Greyhound board in talks over €21m loan for Limerick stadium

Bord na gCon in discussion with AIB in relation to financing

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Greyhound board in talks over €21m loan for Limerick stadium

Limerick Greyhound Stadium

THE GREYHOUND board, Bord na gCon, has recently entered talks with AIB in relation to a €21m loan which financed the construction of its stadium on the Dock Road, the Minister for Agriculture has confirmed.

Minister Michael Creed was responding to queries by Fianna Fáil TD Mary Butler, when he announced that the greyhound board had reduced its debt by €2m between 2015 and 2016, and that it had recently entered negotiations with AIB to “restructure its loan facility”.

Bord na gCon told the Minister that bank loans relating to the Greenpark stadium were agreed with AIB on June 24, 2009.

“These facilities involved granting security to Allied Irish Bank over assets held at Waterford, Limerick and Shelbourne Park in Dublin,” Minister Creed said earlier this month.

According to news reports, the total bank debt is €21.5m.

In 2014, Senator Kieran O’Donnell, when he served on the Public Accounts Committee, made claims that Bord na gCon could have saved the taxpayer millions if it hadn’t taken “the scenic route” in purchasing the site.

This follows a damning report published in October 2014, which cast serious doubts on whether the complex should ever have been built.

The 45-page report by the Comptroller and Auditor General, which was presented to the Dáil, stated that the project approval was given the go-ahead without the benefit of a capital project appraisal, comparing the costs of the project with the expected benefits.

Limerick greyhound racing previously took place at Markets Field, now the sporting residence of Limerick Football Club.

Bord na gCon’s headquarters was also previously based on Henry Street.

Minister Creed said that a 2014 Indecon Report identified a number of assets to dispose of, and that the Henry Street office had been disposed of.