Point-to-point racing will resume on April 10, according to the government’s revised public health guidelines announced yesterday (Tuesday, March 30), confirms TD Jackie Cahill.
Although there will be certain restrictions on point-to-point racing, the move to recommence these events has been welcomed by Cahill, who is the chairperson of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
The Tipperary TD had been calling for point-to-point racing to return and had, in recent days, written to both Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue, calling for its resumption.
The TD had pointed to the financial implications for those involved in the industry if it did not return to operation in some form.
This announcement will provide some relief to the point-to-point industry.
“I have been inundated with calls and emails since restrictions were imposed on this industry in early January,” Cahill said.
The Fianna Fáil deputy added: “These are ordinary people the length and breadth of the country who are relying on point-to-point meetings going ahead this year to make a living.
“There are huge numbers of people all across this country who are interlinked and dependent on races going ahead to make sales and make a livelihood,” he added.
Today’s news means that more races will be permitted to go ahead. It means that those in the industry will have the opportunity to showcase their horses and make sales.
According to Cahill, the recent Irish success at the Cheltenham racing festival backed up the calls for point-to-point to return.
Cahill noted that, under the new arrangements, an agreement with Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) will see an increased number of races going ahead.