Greyhound racing is set to resume in Ireland the week after next - a fortnight ahead of schedule
Irish Greyhound Board chiefs have planned to commence trials on Monday at all 14 greyhound tracks with the ambition of racing behind closed doors early in the week commencing June 15.
Chairman of the Irish Greyhound Board, Frank Nyhan, said: “We very much welcome the government decision today which allows the greyhound industry to make the necessary arrangements for the resumption of greyhound racing. This is critical for the wider industry and to support jobs across our stadia network, greyhound owners, breeders trainers and a wide range of support services. The loss of racing for the twelve-week period has impacted on the greyhound industry similar to all other industries during this difficult period.
“We will continue to put public health considerations at the forefront of our activities and very detailed protocols and response plans have been prepared by the IGB for operating in the current environment. The preparation of our stadia and tracks has been completed to facilitate a resumption of greyhound racing in line with Covid 19 protocols."
During the suspension of greyhound racing, the IGB put in place a COVID-19 Greyhound Care Payment Scheme which provided a subsistence payment in respect of 6,647 greyhounds to ensure that the care and welfare needs of racing greyhounds were fully addressed during the period of suspension. Expenditure on the scheme will be of the order of €1.3m. A detailed racing schedule behind closed doors will be published by the IGB in the coming days.