Two major Irish Greyhound Board capital development projects are quickly taking shape and are set to drive the greyhound industry in the Youghal and Clonmel hinterlands for decades to come. This comes on the back of a promised investment of just under €2.5 million for 2012 by the IGB in various facilities and equipment countrywide. Excitement was expressed by the general managers of their respective building projects as they currently oversee the first major investment in their venues for many years. Earlier this year the IGB announced a contribution of €1million towards a brand new modern public stand for the Clonmel Stadium as well as a €100,000 contribution towards a complete refit and refurbishment of the stand in Youghal. On top of these spends the IGB also are making a contribution of almost €1 million to Dundalk this year.
Development work in Clonmel is well on schedule according to manager Eddie Anderson. Steelwork erection on the new stand which will have a ground floor concourse capacity for 350 people along with a new bar and Tote facilities. The completely new stand will also boast a brand new restaurant which will seat 112 people and the completion date is set for early next year on the 13th of January just in time for the Clonmel Festival. “This is the first bit of development here at our famous venue since approximately the 1950’s and we hope to have the official grand opening sometime after the Clonmel Festival when we will have a great celebration for all the greyhound public from the area as well as for the town of Clonmel”, said Eddie Anderson.
Further works are also well underway and on schedule in Youghal at the moment. The refit and refurbishment ground floor works in the stand are well advanced and are on track to finish in the next two weeks. Work will then start on the judge’s box and on it’s completion works will then begin on the first floor of the stand that contains the bar and restaurant. General Manager at the Youghal Stadium John McGrath said “It’s all systems go here at Youghal at the moment and it looks like we’ll be hitting our deadline finish date for the end of November. We will be coinciding our new opening date with two of our feature stakes which are the Red Mills Southern Sprint and the Rising Unraced Stakes which will be a real treat for all our supporters”.
CEO for the IGB Adrian Neilan said “These are fantastic and positive developments for our industry as we push on with our promised and planned upgrades for these two great venues which continue to provide fabulous entertainment and racing for all our stakeholders in these greyhound hinterlands. The capital expenditure in these areas is part of our pledge to continue to improve our facilities to attract people into our modern venues and make them even more commercial in the current economic climate. I’d like to thank our local directors for their support and perseverance in getting these project done. I’d also like to compliment our managers and staff in these stadia on their dedication and for steering these works towards completion”.
Michael O’Neill, 8 October 2012