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One of Dublin's two greyhound stadiums is to be closed and sold

Planning permission for Harold’s Cross will be sought before it’s put on the market.

The IGB has a debt of over €21 million.
The IGB has a debt of over €21 million.
Image: Stephen Pond

THE GREYHOUND TRACK at Harold’s Cross in Dublin is to be sold by the Irish Greyhound Board as part of efforts to plug a debt hole of €21 million.

Members of the IGB board faced an Oireachtas committee yesterday and confirmed that the planning permission for south Dublin dog track will be sought before it is put on the market.

Their appearance follows a report into the greyhound industry which demonstrated a sharp decline in revenue from €63.5 million in 2006 to €28.2 million in 2013. The Indecon report showed that the IGB is also heavily indebted with net debt of over €21 million.

Part of the IGB’s response to the report is a pledge to return to profit by the end of 2017. They say this will involve an “internationalisation of the Irish racing product” including streaming abroad.

Other cash raising measures involve the sale of “core and non core assets” including Harold’s Cross track as well as a number of properties and plots of land in Cork an Limerick.

Harold's Cross Greyhound Stadium The stadium will be sold by the end of 2015. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Speaking at yesterday’s hearing, IGB CEO Geraldine Larkin said that a timeline for the sale has already been decided:

The Harold’s Cross track has been nominated for sale and indeed there is a commitment from our end, in our response to the Indecon report, that it will be ready for sale by the end of next year.

“By ready for sale, I mean that in the meantime we will secure planning permission for the site, for the entire site and that we will take it forward on that basis,” she said.

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The IGB also said that their continued funding of individual greyhound tracks and stadia nationwide will also be linked to performance.

Reviews will be taken on the performance of the tracks based on key performance indicators and failure to meet these will result a cut or elimination of IGB funding.

Read: Hiring out greyhound stadia as film sets could help the industry’s money woes >

Read: Protest over National Coursing Meeting to take place outside Dáil >

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Rónán Duffy

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