Lifford Greyhound Stadium to close next week

Lifford Stadium.
Lifford Stadium.

Lifford Greyhound Stadium is to close next week.

In a statement the proprietors said: "Due to an ongoing lack of support from the Irish Greyhound Board we regretfully announce that Lifford Greyhound Stadium will be closing its doors permanently on August 17.

"While this has not been an easy decision to make, we would like to thank all the owners, trainers, customers and all the hardworking staff that has helped us over the last 15 years.

"If you oppose this decision, we would invite you to speak to the Irish Greyhound Board as we would be happy to continue to support Greyhound racing in the North West."

The owners have claimed that due to cuts in support and funding from the IGB Lifford has been stripped of two races and from now on will only be allowed to run 10 Races once a week.

The IGB said it "regrets the closure of Lifford Greyhound Stadium and its impact on staff, owners and the wider greyhound community".

In a statement it 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.

"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."