Losses at Harold’s Cross greyhound stadium halved in 2016

Dog track ran final race in February 2017, with Department of Education set to pay €23m for land

Picketers outside Shelbourne Park dog track in April 2017 protesting at the closure of the Harold’s Cross stadium. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Picketers outside Shelbourne Park dog track in April 2017 protesting at the closure of the Harold’s Cross stadium. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

 

Losses at the company behind Harold’s Cross Greyhound Stadium almost halved in 2016 to €27,000, its final full year of trading before it was closed last February by Bord na gCon.

Accounts just filed for Dublin Greyhound and Sports Association Ltd, show it ended the year with just under €1 million in net liabilities.

Racing at the stadium stopped in February 2017, and agreement has since been reached with the Department of Education to sell the south Dublin venue for €23 million.

Income for the year, which included the proceeds from the provision of racing, concessions fees, car park revenues and rental receipts, was €675,113, up slightly from €671,523 in 2015.

Gate receipts reached almost €360,000, compared with €348,000 in 2015. Food and beverage concessions provided €185,730 of income, with rental revenue amounting to €71,000.

The biggest expense was wages and salaries, which cost €243,500, followed by depreciation at €227,587, and €157,000 for building costs.

Dublin Greyhound and Sports Association employed 16 people at the end of the year, including nine part-time staff members.

The company recorded an operating loss of €18,482 after administrative expenses of more than €677,000 were taken into account.

Definite plans

The accounts did not indicate any definite plans for the company once the sale is complete. Dublin Greyhound and Sports Association is a subsidiary of Bord na gCon, a commercial semi-state body responsible for the control and development of the greyhound industry in the Republic.

The decision to close the Dublin track was taken to help offset debts owed by Bord na gCon.

According to the accounts for the year ended December 31st, 2016, the sale of the six-acre site is yet to be completed, although it is anticipated that it will be finalised in the next six months.

The Department of Education bought the stadium with the condition that it would be zoned for educational use, that a tax clearance certificate was provided by Bord na gCon, and evidence of title was delivered to the satisfaction of the Chief State Solicitor.

The department intends to build a number of schools at the venue to cater for a growing population in the Harold’s Cross area.