Master M'Grath

In Eamonn Breathnach's "History Lore and Legend" there is a fascinating account of Master McGrath's early days. It tells how this greyhound, born in Co. Waterford, a small weak pup, went on to become the most celebrated dog of his time Born in 1866 at Colligan Lodge, the home of James Galwey, a well known trainer and owner of greyhounds. Master McGrath was one of a litter of seven pups and was small but powerfully built.

As a pup his pet name was "Dicksy" At first he showed none of the outstanding qualities which were later to make him famous. At his first trial his performance was so bad that his trainer ordered him to be given away. However his "slipper" took charge of him and having more faith in him, entered him in several races which he won. He was returned to his trainer and the rest is history.

He won the Waterloo Cup on three occasions. 1868, 1869 and 1871. He became such a celebrity that his owner Lord Lurgan was requested to take him to be seen by Queen Victoria and the Royal Family. Master McGrath died in 1871. A post mortem showed that his heart was twice the size of a normal dogs heart.

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