Live

Repeat: Off The Ball

02:00 AM-05:00 AM

Repeat: Off The Ball
Irish racing shut down as more...
Racing

Irish racing shut down as more measures announced to fight COVID-19

Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

16:37 24 Mar 2020

There will be no more horse racing in Ireland after the Tuesday meeting in Clonmel until April 19 at the earliest, due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Racing is the only major sport that has continued amid the coronavirus outbreak with recent meetings being held behind closed doors.

However the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced new restrictions today including the cessation of all sporting events, even those taking place behind closed doors.

Varadkar also announced that outlets such as betting shops are to close which would be a big blow to the industry.

"All theatres, clubs, gyms, leisure centres, hairdressers, betting offices, marts, markets, casinos, bingo halls, libraries and other similar outlets are to shut," Varadkar said on Tuesday afternoon.

He added; "All sporting events are cancelled, including those held behind closed doors."

Horse Racing Ireland released a very short statement on Tuesday evening.

"Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) confirm that racing will cease in Ireland as of midnight tonight as per the latest Government guidelines on Covid-19," the statement reads.

"The Board of Horse Racing Ireland will meet tomorrow morning (Wednesday) and will issue a press release soon after."

As well as today's seven race card at Clonmel this week, there was also racing on Monday at Naas racecourse where the flat season got underway.

There was nobody watching the action from the stands, no bookmakers or catering staff on site and there were no owners allowed.

The first behind-closed-doors meeting took place at Dundalk over a week ago and last week and HRI stated their intention to continue without spectators.

"This decision is motivated by the need to maintain employment and incomes for people working in the industry, and on the basis of being able to achieve and maintain all HSE advice and instructions."

Racing in Britain was cancelled last week and until the end of April at least.

“This is a national emergency the like of which most of us have never seen before," said the British Horseracing Authority chief executive, Nick Rust, in a statement released one week ago.

"We’re a sport that is proud of its connection to rural communities and to the local businesses that support our industry.

"But our first duty is to the health of the public, our customers and to racing industry participants and staff so we have decided to suspend racing following the government’s latest advice."

Download the brand new OTB Sports App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered!

Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.


Read more about

Coronavirus Horse Racing Irish Racing Leo Varadkar

Live: Title

Description

Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share

Next up in queue

Title
Description
Duration

There are currently no podcasts in the queue

Go to podcasts

On Air

Repeat: Off The Ball

Repeat: Off The Ball

02:00 AM-05:00 AM

Share

Up next

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

05:00 AM-07:00 AM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

07:00 AM-07:30 AM

Share

LIVE: OTB AM

LIVE: OTB AM

07:30 AM-10:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

10:00 AM-12:00 PM

Share

Alan Quinlan's 'How's The Head?'

Alan Quinlan's 'How's The Head?'

12:00 PM-01:00 PM

Share

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

01:00 PM-02:00 PM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

02:00 PM-03:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Dadcast

LIVE: Dadcast

03:00 PM-04:00 PM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

04:00 PM-06:00 PM

Share

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

06:00 PM-07:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Newsround

LIVE: Newsround

07:00 PM-07:30 PM

Share

LIVE: Off The Ball

LIVE: Off The Ball

07:30 PM-09:00 PM

Share

LIVE: The Football Show

LIVE: The Football Show

09:00 PM-10:00 PM

Share

Repeat: Off The Ball

Repeat: Off The Ball

10:00 PM-12:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

12:00 AM-02:00 AM

Share

Repeat: Off The Ball

Repeat: Off The Ball

02:00 AM-05:00 AM

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on