Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) reported today that work is ongoing with Government officials around an appropriate date for the resumption of racing in Ireland.
Confirmation came from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine that June 29th was the date outlined for racing to return behind closed doors.
In publishing the roadmap last week, the Government stated an appetite to engage and consult with sectors on possible changes to the timings in the plan. Horse Racing Ireland has been fully engaged in that process this week.
This movement may eventually ease the situation in Northern Ireland and racing may re-commence at Downpatrick racecourse and Down Royal.
Also, the Taoiseach stated in the Dail earlier today that the Government would examine proposals from sectors of the economy wishing to have restrictions lifted earlier than scheduled in the Government’s roadmap, and HRI is availing of this offer.
Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland said: “Horse Racing Ireland and the Irish racing community are fully supportive of the Government and the Chief Medical Officer for the way in which they have handled this unprecedented public health emergency.
“Through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine there has been constructive engagement with various Government departments this week on the basis that racing will only resume behind closed doors when it is deemed safe and appropriate.
“Prior to March 24, race fixtures were among the last group of Tier 2 commercial activities to continue with ten fixtures staged safely behind closed doors with only key personnel permitted on site.
“Horse Racing Ireland’s Covid-19 protocols which were in place for those fixtures have been further strengthened in the meantime and we feel that the industry can safely resume sooner rather than later and will continue to engage with Government on that basis.”