Greyhounds could be on last lap at Harold’s Cross racetrack
Report says Bord na gCon should sell track to pay €21m debts
The report heavily criticises the April 2009 decision by Bord na gCon to go ahead with the construction of a €23 million new stadium in Limerick. Photo: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images
Bord na gCon should sell its Harold’s Cross racetrack in Dublin to pay down debts of €21 million, a consultant’s report has recommended.
The nine-acre site, which is estimated to be worth more than €10 million, employs six full-time and 30 part-time employees.
A highly critical review of Bord na gCon/the Irish Greyhound Board published yesterday, makes recommendations to reform the industry under 27 headings, ranging from beefing up sanctions on the use of prohibited substances to clamping down on greyhound cruelty.
Along with asset sales, Indecon International Consultants suggest a “reduction in the number of race meetings and prize money at selected stadia”.
The report heavily criticises the April 2009 decision by Bord na gCon to go ahead with the construction of a €23 million new stadium in Limerick, with “inadequate” appraisal by its board. It blames this investment, in part, for the industry’s current financial woes.
Steps taken to prevent doping in the industry were noted, but it was found that Bord na gCon still “faced potential reputational damage” unless it did more. The consultants also said they had “concerns” about how positive tests had not led to more adverse findings.
A “regulatory deficiency” that does not allow the body to conduct off-course testing was highlighted. A “stricter sanction regime” was needed to clamp down on greyhound cruelty and “exclusion or disqualification orders and significant fines” should be applied, it said.
Bord na gCon said it welcomed the report. It said it had no comment to make on the future of Harold’s Cross.