Well known around the world as the home of Waterford Crystal, Ireland’s fifth most populous city also boasts an excellent greyhound stadium. Lying just outside the city centre of the south coast seaport, Kilcohan Park has been keeping the locals entertained ever since first opening for business in 1930.
Whilst the city of Waterford is the oldest in the whole of the Emerald Isle – having been established by the Vikings way back in 914 A.D – the track itself provides a thoroughly modern experience; facilities on offer including an excellent panoramic restaurant, various food facilities, and a selection of bars.
What’s On Offer at Waterford?
At present Waterford plays host to just one meeting per week, taking place on a punter-friendly Saturday evening. A hugely popular night out with the locals, gates open at 7pm, with the first of 11 races getting underway at 7:50pm, and the hare being set in motion for the last of the action at 10:20pm.
- Sprint Distance – 300y
- Middle Distances – 500y – 525y (standard) – 550y
- Stayers Distance – 730y
- Marathon Distance – 790y
What Can You Expect?
Currently owned and operated by Greyhound Racing Ireland, Kilcohan Park follows the same pricing policy as the majority of the company’s tracks. That means that standard admission is priced at €10 for adults, with students and OAPs receiving a discounted rate of €5. All children under the age of 14 gain entry free of charge.
Rather than standard entry, many value-conscious racegoers opt for the cracking value “Punters Pack” deal. Consisting of entry, race card, a fast-food meal, and an alcoholic or soft drink, this €18 package is understandably popular with Saturday night patrons. This deal is available to groups of six or more and must be booked and paid for in advance.
“Summer Family Deal”
The track also does its bit to encourage racegoers to bring the whole family along, courtesy of the “Summer Family Deal” which is available during the warmer months of the year. This offer includes entry for two adults and two children, a couple of race cards, two adult meals, and two meals for the kids – all for only €44.50.
Larger parties of 10 or more may wish to take advantage of the €20 per person finger food restaurant deal, which includes entry, race card and reserved table – complete with bar and betting table service – and a tasty selection of finger food sharing platters.
Or for more of a sit-down meal experience, a table in the Masters Restaurant can be booked at a cost of €20 per head – a price which includes entry and race card, with all food and drinks being ordered on the night. As a parting gift, the track will then deduct €20 from the total bill at the point of payment, essentially making the entrance, race card and your table “free”.
How to Get There
The stadium address is: Waterford Greyhound Race Company, Kilcohan Park, Waterford, X91 Y663. The main approach roads to Waterford are the M9 and the N25, with the track then lying midway between the R708 and Old Tranmore Road. Parking is unlikely to prove an issue as there is a good-sized car park located just outside the stadium.
Plunkett Train station is the closest to the track and sits on the northern edge of the town centre, around a 40-minute walk, or 15-minute taxi ride from the venue. Alternatively, the local bus services of the W2, 602, 610 and 736 all stop within walking distance of the stadium.
How to Get in Touch
- Tel: – +353 51 364 200
- Email: – email@example.com
- Twitter: – @kilcohanstadium
What Else Do I Need to Know?
The site initially opened on the 2nd of November 1930, and originally operated as dual-purpose football and greyhound racing stadium. In those early days, indeed for more than 60 years, Waterford FC played their home games on a pitch contained within the greyhound circuit. The football club remained in residence until switching to Waterford Regional Sports Centre, as recently as 1993.
With Waterford FC having the most successful period in their history during the 1960s and 70s, Kilcohan Park is one of only a handful of greyhound tracks to have also hosted European Cup football matches. One for the trivia fans there!
Moving back to the greyhound side of things, the track initially operated as an independent or “flapping” track under the guidance of manager Mr J McGrath. A change in ownership then came in 1947, with the track transferring into the hands of Mr J Mulhall and the Irish Coursing Club (ICC) – staging its first meeting under ICC rules in May 1947.
The track’s signature event of the Grains Feed Select Stakes (formerly Waterford Glass Select Stakes) then made its debut in 1965, helping to attract a greater class of dog to the stadium.
Improvements to the Track
The rules of racing may have changed, but the facilities at the track itself remained largely unaltered until 1978. Recognising the need for improvements, the Waterford Greyhound Racing Company financed the building of a new trackside restaurant, greatly improving the race-day experience.
The 1980s represented a difficult time for the Waterford area, with mass redundancies at the Waterford Glass Works having a huge impact on the disposable income in the city. Kilcohan Park was understandably hit hard by this development but managed to soldier on and survive under sensible management.
Greyhound Racing Ireland
Moving closer to the present day, the venue joined the Greyhound Racing Ireland (GRI) roster in 2002, effectively securing the immediate future of the track. Eager to make the best of their new purchase, GRI have invested significantly in the facilities – creating a far more dog-friendly circuit, and pumping £3.5m into the building of an extension to the Masters Restaurant and the Barkers Bar area. Boasting quality racing and facilities to match, this southern track is well worth a look.