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Trainers barking mad as leak deals blow to greyhound racing

GREYHOUND racing has been dealt a "huge setback" following the flooding of Ireland's premiere racing track over the Christmas break due to a burst pipe.

Leading Co Tipperary trainer Pat Buckley last night said the flooding of Shelbourne Park Stadium in Dublin's Ringsend was another serious blow to the industry that had already lost substantial money due to cancelled races as a result of the recent weather conditions.

The state-owned stadium, which was renovated in 2002 at a cost of €12m, remained closed yesterday for the "foreseeable future" after the reported St Stephen's night incident.

Adrian Neilan, CEO of the Irish Greyhound Board, which runs the stadium, could not say when the facility would re-open.

It is understood the burst pipe caused substantial damage to the main grandstand as well as the Oaks Suite at the top floor of the facility, the main restaurant on the first floor and a section of Tote Hall.

A brief statement issued by the board yesterday said: "We are actively working to get our facility operational as soon as possible."

But Co Kildare greyhound trainer Pat Kelly said he wasn't satisfied with the response of the board.

"To me, it's an absolute joke," Mr Kelly said.

"It reminds you of the bank situation or the politicians. It's just passing the buck," he added.

Irish Independent