Breeders Federation weighs in behind Lifford reopening

IN the absence of Lifford greyhound track owners are having to make a five hour journey to race their dogs.

That is according to the Irish Greyhound Owners and Breeders Federation which has weighed in behind plans to reopen the stadium and venue.

Lifford track was recently bought by a private syndicate of 20 investors and they are eagerly awaiting a decision from Greyhound Racing Ireland on the granting of a licence. A determination is expected in the coming weeks and if it goes the consortium’s way, they hope to hold their first race meeting in September or October.


Giving its backing to the project, the Irish Greyhound Owners and Breeders Federation said this week the stadium should be opened at the “earliest possible opportunity” to accommodate the area’s large pool of dogs and encourage the retention of owners, trainers and breeders in the north west.

A spokesperson said, “With the two year anniversary of Lifford’s closure owners and trainers are still facing a minimum of a five hour round trip to race their dogs at Dundalk which is the nearest track supported by Greyhound Racing Ireland (GRI).

“The pool of dogs available for racing in Dundalk is large and some dogs are waiting up to five or six weeks to be listed for a race.

“This is a situation that urgently needs to be remedied as soon as possible and we urge the GRI to prioritise and resolve any issues which may be causing a delay in granting Lifford Greyhound Stadium a licence to resume racing.”

The new owners have vowed to operate Lifford on an entirely independent financial basis, without any assistance from the Irish government. The unusual move is likely to be a favourable factor in Greyhound Racing Ireland’s decision on whether to grant a licence.

In a bid to bolster the track’s chances of reopening, the North West Greyhound Owners and Breeders Association is seeking a meeting with Minister for Agriculture and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue.

The consortium hopes to have dogs racing in Lifford again before the end of the year.


“We fully endorse the North West Greyhound Owners and Breeders Association’s request to meet with Minister McConalogue at his earliest convenience and we welcome any support he can lend to progressing granting of the licence. We believe it is vital that the north west region is afforded the opportunity capitalise on this venture,” said the Irish Federation.

Lifford is rated as one of the finest dog tracks in Ireland while some go as far to suggest it ranks among the best in the world.
It is a view shared by the Irish Greyhound Owners and Breeders Federation.

“We are aware that Greyhound Racing Ireland has to follow due process when considering the licence application but we reiterate the urgency in seeking a positive resolution.

“The Lifford Greyhound Racing Club has stated they will be ready to resume racing in October pending a successful outcome to the licence application and because of the obvious benefits for all concerned, we hope this is feasible.

“We are also aware that this is an anxious and frustrating time for anyone who is eagerly waiting a positive outcome to the licence application. We commend the North West Greyhound Owners and Breeders Association for their professionalism in keeping channels of communication open and constructive and for the updates they have provided.”


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