Progressive Budget For Irish Racing

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It was budget day in Ireland on Tuesday and it heralded good news for Irish racing as the Minister For Agriculture Michael Creed announced a Government grant of almost €64m to the racing industry in 2017. It represents the largest contribution made by Government to racing, exceeding the previous peak figure of €62.6m pledged in 2008. This Government support, which is €4.8m more than was received in 2016 is very positive news for Horse Racing Ireland who administer racing's finances. As the contribution has steadily grown in recent years HRI's focus has been to increase Irish prizemoney while also reducing the costs associated with being an owner, whilst also supporting racecourses in their attempt to improve the facilities on offer to Irish racegoers. This news should provide further impetus to these endeavors and ultimately lead to a more vibrant sport and industry. The budget is also good news for HRI in a week when it's chairman Joe Keeling and other HRI board members are being called to sit before an Oireachtas (Special Government) committee on Thursday over their handling of HRI chief executive Brian Kavanagh's contract extension. Kavanagh has served two seven year terms as HRI CEO and was recently granted a third term of five years despite it being contra to Government regulations over the employment of CEOs of semi-state organisations.

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