Mixed reaction to sale of Dublin greyhound Stadium

The Irish Greyhound Board has insisted the sale will be "of huge benefit" to the industry as a whole

Mixed reaction to sale of Dublin greyhound Stadium

File photo. Picture by Niall Carson PA Archive/PA Images

There has been a mixed reaction to the news that the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) has agreed to sell the Harold's Cross Stadium in Dublin to the Department of Education.

The facility was closed last February as a result of financial difficulties related to the construction of Limerick Greyhound Stadium.

At the time, the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) said the closure was "absolutely essential in order to address the enormous debt IGB faces."

The land is now expected to be rezoned to allow for the construction of a number of school facilities on the site - subject to a review of demographics in the area.

There has been no greyhound racing in Dublin for the past three months due to a protest against the closure held by the Dublin Greyhound Owners and Breeders Association.

The IGB has said it is losing thousands of Euros a week as a result of the dispute.

Mixed reaction

The deal has been welcomed in some quarters with Labour Senator Kevin Humphreys stating that a new second level school is badly needed in the area.

“A large of number of new families are now living in the area, as evidenced by the expansion of a number of local primary schools and construction of new homes," he said.

However his party colleague, Alan Kelly said the IGB has “serious questions to answer,” claiming the greyhound industry is being “run into the ground.”

He said the board could have sold a portion of the site to help ease its financial difficulties – while still keeping the stadium open.

"Throughout this process the owners, trainers and breeders have been treated atrociously and none of their concerns taken on board.”

Deputy Kelly said it was “incredible” that the IGB – as a state body – could sell the site without a public tender process.

"The actions of the [IGB] over recent months call into question the competency of the board,” he said.

“Having practically destroyed the industry in Dublin it's now time for them to consider their position and I repeat my call for them to go."

IGB chairman Phil Meaney said the sale will be of huge benefit to the greyhound industry as a whole – and pledged to invest the proceeds, “in the many areas that require support and attention."