New state of the art dog racing track gets thumbs up in Showgrounds

NEW BRANDYWELL DOG TRACK. . . . . .The Mayor, Councillor Maoliosa McHugh pictured at the Brandywell Dog Track on Thursday night. Ampong those included in picture is Stephanie English, Stephen Radcliffe with 'Speedie Joe',  Shane McColgan (2) and Lynda Bonner. (Photos: Jim McCafferty Photography)
NEW BRANDYWELL DOG TRACK. . . . . .The Mayor, Councillor Maoliosa McHugh pictured at the Brandywell Dog Track on Thursday night. Ampong those included in picture is Stephanie English, Stephen Radcliffe with 'Speedie Joe', Shane McColgan (2) and Lynda Bonner. (Photos: Jim McCafferty Photography)

The Mayor of Derry & Strabane, Colr. Maolíosa McHugh joined local greyhound dog racing enthusiasts from across the North West for the first official race meeting since the opening of the new dog track in the Brandywell Showgrounds.

The Mayor was invited by the Brandywell Greyhound Racing Company to be part of the special event, which marked the return of racing to the Brandywell after 16 months.

FIRST WINNER!. . . . ��Ghetto Leader�", first winner at the new Brandywell Dog Track on Thursday night pictured with the Mayor, Maoliosa McHugh, owners Cyril O�"Hagan and James Lafferty and Daniel McLaughlin, Brandywell Greyhound Supporters Group.

FIRST WINNER!. . . . ��Ghetto Leader�", first winner at the new Brandywell Dog Track on Thursday night pictured with the Mayor, Maoliosa McHugh, owners Cyril O�"Hagan and James Lafferty and Daniel McLaughlin, Brandywell Greyhound Supporters Group.

Speaking at the meeting last week, Daniel McLaughlin from the Brandywell Greyhound Racing Company said: “This is a hugely momentous occasion for the company and the McLaughlin family, as well as everyone associated with greyhound racing in the North West.

“It makes all the hard work, patience and perseverance worthwhile. We are delighted that the culture and heritage of racing will continue to live on in Derry for many more years to come,” he claimed.

Mayor McHugh said he was hugely impressed with the facility and was delighted to attend the first official race in the new facility.

“The feedback from the greyhound community to the new facilities has been very positive and there was a really fantastic atmosphere last night.

The Mayor, Councillor Maoliosa McHugh studying the form with some of the Brandywell Dogs ��Old Timers�" Leo Gallagher (89) and John Gallagher (78), 135 years combined of attending the Brandywell.

The Mayor, Councillor Maoliosa McHugh studying the form with some of the Brandywell Dogs ��Old Timers�" Leo Gallagher (89) and John Gallagher (78), 135 years combined of attending the Brandywell.

“Everyone was in a celebratory mood especially among the winners.”

Concluding, Daniel McLaughlin said the investment had brought greyhound racing into the 21st century and secured the long-term future of the sport in the region.

“We are hugely proud to be associated with this capital project and to have usage of the top class facilities that are available. We look forward to another successful season and hope that the new track will attract a new audience into dog racing for the future.”

The Brandywell Greyhound Racing Company will continue with its regular race nights every Monday and Thursday.

Private trials can be arranged after meetings, on race nights and the usual trials on Saturday mornings from 9.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. will continue.