Irish racing will have to wait for increased funding

Legislation to facilitate the taxation of offshore betting will be in place by the end of February but horse racing will not be in a position to fund itself directly as a result.

The aspiration for horse racing chiefs was that the industry could become self-sufficient by funding itself through money earned directly from taxation of bets placed on races.

Speaking at yesterday’s Horse Racing Ireland Awards in Leopardstown, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said the Department of Finance was unlikely to sanction such a scenario.

Mr Coveney did declare that he would be in a better position to ask for increased funding for racing once the revenue streams had increased by virtue of the new legislation.

He did add a proviso though, warning that the industry would have to support the reforms he intends to push through if they wanted him to continue working on its behalf.

“I, like others, have been impatient to see the new legislation from the Finance Department but I am in a position to announce that we will see that in place by the end of February and that will see new revenue streams in place” said Coveney.

“Because there are new revenue streams does not mean that racing will be entitled to that. The Finance Department is slow to ringfence funding for anyone but it will make it easier for me to fight for greater funding.

“In return, I am asking the industry to support changes to the structure of racing. I will be insisting on the reform programme. That’s the deal.”

The minister said he would be looking for racing to be given a multi-annual budget in time, so that the industry could plan further ahead into the future.

He also announced that Joe Keeling would succeed Denis Brosnan as chairman of HRI, while Matt Dempsey would take over from Lady O’Reilly as chairman of the Irish National Stud.

Meanwhile, Brosnan revealed that structures would soon be in place to have the Curragh redevelopment plan back on the agenda by early next year.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

More in this Section

IFA salaries mess is akin to cattle trampling over the silage pit

Laws against ‘hate speech’ for ‘decency’ muzzles freedom of expression

€5m Oireachtas banking inquiry a toothless farce that was always doomed to fail

We are a step closer to an international agreement on climate change issues

You might also like

Breaking Stories

US sports writer wants to 'give hurling a shot' after Dublin V Galway brawl

Here's Jurgen Klopp trying to learn Scouse and giving a great interview to a kid

Twitter is feeling the love for George Best on the 10th anniversary of his death

The stats that prove Diego Costa is having a truly terrible season


Gay Byrne was a canny operator who allowed women be heard

Shopping for classic clothes with vintage queen extraordinaire Irene O’Brien

Johnny Depp is looking like the real gangster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger in Black Mass

GAEMTECH: Games Mania are bringing retro consoles and games back into the mainstream

More From The Irish Examiner