PAC to probe purchase of lands for Limerick Greyhound Stadium

Colm Ward

Reporter:

Colm Ward

Under scrutiny: Limerick Greyhound Stadium
The purchase of lands for Limerick Greyhound Stadium will come under scrutiny when Bord na gCon appear before the Dail Public Accounty Committee this Thursday.

The purchase of lands for Limerick Greyhound Stadium will come under scrutiny when Bord na gCon appear before the Dail Public Accounty Committee this Thursday.

The meeting will also consider the knock-on impact of the cost overruns of the project on the financial position of the commercial state body, which is responsible for the promotion and regulation of greyhound racing in Ireland.

A recent report raised a number of concerns in relation to risk, financial and project management processes in relation to the €21 million project.

The committee will also seek reassurance in relation to the ability of the board to repay debts of €22.8m.

Committee chairman John McGuinness said: “The development of Limerick Greyhound Racing Stadium led to significant costs being incurred by Bord na gCon that could have been avoided if adequate risk, financial and project management processes had been in place during the development process.

“At tomorrow’s meeting the PAC will wish to explore how €1.6 million of the €1.75 million paid for the Meelick site has been written off, primarily due to access issues that had been foreseen by a consultant’s report prior to the purchase.

“A further €1.4 million in costs has been incurred by Bord na gCon in relation to site filling at the Greenpark site, which was originally to be provided by the vendor at no cost to Bord na gCon.

“The Committee will wish to examine how responsibility in relation to filling the Greenpark site shifted from the vendor to Bord na gCon.

“The Committee will also seek answers on why to the Bord agreed to contribute €1.17 million for a car park on the Greenpark site that they weren’t going to own.”

He pointed out that the development of the greyhound stadium had led to a doubling of Bord na gCon borrowings, which amounted to €22.8m at the end of 2012.

“The Committee will seek assurances on the ability of the company to repay its debts. We will also explore progress in the sale of Bord na gCon assets to bring these worrying debt levels down,” Mr McGuinness added