Lifford Greyhound Stadium opened in 1959 in the town of Lifford, County Donegal. Nowadays, it is a state-of-the-art stadium that serves as the venue to head to for the greyhound racing loving fans of nearby areas, such as County Tyrone, County Derry and, of course, County Donegal itself.
Whilst the point of heading to Lifford Greyhound Stadium is obviously to watch the dog racing and maybe have a flutter or two, the venue offers so much more. As well as three different bars where you can buy a drink, there’s also an impressive five-star restaurant that is so good it often gets booked up up to three weeks in advance.
Lifford Greyhound Stadium
Race Days & Times
Unlike a lot of greyhound Stadiums, the Lifford venue doesn’t mess about when it comes to greyhound racing – there are just two nights when you can pop along. On Saturdays, the racing beings at 7.40pm, with the doors opening at 7pm. On a Sunday, it’s a 5.30pm opening for a 6pm start.
- Ticket Prices: Typically speaking, adults will be asked to pay €10 to enter the stadium, whilst senior citizens will pay €6. Students get in a little cheaper at €5 and children under-16 can get in for free. That price includes your Race Card.
- Getting There: The stadium is not far from the centre of Lifford, just off the N14 that is itself a continuation of the A38. Lifford Bus & Coach Station is less then ten minutes walk from the venue.
- Parking There is an impressively sized parking area outside the stadium, so if you’re driving then don’t worry too much about where you’re going to leave your car.
In 1959, a cattle dealer by the name of James Magee decided to convert a schooling track that he’d set up on his grazing land into a professional circuit. It had a 495-yard circumference and remained largely unchanged until he died in 1971. At that point, Magee’s sons, Seamus and Cathal, took over the running of it and built a new stand there.
The stadium remained under the control of the Magee family for the following three decades before the sons put it up for sale in 1991. Initially, there wasn’t much interest in it and they continued to own it until 2001. That was when three brothers named Hugh, Willie and Patrick Duffy decided to form the Lifford Greyhound Racing Company and purchased the track.
The trio immediately set about making major upgrades to the venue, spending in the region of €12 million fitting a brand new grandstand, installing two restaurants and also improving other facilities throughout the place. It officially re-opened on the 11th of September in 2003 when John O’Donoghue, the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, carried out the inauguration.
Taking a trip back in time to the when the stadium was still owned by James Magee, the main race was considered to be the Irwin Cup. It wasn’t a particularly prestigious event in the Irish racing calendar, however, and so another job that the Magee brothers took upon themselves was to find a way to get people interested in their track. Their solution was the introduction of the Abraham David Trophy in the mid-1970s.
Of course, the main draw of the Abraham David Trophy wasn’t the name of it, nor was it the shiny cup that winners were rewarded with at the end of the race. Instead, it was the significant prize money that the brothers put up for the victor that drew the crowds. A number of well-known dogs began their careers at Liford Greyhound Stadium as a result, including Yellow Printer, who even started his entire career as a puppy at the venue.