A member of Derry’s greyhound fraternity has said Derry City & Strabane Council seems to have overlooked the need for a proper spectator facilities at the newly developed track, particularly to accommodate those supporters with mobility issues.
Tommy Mullan said that while the recently opened new grey track at the Brandywell was “one of the best around,” the facilities for spectators left a lot to be desired.
A council spokesperson said they were delighted with feedback received to date and that the local authority had worked closely with all relevant stakeholders to ensure the facilities meet the standards expected.
Brandywell native, Mr Mullan, who has been involved with greyhounds for 68 years, however, said: “There are some people complaining about the new stand. The greyhound track is a great running track but they have put this stand up with a tin roof and it wouldn’t hold more than 20 to 30 people. There’s a portakabin, but no proper toilets. The council should have added seats to accommodate for people who can’t stand. There’s no seating at all.
“If you wanted to take your wife to the dogs, there’s no facilities. I know greyhoundpeople who couldn’t stand for a long time. What they should have done was provide a stand that can hold a lot more people, with facilities.
“They forgot completely about people coming to watch. You can’t have people who support greyhound racing to stand in the rain.
“We’re not asking for a lot,” added Mr. Mullan.
A spokesperson for Derry City & Strabane District Council said: “Council has been delighted with the positive response to the new greyhound facilities at the Brandywell from the local dog racing fraternity”.
The spokesperson added: “The ‘standalone’ track represents a significant investment in the sport locally and council has worked closely with all the relevant stakeholders to ensure the facilities meet the standards expected by those involved in modern dog racing.
“All feedback regarding the new facilities is welcome and while we have had some very positive comments to date, we will continue to liaise with user groups as we do at all our leisure facilities,” the spokesperson stressed.
“Council will seek, where possible, to meet the needs of anyone with additional requirements visiting the track and we would encourage anyone with mobility needs to contact our staff directly in advance on 71-373111 to establish how they can best be accommodated.”