The Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) has said it regrets the decision of Lifford Greyhound Stadium to cease operations.
Lifford Greyhound stadium announced on Thursday night that it will close later this month with the loss of 25 full and part-time jobs.
Racing has fallen over the years from three days a week to just once a week, on Saturday nights, and attendances have fallen off considerably.
In a statement announcing the closure, the Lifford track claimed a lack of support from IGB.
The IGB said it very much regrets the closure of Lifford Greyhound Stadium and its impact on staff, owners and the wider greyhound community.
In a statement the Board said:
“The IGB is very aware of the excellent work done by all those at the track as part of the greyhound fraternity. The Duffy family, owners of the track, have a long association and strong commitment to greyhound racing,” the statement said.
“While Lifford is a private track and not in the ownership of the Irish Greyhound Board, the IGB has provided wide-ranging support to Lifford for a long period of time. This included a significant capital financial investment in providing the current facilities at the stadium. The IGB has engaged with Lifford in recent times regarding financial difficulties at the track, which included a meeting between the Board and Lifford’s owners in May 2019.
“However, the arrangement of the type sought by the stadium representatives at that time is not within the mandate of the Board as a semi-state company and does not meet the corporate governance requirements applying to the IGB.
“Indecon Economic Consultants is currently conducting a comprehensive, strategic review into the future needs of the Irish greyhound industry, with a full report expected by October 2019. The review will provide an assessment of stadium infrastructure and financial sustainability, along with detailed recommendations regarding all licensed stadia.”