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IHRA update

Irish Harness Racing Association (IHRA) Chairman Mark Flanagan and IHRA Consultant Arthur Cooper went before the Cross-Party Committee of Agriculture, Food and the Marine last Tuesday in Leinster House at the Oireachtas

(Click for Video)  Note – the presentation commences on the time line of 1 hour and 28 minutes.


A fifteen-minute presentation summarising the previous twelve months for the IHRA and discussion surrounding the Indecon Report was then followed by a ‘Q&A’ session from Politicians fielding questions. 

It should be highlighted that all three major Political Parties along with Independents are very supportive in the actions that have been undertaken by the IHRA.

Developments that were highlighted in the presentation included the completion of Recommendations One and Two of the Indecon Report. Other key points of discussion were Funding and Strategy going forward.

Later that evening the IHRA Board met for its monthly meeting.

There was an assessment of the Oireachtas presentation and in light of what was discussed that afternoon, there was a further review of the strategy going forward.

It was agreed by the Board that the key action to be undertaken during the coming months is the development of a Five-Year Strategy Plan (one of the requirements of the Indecon Report, the Minister and the Department).

Another area for discussion for the Board was in relation to the establishment of Sub-Committees. The make-up of these Sub-Committees will be confirmed during the next two weeks. All Sub-Committees will meet in one location on Saturday 10 February. Again, this is a critical development in both meeting Governance requirements and also in the preparation of the Five-Year Strategy Plan.

On Wednesday a meeting was held with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The purpose of the meeting was to establish a ‘roadmap’ as based on the Indecon Report.

Going forward, this Strategy Document will be the most expansive analysis of Harness Racing in Ireland ever conducted. This document will assess all aspects of the industry and the requirements for the sport to develop and progress into the future. Included will be costings for infrastructure such as racetracks, training and stabling.

This is a process that will require time and research before the Plan will be written and then presented to the Department.

The IHRA Board will keep you updated on a regular basis on future developments.

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