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Unfair, ill-judged and inconsistent... the government policy on racing is deeply flawed

Eamonn Sweeney


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Groundsman TJ Leahy locks the gates at Clonmel after the last Irish meeting took place there on March 24. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Groundsman TJ Leahy locks the gates at Clonmel after the last Irish meeting took place there on March 24. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Groundsman TJ Leahy locks the gates at Clonmel after the last Irish meeting took place there on March 24. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

The Government's current policy on the resumption of horse racing doesn't make any sense. It's unfair, ill-judged and inconsistent. As things stand the sport won't be able to resume until June 29, which is the day slated for the return of competitive non-contact sports behind closed doors.

People within the horse racing industry had hoped they would be given the all clear for a May 18 restart. This now appears to be a non-starter although Horse Racing Ireland is negotiating with the Government and Chief Executive Brian Kavanagh says he's hopeful the sport will return "sooner rather than later".

Personally, I think erring on the side of caution is no harm in the current circumstances. That's why the return of the building industry on May 18 seems somewhat premature to me. But if large-scale construction is judged to be a safe proposition in less than ten days' time, what's the justification for making racing wait another six weeks?