County Longford is slightly south of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Within the county is the town that it takes its name from, and within the town is a greyhound stadium that also shares its name. Longford Greyhound Stadium opened its doors to welcome punters for the first time back in 1939.
Greyhound racing is a thrilling activity that promises excitement and amusement. One of the best things about it is that you don’t need to bet in order to enjoy it, meaning that it truly is an activity for the whole family. That’s certainly the approach that they take at Longford with guests young and old welcomed into the venue with open arms.
Longford Greyhound Stadium
Race Days & Times
There’s some variation of racing taking place at the stadium virtually every single day of the week. In fact, only Thursdays and Saturdays are greyhound free at the time of writing. That said, most events are closed to the public apart from the racing itself. That takes place on both Fridays and Mondays.
Whether you’re heading to Longford Greyhound Stadium on a Monday or a Friday, doors open at 7pm. That’s because the racing gets underway at 8pm and the organisers want to give you an hour or so to find the bar, have a drink and grab a bite to eat if the mood takes you. The food and drink venues are open as long as the racing is taking place, though, so don’t feel you need to cram it all in in that first sixty minutes.
- Ticket Prices: For adults, it’s €8, whilst both senior citizens and students get a reduced price of €5.
- Getting There: Longford Greyhound Stadium can be found at the convergence of three main roads in the heart of Ireland. You can get on the N63, the N5 and the N4 and depending on where you’re coming from and which direction you’re driving in you’ll practically go past it. It’s a stone’s throw from Longford Train Station and buses NUG-4, 843, 22 and 23 all call within walking distance. If you’re in the centre of Longford itself, then it will take about ten minutes or so to walk to the venue.
- Parking: The stadium is serviced by a decent sized car park.
Longford Greyhound Stadium was an idea thought up by, amongst other people, a local businessman and pioneer by the name of M. J. Lyons. He built it with access from the town’s well-known Earl Street and it is arguably the closest greyhound track to the centre of the entire island of Ireland that you’ll find.
It is a relatively small track with a circumference of just 485 yards. This has never held it back, however, with the distances that are run on it being 525 yards, 550 yards, 750 yards and 805 yards. The size of the track, as well as its location in one of the less populated parts of the country, mean that it has struggled to make money in recent years. Racing manager Patrick Farrington and his voluntary committee worked hard to ensure the greyhounds have the best possible environment to run in and surface to run on.
Farrington replaced a long-term servant of the track in former racing manager Jim Conroy. Jim, along with the managing director John Dorris, helped the stadium to get a name for itself and over the years it hosted a number of races that had a degree of prestige. The Longford Derby and Longford Puppy Derby are both, as the name might suggest, still based at the stadium. Other races, such as the Padian Cup and Smithwicks 500, are no longer held here but were at one point or another over the years.
Despite its difficulties and the relative anonymity of the track when compared to more prestigious greyhound tracks, such as Dublin’s Shelbourne Park, a Scottish based owner of greyhounds named Howard Wallace bought the Park Road track in July of 2014.