Once upon a time the town of Youghal was of both military and economic importance to the Republic of Ireland. That isn’t quite the case any more for a number of reasons, but the seaside resort, located in County Cork, still boasts a thriving greyhound stadium that is well worth a visit if you’re in the area. It’s reasonably close to the centre of the town and is one of the most Southernly stadiums on the entire Emerald Isle.
The fact that it’s so close the centre of Youghal town means that you can enjoy a day exploring the sites or lazing on the beach before cruising up to the stadium to watch some live greyhound action. If you’re a seasoned dog racing pro then you’ll appreciate the stadium for its history, having opened in 1948. If, on the other hand, you’ve never been to see greyhound action before, then you’ll love the fast-paced action and excitement, as well as the friendly welcome you’ll get here.
Youghal Greyhound Stadium Guide
Youghal Greyhound Stadium
Race Days & Times
If you’re hoping to head to Youghal Greyhound Stadium to see some racing then you’ve got a choice about when to go. If you’re the sort of person that enjoys a bit of a wild night, having a few drinks with friends and not having to worry about work the next day then Friday will be the night for you. If, however, you’re more of a sensible sally that wants to enjoy the business of the racing then Monday might be more up your alley.
Head to the stadium for about 6pm on a Monday evening and you’ll be able to get in with plenty of time to suss out what’s going on before the first race at 7pm. For the more party-minded amongst you, you’ll want to get to the venue at about 6.30pm on a Friday. You’ll then have over an hour to have a drink or bite to eat before Youghal Stadium’s first race gets underway at 7.45pm.
- Ticket Prices: If you’d like to get a ticket that includes a meal at the restaurant or some tasty bites to eat at the fast food areas then you’ll be able to find a good deal throughout most of the year. However, the general admission price is €10, which includes your Race Card.
- Getting There: Head along the N25 before making your way onto the R634 and you’ll soon find the stadium. There’s a bus stop right outside the venue where the 260 bus stops with another further along the road that also welcomes the number 40 bus. Youghal doesn’t have a train station, sadly.
- Parking: There’s an area that you wouldn’t call a car park, but it’s something of a dirt track where you can leave your car.
The Youghal Racing Company was formed in the mid-1940s with the aim of establishing a greyhound track for the town of Youghal. By 1948, their dream was a reality and, on the 30th of July that year, Youghal Greyhound Stadium opened its doors for the first time. The first ever race at the new ground was won by a dog called Hackles Spring. The Youghal Racing Company remained in charge of the venue until 1972 when the running of it was taken over by the Bord na gCon.
When the Bord na gCon took over the running of the stadium they also installed Finbarr Coleman as racing manager. He was famed for ensuring that the track’s appearance was always smart and proper, keeping the 464-yard circumference in good shape. Coleman remained in his place for three decades, retiring in 2002 and being replaced firstly by Brian Collins and then Pat Leahy. Neither could live up to the long-stint that Coleman had provided, and the only person who has come close in recent times is Kathleen Lennon. The daughter of the breeder and trainer Denny Lennon lasted from 2006 until 2012, but at that point, she took over at Kilcohan Park.
In 2012, the Irish Greyhound Board decided to plough around €100,000 into track improvements. At the same time, John McGrath took over as racing manager and commercial manager for the stadium. The improvements took two years to be completed, at which point Tom Hayes from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine officially opened the new look track. The changes, which included a new box for the judges, eventually cost in the region of €134,000. Small fry compared to the amount of money that Youghal Greyhound Stadium, in collaboration with Curraheen Park Stadium in Bishopstown raised for charity in 2015. Together they managed to help out charities, clubs and various good causes to the tune of €5 million.