Unless you are from the area or know the intricacies of the Emerald Isle incredibly well, you may not have heard of the town of Mullingar. Located in the County of Westmeath, it’s about as close to the centre of the island of Ireland that you can get. Not far from the town centre is Mullingar Greyhound Stadium, which opened in 1932.
As with plenty of other greyhound stadiums, Mullingar is popular not only with the traditional race goers and seasoned bettors but also with hen parties and stag dos. It is very much a place to head to if you want to have a fun night full of laughter, excitement and even the opportunity to win some money. Owing to its proximity to the town centre, you can even spend your day checking out the sights of Mullingar before heading in for the racing.
Mullingar Greyhound Stadium
Race Days & Times
Racing at Mullingar is very much a weekend activity. The good news is that it’s on at different times, so you can pick and choose the best option for you depending on when you’re free. You can head to see the greyhounds in action on either a Saturday or a Sunday.
If you’re going on a Saturday then you’ll be able to enter the venue from 6.30pm. That will give you just over an hour to have a drink or a bite to eat (or both!), with the first race starting at about 7.40pm or 7.50pm. If you don’t want to go in an evening then the Sunday racing will be perfect for you. The doors open at 1.30pm and the first race starts at 3.15pm.
- Ticket Prices: It will cost you €10 to get into Mullingar on a Saturday evening if you’re an adult, though that price does include your Race Card. It’s free admission on a Sunday, however, so that’s the perfect time to go if you want to get a feel for what it’s all about.
- Getting There: If you’re driving, then you’ll want to get onto the N52 or the N4 – both of which will take you in the right direction. The stadium is actually located on the R400, so keep your eyes peeled for that. Mullingar Train Station is around ten minutes walk away. Buses don’t exactly stop close to the venue but if you get the 22, 23, 70, 115, 121 or 447 then it will take you within walking distance.
- Parking: Parking is very limited near to the stadium with on-street probably being the best option.
The location for a greyhound stadium in Mullingar was selected as a spot to the west of the R400 and North of Newbrook Road. With that decided, the venue was built and it opened its doors for the inaugural meeting on the 16th of August in 1932. The racing manager back then was a man named Billy Bligh. Billy had made a name for himself in 1927 when his dog, Splonk, won one of the races on the opening night of Dublin’s racecourse, Shelbourne Park. Somewhat remarkably, he remained in his post until the 1978, overseeing some big changes to the facilities at the venue.
During the 1950s, it was decided that the bends of the track should be banked. This was because the site had a somewhat unusual shape to its 455-metre circumference, so it was hoped that the banking of the bends would compensate for it. In 1972, the track was the recipient of a brand new stand an a new clubhouse, meaning that this somewhat provincial, small town venue became one of the best greyhound stadium’s outside Ireland’s capital. In 1978, after 46 years of service, Billy Bligh handed the racing manager reigns over to Peter Kenny.
The Mullingar Greyhound Racing Company has invested a decent amount of money into the stadium in recent years. One of the biggest changes that has taken place is the opening of a first-class restaurant in the grandstand with enough room for 130 seated guests. As a result of the improvements, Mullingar was granted a classic race in 2001 when the Cesarewitch moved there following the closing of Navan’s Boyne Valley Greyhound Stadium. The Cesarewitch joined other races, such as the Midland Puppy Stakes, the Midland St. Leger and the Joe Clyne Memorial race.