Greyhound owners and trainers in the Northwest have called an emergency meeting in a bid to save Lifford Greyhound Stadium.
Lifford Stadium owners, the Duffy family, who took over the running of the venue in 2003, cited ‘an ongoing lack of support from the Irish Greyhound Board’ (IGB) as they announced notice of the closure, which will affect 25 jobs.
The IGB say they regret the proposed closure, but say they have supported the privately owned track over the years as much as they could.
An emergency meeting will take place in the Fir Trees Hotel in Strabane at 7pm on Wednesday 17th August. All local greyhound owners and trainers are asked to attend, while TDs and Councillors are also expected to be in attendance.
The IGB say the assistance sought by the owners of the Lifford Greyhound Stadium was beyond their remit.
The IGB and representatives of the Lifford Greyhound Stadium met as recently as May after concerns about the future viability of the venue were raised.
“The arrangement of the type sought by the stadium representatives at that time is not within the mandate of the Board as a semi-state company and does not meet the corporate governance requirements applying to the IGB,” the IGB said in a statement released today.”
The IGB said it ‘regretted’ the closure of the Lifford Greyhound Stadium, which underwent a â‚¬12million upgrade in 2003.
The IGB said: “The IGB is very aware of the excellent work done by all those at the track as part of the greyhound fraternity. The Duffy family, owners of the track, have a long association and strong commitment to greyhound racing.
“While Lifford is a private track and not in the ownership of the Irish Greyhound Board, the IGB has provided wide ranging support to Lifford for a long period of time. This included a significantÂ capital financial investment in providing the current facilities at the stadium.”
In recent times, Lifford has been restricted to a ten-race card one night a week and will cease operations next weekend.
Indecon Economic Consultants is currently conducting a comprehensive, strategic review into the future needs of the Irish greyhound industry, with a full report expected by October 2019.
The review will provide an assessment of stadium infrastructure and financial sustainability, along with detailed recommendations regarding all licensed stadia.Tags: