Irish racing given June 8 return date
Horse Racing Ireland chief executive Brian Kavanagh is pleased with the news that racing has been given the green light to start on June 8.
Kavanagh has expressed his delight after permission to restart Irish action behind closed doors on that date next month was approved.
It was originally thought racing may be delayed until late June but following consultation between HRI and the Irish Government, it has been agreed it can resume three weeks' earlier than planned, with strict protocols in place.
Kavanagh said: "We are grateful to be one of the sectors permitted to go back to work and acknowledge the responsibility on everybody in racing to ensure the events are run in a safe way.
"We know from our own experience in March when we safely ran 10 meetings behind closed doors - and from what is happening in other countries like France, Germany, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and America - that racing can be staged safely within the requirements of social distancing.
"With significant input from the IHRB's chief medical officer Dr Jennifer Pugh, we have strengthened the HRI Covid-19 protocols and so, while race fixtures will return in Ireland on June 8, they will be very different from what people will have experienced before."
The last meeting to take place in Ireland before the coronavirus-enforced shutdown was at Clonmel on March 24.
Aidan Perkins is a senior journalist that specialises in football stories. Aidan, a Liverpool fan, also has a broad knowledge of several other sports.