Live greyhound racing is set to return to Shelbourne Park in Dublin from Tuesday, June 20, 2017, after a four-month dispute. The Dublin Greyhound Owners and Breeders Association (DGOBA) voted in Crumlin to end the dispute and support the resumption of live racing.
The dispute arose in February between the DGOBA and the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) following the €23 million sale of Harold’s Cross Stadium and its closure.
The Dublin greyhound industry suffered a severe blow from the loss of racing, with a number of prestigious events such as the Gold Cup, the Easter Cup, the Puppy Oaks and the Gain 600 not taking place.
It has been reported that the outcome of the DGOBA vote was close; however they will now be removing their pickets from the tracks allowing racing to resume. In addition, the IGB has agreed to regard the Tuesday and Friday meetings at Shelbourne Park as Harold’s Cross fixtures.
Both the DGOBA and the Irish Greyhound Owners and Breeders Federation have complained about the stewardship of the sport which has experienced its attendances more than halving in the last decade. In addition, the governing body has accumulated debts of around €20 million.
“I believe this marks a new beginning for greyhound racing in Ireland,” said Dr Sean Brady, chief executive of IGB. “Once the sale of Harold’s Cross is concluded, a bright future free from crippling debt is within sight for our industry. For the first time in years, we can consider increasing prize money, investing in more marketing and upgrading our stadiums.”
“We look forward to welcoming our patrons, Greyhound breeders and owners back to Shelbourne Park next week and to building a successful industry together. The greyhound industry can only ever be successful if we are united together as one team.”