of a pandemic when money is apparently not available for refuge spaces or disability services. 

The plan has been strongly criticised by the Rural Independent Group, with several TDs claiming that the Social Democrats "don't know what they are talking about".

Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath said the €2.4m needs to be retained, but said his group would also like to see "stricter regulations" as well as reform of the greyhound board".

Independent TD Richard O'Donoghue accused the Social Democrats of "trying to grab a headline". 

He said his family has a long history with greyhounds and argued that you regulate if and when people maltreat any greyhounds and not seek to try and close down the industry. 

Independent TD Michael Collins, who comes from the same constituency as Deputy Cairns, said the proposal constitutes an "attack on rural Ireland".