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Longford greyhound track closes after 80 years citing rising insurance costs

The greyhound industry has faced major scrutiny in recent weeks.

Image: Shutterstock

LONGFORD GREYHOUND STADIUM announced today that it will close at the end of August after 80 years. 

In a statement released this evening on Facebook, stadium management cited falling attendances and rising insurance costs for the closure.

The closure comes only 24 hours after Lifford Greyhound Stadium also announced that it would be closing.

“The stadium has been met with a number of challenging economic conditions over the last number of years, including falling attendances, a current requirement for expensive fire safety works and rising insurance costs,” the statement said. 

The management said that the Irish Greyhound Board had told them that it was “not within their mandate to offer assistance in meeting any of these costs”. 

The Longford stadium, which was established in 1939, is not administered by the Irish Greyhound Board and is privately owned.

“Many greyhounds and their connections have gone on to achieve great things in the industry after laying down their roots in Longford. We thank them for their participation and support over eight decades,” the statement added. 

Stadium management declined to comment when contacted by TheJournal.ie

The greyhound industry has faced heavy criticism in recent weeks after an RTÉ investigation claimed in June that almost 6,000 greyhounds were killed for not racing fast enough in 2017. 

The Irish Greyhound Board has promised various reforms to protect and promote greyhound welfare. 

Lifford stadium is set to close on 17 August after 60 years of racing. A statement from the stadium blamed a “lack of support from the Irish Greyhound Board”. 

In a statement, the Irish Greyhound Board said that it “very much regrets” the closure of the Longford and Lifford stadiums 

“Both tracks are privately owned and the circumstances of the closures differ. The IGB would have engaged extensively with both tracks in recent weeks on the issues that have arisen in relation to each particular track,” the board said. 

“The particular challenges facing both Lifford and Longford at this time are recognised and the basis of the decision of both tracks is fully understood”, the board added. 

A report on the future of the greyhound industry is set to be published in October 2019. 

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