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Creed Publishes the Indecon Report of The Economic Review Of The Irish Harness Racing Sector

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., today published the Indecon Review of the Irish Harness Racing Sector.

Commenting on the Review, the Minister said;

I am delighted to be able to publish this report which will provide the sport with a road map for its potential development. From the outset, I can support the recommendations within my Department’s remit”.

Following a stakeholder consultation process and a review by Indecon, Minister Creed has accepted the Indecon report which includes the following recommendations:

  • that the responsibility for the operation of the Harness Racing industry in Ireland should be vested in the IHRA
  • the early implementation of IHRA plans to enhance their corporate goverance to align with best practice.
  • that the board of IHRA shoild develop a 5-year strategic plan for this sector.
  • That the Board of IHRA shouild identify funding requirements to support the expansion of the sector including the potential role of seed funding from the Exchequer.
  • that the pilot integration programme implemented should continue.

On foot of the report, Minister Creed announced that the Pilot integration programme will not only continue, but also be expanded.   This educational integration programme focuses on areas such as Horse Welfare, Rules and Regulations of Harness Racing, and Animal Husbandry inter alia.  

The Minister also voiced his support for the IHRA to be vested with the responsibility for the operation of the Harness Racing Industry in Ireland, subject to the agreement of relevant Harness Racing Clubs. 

The report can be found on the Department’s website at


Note for Editors

Following a discussion at the joint committee and the committee stage of the Horse Racing Ireland Bill 2016 it was agreed to proceed with a review of the sector. The review focussed on:

  • Assessing the value of the Harness Racing Sector’s contribution to the economic and social life of the Country.  
  • Assess the potential of the Harness Racing Sector to increase its contribution to the Irish economy.
  • Evaluating the current structure of the Irish Harness Racing Association (IHRA) as an organisation and deciding whether the board operates in accordance with best practice governance principles. Examining the size, skills make-up and method of appointment to the board to ensure it is best designed to ensure that the organisation operates efficiently.



Date Released: 01 November 2017