The Chief Executive of Leopardstown racecourse Pat Keogh will take over as CEO of The Curragh Racecourse and Training Grounds with immediate effect.
Keogh will succeed Derek McGrath who decided to leave last week. McGrath oversaw the development of the racecourse during his tenure. The former Chief Executive of European Rugby was a much-maligned figure during his time as Curragh Chief.
Padraig McManus, Chairman of Curragh Racecourse Ltd said: “I would like to thank outgoing CEO Derek McGrath and wish him well. He has been a driving force in delivering the world-class facilities which we now have at the Curragh.
"I am delighted that we have been able to secure the services of an experienced racecourse CEO of the calibre of Pat Keogh. We welcome him to the Curragh and look forward to working with him. I appreciate the co-operation of Horse Racing Ireland and Leopardstown in this regard.”
Brian Kavanagh, CEO of Horse Racing Ireland said: “The Curragh development is one of which we can be proud and is a racecourse for customers at all levels to enjoy and be welcome. It is the Headquarters of Irish racing and a huge asset for County Kildare.
"The Curragh faces many challenges and I am delighted that Pat has agreed to take up this position and help establish the Curragh’s reputation as one of Ireland’s most enjoyable sporting venues. He and his team have done a remarkable job during his time at Leopardstown.”
Pat Keogh stated: “I look forward to the challenges provided by the Curragh – it is a racecourse that has always had impressive credentials in terms of its track and race programme and now has the facilities to match.
"I look forward to meeting the team there. In tandem, I would like to pay tribute to my own team and all of the staff at Leopardstown who have been an absolute pleasure to work with and have dedicated themselves to bringing Leopardstown to the position it is in now.”
Keogh will continue in his duties with Leopardstown but that responsibility will be scaled back over the coming months. Given the apparent volume of work required at The Curragh, continuing both roles would have been a significant task. The racecourse has had several operational issues since the opening of the refurbished venue.