The racing mad nation of Ireland may be more famous for its equine action, but the Emerald Isle also boasts a total of 17 greyhound tracks. One of which lies in the centrally located town of Thurles, not too far from the horse racing venue of the same name.
Situated opposite the famous Gaelic Sports venue of Semple Stadium, Thurles Greyhound Stadium has been providing the locals with exciting racing action ever since it first opened for business back in 1948. Boasting a panoramic glass-fronted restaurant, fast food facilities and two bars, the stadium provides everything you need for a cracking night out at the dogs.
What’s On Offer at Thurles?
Thurles certainly isn’t the busiest venue on the Irish scene, with the track laying on just one fixture per week. The scheduling of that solitary meeting is at least punter friendly though, with the Saturday evening slot going some way to ensuring an excellent attendance and atmosphere. Gates open at around 6:30pm ahead of the 10-race card, with the first getting underway at 7:35pm, and the hare being set in motion for the last at 9:50pm.
- Circuit Length – 509y
- Sprint Distance – 330y – 360y
- Middle Distances – 525y (standard) – 550y – 570y
- Stayers Distance – 600y – 750y
- Marathon Distance – 840y – 1035y
What Can You Expect?
Standard admission at Thurles is priced at €10 for adults and €5 for students, with all children under the age of 15 going free. General admission affords access to the trackside viewing area, fast food facilities, and two excellent bars – both of which provide great views of the racing action.
Special Offers & Promotions
In addition to the standard entry, the stadium may occasionally offer special offers and promotions throughout the year, with the best advice being to consult the track’s official website for information on the latest deals.
Sit-down meal options are also available in the tiered, glass-fronted restaurant on the first floor. Racegoers are welcome to book a table on the evening but, in order to secure a slot, it may be advisable to get in touch with the track in advance, via one of the contact methods detailed below.
How to Get There
The stadium address is Thurles Greyhound Stadium, Townpark, Thurles, County Tipperary. UK fans making the trip from the British mainland must first make it across the Irish Sea, with the most convenient option being the Holyhead to Dublin ferry crossing.
Thurles Train Station welcomes frequent services from Dublin and lies only around a 10-minute walk from the stadium. The Tipperary bus services of the 393, 394, 395, 396, 397 and 812 all also stop within Thurles Town Centre, around a 15-minute walk from the venue.
For those travelling by car, the track is easily reached via the N62, N75, R660 and R498. Upon arrival at the stadium, motorists will find a 400-capacity car park available, priced at €5 per vehicle. Do note, however, that the car park also acts as an overflow facility for Semple Stadium. Be sure to arrive early whenever a greyhound fixture clashes with a major event at the GAA venue.
How to Get in Touch
- Tel: – 050 421 003
- Email: – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Twitter: – @ThurlesDogs
What Else Do I Need to Know?
Located in the Townpark region, just to the northwest of Thurles town centre, the stadium first opened its doors on the 13th of September, 1948 – initially going by the name of Townpark Greyhound Stadium.
An immediate hit with the locals, the track also drew plenty of praise from greyhound owners and trainers, with the extensive 509-yard circumference, and galloping nature of the track providing a very fair test. Albeit a pretty stiff one, as the surface at Thurles is a little slower than at many other Irish venues.
Prestigious Races Added
Thanks to its growing reputation within the sport, the track soon began to attract an above-average standard of performer, with early racing highlights, including the Tipperary Cup, Guinness 575, Champion Bitch Stakes and Puppy Stakes.
In 1962, Thurles then gained one of the most prestigious contests in the sport, when selected as the new venue for the Irish Grand National. Ireland’s biggest hurdles race remained at the Townpark site until making the switch to Shelbourne in 1985.
Thurles Greyhound Racing & Sports Association Ltd
Owned and operated by Thurles Greyhound Racing & Sports Association Ltd throughout its lifetime, the track had long-serving manager, Eammon Burke, to thank for much of its early success. Eventually stepping into retirement, Burke was succeeded by Paul Hayes who continued the good work of his predecessor.
In 2011, Hayes oversaw the first significant refurbishment of the track in some time, with works including an extension of the main grandstand to facilitate a more expansive bar and events area.
In addition to the quality racing programme – which still includes the long-running events of the Tipperary Cup and Champion Bitch Stakes – the track also acts as a popular venue for conferences, stag and hen dos and other events, lending it a prominent role in the Tipperary social and sporting scene.