Wednesday, 3 May 2017

IGB Statement Re; Harolds Cross Sale

Sale of Harold's Cross absolutely essential to reduce greyhound industry debt

"The sale of Harold's Cross is absolutely essential in order to reduce the enormous legacy debt that threatens the national greyhound industry. The picketing at Shelbourne Park for the past three months has meant no racing in Dublin, this dispute is costing the IGB €30,000 per week and has already cost €200,000 in lost prize money to greyhound owners. Unless racing is resumed and the debt is reduced now, jobs and the national industry are at risk.

The sale of Harold's Cross to the Department of Education and Skills has followed all correct procedures for the sale of assets between state agencies. The debt has to be addressed now, irrespective of whatever Board or management is in place. A partial sale of Harold's Cross is a half measure and will not address the debt.  The sale will provide for much needed investment in greyhound racing across the country and to support its future development."



Sale of Harold’s Cross Stadium confirmed

‘A new lease of life for greyhound racing’

The Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) has today (Tuesday 2 May 2017) confirmed it has accepted the offer from the Department of Education and Skills for the purchase of Harold’s Cross Stadium.

Phil Meaney, Chairman of the IGB commented “This decision brings to an end to a long and sometimes difficult process to sell one of our Dublin stadiums, which makes commercial and operational sense for the IGB. The Board is well aware of the place that Harold’s Cross had amongst the greyhound community, particularly in Dublin. However I believe the sale will be of huge benefit to the industry as a whole.

This will allow us for the first time in many years, a capacity to invest in the many areas that require support and attention. The IGB is committed to ensuring the connection to the Harold’s Cross fraternity remains and we will go to great lengths to accommodate them at Shelbourne Park in a welcoming and respectful way.”

‘The sale will act as a stimulus, giving a new lease of life to the greyhound racing industry in Ireland’
 commented Dr. Sean Brady, Interim CEO of IGB. The IGB believe that all stakeholders
 in the greyhound sector can and should now work together to rebuild the sector from decline, to renewed growth and opportunity.

CEO Sean Brady continued:

‘I ask all stakeholders to work and pull together, to get involved right now in returning the sector to vibrant operational health. I also urge all stakeholders to leave aside any recriminations of the past without delay, so that all stakeholders can work productively together to lay positive foundations on which we can rebuild racing and entertainment activity in the sector in a sustainable manner.’

The sale of Harold’s Cross – though it has been divisive, has been essential to avoid the IGB becoming insolvent in the near term. With the benefit of the prospect of future financial stability, IGB now seeks active and positive cooperation to get the sector quickly back into gear and running at full throttle.

Sean Brady concluded:

‘There are many exciting opportunities open to the IGB to design and plan the rebuild of our sector to ensure that Shelbourne Park serves the greyhound catchment area around Dublin to best possible effect and that it becomes the national stadium of which we can all be proud. The IGB will now immediately focus on rebuilding our sector with a schedule of activity from May to year-end 2017 and we want dynamic stakeholder input, for the benefit of all industry participants.’

The IGB, as a semi-state commercial body, will now be seeking the approval for the sale from the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.