Irish greyhound racing has received a huge boost in the form of a sponsorship deal with BoyleSports worth €1 million over the course of the next three years.
The bookmaker, who have sponsored the Irish Derby since 2014 has extended the deal for a further three years with a huge new investment.
It is understood that the prize fund for winning the event will significantly increase from the previous season, when Rural Hawaii was crowned champion - picking up €125,000 in the process.
It was also announced that the final race of the Derby schedule will be run a week later than in previous years, when its place the day before the All-Ireland Football Final had proved problematic for many different reasons, including visitors finding suitable accommodation in Dublin.
Andrew Doyle, the Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horiculture, spoke of the importance of the continued success of the sport in Ireland
The greyhound racing sector is part of the fabric of the Irish sporting scene. It enjoys the support of people all over Ireland who are passionate about it, and provides significant public good, both as a social outlet and as a provider of vital employment, especially in rural areas.