Sunday 15 September 2019

Curragh still in talks with contractor on final grandstand bill

Derek McGrath, CEO Curragh Racecourse
Derek McGrath, CEO Curragh Racecourse
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The final cost of the multimillion-euro redevelopment of the new grandstand at the Curragh Racecourse is still being thrashed out between the company behind the venue and the main contractor, Sisk.

In an interview with the Irish Independent, Curragh CEO Derek McGrath declined to say what the likely final price tag might be.

The initial cost of the new grandstand and other facilities was expected to be €65m. That was later raised to €72m, but the final figure will be higher and likely around €80m, it's believed.

The Curragh and Sisk remain in talks, said Mr McGrath. The redevelopment is being officially unveiled this weekend, with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar among those in attendance. The project has been backed by the taxpayer via Horse Racing Ireland, and by racing moguls including businessmen John Magnier and JP McManus. "We're very close to it, but we are finalising certain things with Sisk in particular," said Mr McGrath.

"We went in thinking €65m was about right. We went through a tender process and that was around €72m, but then you add on contingency and so on. When you look at what we got for it we feel it's pretty good value for money."

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