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HRI believe racing can resume...
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HRI believe racing can resume safely before June 29 government date

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

19:43 7 May 2020

Horse Racing Ireland believe it is safe to resume racing behind closed doors prior to the government-appointed date of June 29. 

That was the date outlined in the government's Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business last Friday.

June 29 marks phase 3 of the roadmap which will permit, "behind closed doors sporting activities events where arrangements are in place to enable participants to maintain social distancing".

Late last month, HRI chief executive Brian Kavanagh said they are "racing ready" to return to action with a week to ten days' notice.

In a statement, HRI say, "In publishing the roadmap last week, the Government stated an appetite to engage and consult with sectors on possible changes to the timings in the plan, and Horse Racing Ireland has been fully engaged in that process this week."

They add, "In addition, the Taoiseach stated in the Dail earlier today that the Government would examine proposals from sectors of the economy wishing to have restrictions lifted earlier than scheduled in the Government’s roadmap, and HRI is availing of this offer."

HRI say confirmation came from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine that June 29 was the date outlined for racing to return behind closed doors as they were already engaged in conversations with the government.

Racing returned behind closed doors in Germany on Thursday, while in France they're due to resume on May 11.

HRI chief Kavanagh says: "Horse Racing Ireland and the Irish racing community are fully supportive of the Government and the Chief Medical Officer for the way in which they have handled this unprecedented public health emergency.

"Through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine there has been constructive engagement with various Government departments this week on the basis that racing will only resume behind closed doors when it is deemed safe and appropriate.

"Prior to March 24, race fixtures were among the last group of Tier 2 commercial activities to continue with ten fixtures staged safely behind closed doors with only key personnel permitted on site.

"Horse Racing Ireland’s COVID-19 protocols which were in place for those fixtures have been further strengthened in the meantime and we feel that the industry can safely resume sooner rather than later and will continue to engage with Government on that basis."

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Brian Kavanagh Coronavirus Covid-19 Department Of Agriculture HRI Horse Racing Ireland

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