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November 06, 2008

Curragh Redevelopment Project On Hold


The Turf Club has taken the decision to postpone its project to redevelop the Curragh Racecourse in the light of the current unprecedented economic conditions.  In making the announcement they said that they felt it would be inappropriate to proceed at this time.  They said that the project would be kept under review with a view to reinstating it once economic conditions become more favourable.

The project which is budgeted to cost approximately €100 million to be financed by grant aid from Horse Racing Ireland, industry donations, bank borrowings and the Turf Club’s own resources.  Phase one of the project has been successfully completed.  The second and major phase was scheduled to commence in July 2009.

Commenting on the decision Nick Wachman, Senior Steward of the Turf Club, said that the decision had been taken following consultation not alone with the Turf Club’s professional advisors but also with a number of senior people in the racing industry. He said that everyone consulted was in agreement that the best course of action was to postpone the project at this point in time.  He did stress, however, that the project remained a priority for the Turf Club. 

Mr Wachman said that he would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has been so supportive of the project.  “Happily everyone in Irish racing understands that there is a real need to develop the Curragh in order to create facilities that are commensurate with the world class racing that this wonderful track produces.  We are confident that the project will recommence at an appropriate time”.

“On behalf of the Turf Club I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone associated with the project and in particular to reiterate our thanks to H.H. The Aga Khan whose generous gift was the catalyst for the project.  I would also like to thank the Government and Horse Racing Ireland whose financial support is critical to developing our plans.  I must put on record my thanks to the many people in the racing industry for their support both in terms of enthusiasm for the project and also in terms of financial support. “

“I hope that when the time is right to reinstate the project that everyone will again come on board to deliver a project that we believe is crucial to the future of the Irish racing industry.”

Mr Wachman noted that as part of the plan had been to close the Curragh during the redevelopment, Curragh fixtures for late 2009 had been allocated to other courses.  He said that the Turf Club would shortly be meeting with Horse Racing Ireland to discuss these fixtures.