Management at Punchestown Racecourse has reminded the public that the entire site will be closed to the general public from and including Friday 23 April to Monday 3 May as the 2021 Punchestown festival gets underway.
This closure is necessary for the health and safety of the public and participants involved in what is categorized as an elite sporting event. In addition, half of the famous Punchestown venue has been taken over by the HSE as both a Covid-19 testing and vaccination centre. Therefore the site is going to become increasingly busy in the coming weeks with people travelling to the HSE Covid-19 centres along with racecourse machinery in operation.
It was over a year ago that Conor O’Neill, CEO Punchestown Racecourse, opened the gates of the privately owned venue so the public could enjoy and avail of the grounds as a safe outdoor recreational space. Since then the popularity of Punchestown for walking and recreation has grown beyond expectation and as a result presented some serious challenges for the racecourse team. Whilst the majority of visitors adhere to the simple rules that are requested there are some serious issues with waste, dogs off leads and a lack of cooperation with racecourse staff that may jeopardise the availability of the venue to the community going forward.
Conor O’Neill said: “Punchestown is a very special place and is close to the heart of so many people and we are glad to see so many members of the local community enjoy it as much as we do. We see it as a very beneficial asset to the local community and we want that to continue. The setting is beautiful and unique however we must remember that it is essentially a working site the very same as a farm or a factory campus. Over the coming weeks the track team will be extremely busy preparing what is an internationally renowned racecourse for one of the biggest sporting events in Ireland and the UK. Couple this with increased traffic flow to the HSE Covid-19 testing and vaccination centres and the Punchestown site becomes extremely active."