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Youghal greyhound stadium on the right track to keeping the venue open

YOUGHAL Greyhound Track has been offered a reprieve from proposed closure.

Before the Covid-19 restrictions brought all sport to a halt, a report from the Irish Greyhound Board earmarked Youghal as one of four stadiums that weren’t economically viable.

Despite operating since 1948, the report said Youghal was loss-making and had the lowest attendance of any venue in the west and south-west.

Now along with the venue in Enniscorthy, Youghal will get the chance to revive their businesses, though Lifford and Longford won’t re-open.

As good news is to hard come by these days, supporters of the Youghal Greyhound Track will be delighted the IGB is now willing to sit down with members of the Youghal Track Supporters Club and implement changes that could secure its future.

It’s positive but there is still a lot of hard work to be done.

Urgent infrastructural issues will need to be addressed and, as the cost to the IGB will need to be reduced, it is proposed that there would be a reduction of €60 per race in prize money.

The IGB, in conjunction with independent body Indecon, received 48 submissions to be assessed on the back of the original findings in December and presented three options to the board.

“1. Implement proposed restructuring and other decisions recommended by Indecon in its original report published in December 2019.

“2. Provide an opportunity to Enniscorthy and Youghal for a fixed period of time to address challenges/issues identified and for key performance measures to be set.

“3. Not implement the recommendations of the Indecon Report.”

The updated report added: “There are also new risks arising for the greyhound sector from the Corona virus pandemic which potentially impacts on the sector and should be taken into account.”

They decided to go with option two, which will provide a fixed period of time to Enniscorthy and Youghal to address challenges and issues identified by Indecon.

The matter will be further considered by the board at its July 2020 meeting.

More than 350 greyhound followers attended a public meeting after the original news and, since then, the supporters club have done Trojan work in putting a submission together which has now led to this opportunity.

Also included was the possibility of a merger of Youghal and Cork tracks, which has been mooted for some time, involving running three nights in Youghal and Cork on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and IGB racing on Friday and Saturday, and estimating the Youghal Track Supporters Club Lotto into Cork.

From EchoLive