Injunction sought to halt Harold's Cross Greyhound stadium’s closure

By Mary Dennehy

AN INJUNCTION is being sought in the High Court to prevent the Irish Greyhound Board from continuing with its closure of the Harold’s Cross stadium, The Echo has been told.

On Monday, the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) confirmed the closure of the stadium which, running for the past 88 years, is being sold as a solution to the IGB’s debt of €20.3million – a debt which stems from the €21m spent in 2011 on Limerick Greyhound Stadium.

Harolds Cross greyhound stadium 17022017

In a statement earlier this week, the IGB said: “IGB has taken the decision to bring forward the closure of the stadium and its sale.

“The decision to close Harold’s Cross with immediate effect has been taken so that IGB can move forward with creating a viable future for the industry without delay.

“The uncertainty surrounding the future of Harold’s Cross has been a distraction for the business.

“The closure of Harold’s Cross and the transfer of the racing schedule to Shelbourne Park will bring an end to this uncertainty and allow IGB continue to grow the sport’s profile and business in Dublin.”

However, Alan Redmond, one of the nine board directors of Harold’s Cross stadium, which is operated by Dublin Greyhound and Sports Association Limited, criticised the decision – claiming that he was not made aware of Monday’s immediate closure.

Mr Redmond, who is also a committee member and PRO of the Dublin Greyhound Owners and Breeders Association (DGOBA), told The Echo: “We basically got word that the track was closed and that the machines and traps were being taking down . . . and we were locked out.

“We were aware that they wanted to sell Harold’s Cross but . . . we were not aware that they were landing in Monday morning in trucks and vans to clean the place out.”

He added: “The only people who can vote to close the stadium is the board of the stadium and there was no board meeting and no board vote, which goes against policy.

“We are going to the High Court to get an injunction against the IGB, we will seek retribution in the High Court to have the track re-instated.”

According to Mr Redmond, many of the people who race dogs on the track are from communities such as Tallaght and Clondalkin, small-time racers that have one or two dogs.

He said: “The track is 89 years old this year, there’s a lot of history attached to it . . . and its closure will have a spin-off effect on other businesses in the area.”

When contacted by The Echo, a spokesman for the Irish Greyhound Board, said: “The IGB has the authority to cease racing at Harold’s Cross as it does with any other stadium.”

The Tuesday and Friday race nights at Harold’s Cross have been moved to Shelbourne, which now has races four nights a week.

Twelve Harold’s Cross staff members have also being redeployed to the Dublin 4 stadium.

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