In what she describes as an unjustified attack on livelihoods in rural Ireland, Independent TD for Wexford, Deputy Verona Murphy has heavily criticized the government’s decision to suspend Point to Point racing and hare coursing while failing to provide supports to those affected.
Speaking from her office Deputy Murphy explained:
“On Christmas Eve, without warning or consultation, the government decided to suspend coursing, while only two weeks ago the shock news was announced that Point to Point racing had also been ordered to close. It is very disappointing that the government appear to have given no explanation of their sudden change of mind regarding the status of both sports.”
Deputy Murphy further elaborated on the impact the decision will have and the importance of the Point to Point Industry for Co. Wexford:
“In relation to Point to Pointing, the ability of owners and handlers to be able to run horses, sell them and then use the sales revenue to purchase 3 years olds for next season is vital to the continued prosperity of the National Hunt industry in Ireland. County Wexford is the world leader in terms of point-to-point racing and employs thousands of people countrywide.”
Deputy Murphy concluded:
“The government appear to have no plan to support or compensate for the losses incurred by those who rely on the industry to make their living. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Tánaiste last week if supports would be provided to the sector and the Tánaiste admitted that he didn’t know. This is totally unacceptable. Point to Pointing proceeded successfully from October to December. They have a proven track record of being able to hold their events safely.”