PUNCHESTOWN racecourse could be closed as an amenity to the public unless all visitors start observing rules.
Dog owners who allow their pets to run free (despite warning notices at the entrance) have come under fire.
Racecourse management say dog owners are not allowed to use the facility as an open air toilet for the animals, which also pose a serious threat to other walkers in the area.
Now management intend appointing volunteer stewards who will monitor the behaviour of walkers and liaise between management and visitors.
“All dogs must be kept on a lead, all droppings must be picked up and no rubbish is to be left” said racing manager Richard Galway.
He also pointed that the racecourse is closed to walkers on race or event days.
“We are not looking to stop access, which is an important part of what Punchestown is about.”
However the racecourse is dealing with a possible legal case initiated by woman who claimed she damaged a car wheel rim driving out the main avenue.
“She subsequently sought compensation for the damage to her car and this is in the hands of our insurers with the possibility of it coming before the small claims court.
Punchestown management is keen to defend the action but a successful claim “will obviously force a review of access procedures,” said Mr. Galway.
- Paul O’Meara