If you imagine Ireland is a baby jumping into the air with its arms behind its back, then Waterford is to be found just under the baby’s belly. As a city it has the fifth largest population in the Republic of Ireland and the eight largest on the entire island. Even if you’ve never been there you will probably have heard of it, as Waterford Crystal is from there. Of course we’re most interested in the greyhound stadium that calls the city home and that’s known as Kilcohan Park.
The full name of the venue is actually Kilcohan Park Greyhound Stadium, but people call it Kilcohan Park for short. It’s not too far from the centre of the city of Waterford, should you fancy seeing the place famed for its past in the glass-making industry before heading to seeing the racing. As there’s a restaurant, numerous bars and even some fast food facilities available within the ground, however, there’s no real need to go anywhere else.
Kilcohan Park Greyhound Stadium Guide
Kilcohan Park Greyhound Stadium
Race Days & Times
Racing is mostly a weekend event at Kilcohan Park, namely on Friday and Saturday nights. Do be aware that if you’re heading along on a Friday in February then you’ll be in for a disappointment, as it’s only Saturday racing in the second month of the year.
The racing tends to get underway at about 7.40pm on both Friday and Saturday nights. The doors to the stadium are opened at about 6.30pm normally, giving you time to have a look around and get a drink or some food. If you’re booked in at the restaurant, of course, then you’ll have a specific time to get there for.
- Ticket Prices: Waterford’s greyhound stadium is no different to most of the others around Ireland, which is to say you’ll likely find deals on entry throughout the year. If you’re just rocking up hoping to gain general admission, though, then you’ll be looking at paying €10 for your entry and a Race Card.
- Getting There: For those of you in a car, you’ll be looking out for the Old Tranmore Road or the R708 as the stadium is right between the two of them. Bus numbers 602, 610 and 736 all call within walking distance if you’d rather take public transport. Plunkett Train Station is forty minutes walk away on the other side of the river.
- Parking: The stadium boasts a decent sized car park for the drivers amongst you.
Kilcohan Park Greyhound Stadium was originally owned by a Mr. J. McGrath and was an unlicensed venue, separate from any official greyhound organisation. Not long after its establishment, though, an agreement was reached between McGrath and a Mr. J Mulhall of the Irish Coursing Club for it to come under their jurisdiction. In May of 1947 the stadium opened its doors as an ICC operated track and was one of the smallest such tracks in all of Ireland. Its circumference of 460 yards means it remains relatively small for a provincial venue on the Emerald Isle.
Things remained relatively the same at the Waterford track until September of 1978. That was when the Waterford Greyhound Racing Company, under the watchful eye of Racing Manager Paddy Grant, decided to build a new state-of-the-art restaurant in the main stand there. One of the main sources of income for the stadium came from the nearby Waterford Glass Works, so there were fears that the company might suffer when there were mass redundancies at the Glass Works in the late 1980s. Thankfully, the track prevailed and remained under the ICC’s ownership until 2002.
That was the year that the Irish Greyhound Board took over the running of the stadium and invested a decent sum of money in bringing it up to date. One of the chief things that the IGB did was to overhaul the track itself, making it much more amenable to the greyhounds themselves. By 2006, it was clear that the facilities needed to be upgraded. €3.5 million was spent replacing the restaurant with a more up-to-date alternative. Named Masters Restaurant and with a conjoining bar named Barkers Bar, there’s enough room for 180 people to eat.
The city’s local football team, Waterford United Football Club, played their football in the space in the middle of the track for some years. They even hosted European Cup matches there before moving to a more football-specific venue. As for greyhound competitions, the Grain Feeds Select Stakes is the primary cup hosted at the stadium. It used to be known as the Waterford Glass Stakes, but that changed when the Waterford Glass Works began to suffer financial problems.