A FORMER director of Limerick Greyhound Stadium says he had no option but to resign as his position on the board was undermined by the parent company, Bord na gCon.
Tom Ryan was one of four directors who tendererd their resignation from the board of the Greyhound Stadium last week.
Dave Casey, Richie Crehan and chairman, Brendan Moore also resigned after decisions made by the board of directors at last month’s meeting were overturned.
As well as tendering his resignation, Mr Casey has also withdrawn the sponsorship his company, Limerick Brakes, provided for events at Limerick Greyhound Stadium.
According to the Irish Examiner, he said the parent board had given unsatisfactory answers to questions it was asked.
“Basically, it seemed that whatever we as a board decided to do in Limerick could be changed at a whim by track management or by the Irish Greyhound Board,” said Mr Casey.
Up until last week’s resignations, the Limerick Greyhound Stadium had a board of 14 members, including dual directors of the parent company.
The stadium has been struggling financially since it opened in 2010.
It is understood that operating losses doubled in 2011 and were in excess of €250,000 last year.
The growing losses were despite original projections that the state-of-the-art facility, which cost €23m to construct, would generate annual profits of around €500,000.
Speaking to the Leader this Wednesday, Tom Ryan – who has been associated with the greyhound industry for more than 40 years –said he had no alternative but to resign as a director of Limerick Greyhound Stadium.
He strongly criticised Bord na gCon after it overturned all of the decisions made by the board at its February meeting.
“In actual fact, it was a real slap in the face for our aims and our efforts and our work and also it was a bigger kick-in-the-backside to local greyhounds owners and breeders who have put in a huge effort and who were a very very progressive outfit,” he said..
Mr Ryan claimed he was never informed of the decision of Bord na gCon to overrule the board’s decisions and that he only learned of it a number of days later.
“It is an uphill battle in the current climate but Limerick is the most modern track in the world and we [the former directors] were very enthusiastic about it and we were prepared to put an awful lot of work into it,” added Mr Ryan, who stressed that the directors were not paid for serving on the board.
A spokesperson for Bord na gCon said it had no commment to make on the resignations.