Trial Stakes underway as ‘bigger and better’ Con & Annie Kirby Memorial 2019 is marked at Limerick’s Gaelic Grounds
The countdown to the Con & Annie Kirby Memorial Stake 2019 is now well underway.
The past six years of the competition have seen Limerick GAA clubs share in the event fund, with each of the 72 greyhounds in the event assigned to a GAA club.
This year, the event has been extended, with 24 ladies football, camogie and handball clubs being assigned greyhounds in four trial stake races in Limerick. The winners of these four races qualify for the first round of the event, which gets underway on Saturday, March 23rd.
Two greyhounds – Rallying Star (assigned to Ballylanders Ladies Football Club) and Deadly Storm (assigned to Adare Ladies Football Club) qualified from the first two trial stakes this weekend, with the two other stakes scheduled to take place in the coming weeks.
The winning greyhound’s assigned GAA club win a nominator prize of €10,000 and a free benefit night at Limerick Greyhound Stadium.
The Pat-Buckley trained Droopys Davy won last year’s event, with Cappagh GAA taking home the spoils.
The beginning of the 2019 event was marked with the six previous winning clubs – Monagea GAA (2013), Galbally GAA (2014), Fr. Casey’s GAA (2015), Bruree GAA (2016), Ahane GAA (2017) and Cappagh GAA (2018) – being celebrated at the Gaelic Grounds during half time of the National Hurling League clash between Limerick and Cork.
CEO of the Irish Greyhound Board, Gerard Dollard, commented: “The Con & Annie Kirby is a wonderful highlight of the Irish greyhound racing calendar. The generous support of Noreen & JP McManus cannot be underestimated. The event gets bigger and better every year, particularly this year with the very welcome addition of ladies football, camogie and handball clubs from across Limerick. The Kirby is a winning combination of two great Limerick passions – greyhound racing and GAA – and we look forward to the 2019 event being one of the most exciting Kirby Stakes yet.”
Sponsored by Noreen and JP McManus in honour of her parents, Con & Annie Kirby, the competition has the biggest prize fund in Ireland after the Irish Greyhound Derby, with a total fund of €160,000.
The Kirby Memorial Stake will run for five consecutive Saturdays at Limerick Greyhound Stadium from Saturday, March 23rd, with the final taking place on Easter Saturday, April 20th.
Photo caption (free to use): Pictured at the Gaelic Grounds celebrating the beginning of the Con & Annie Kirby Memorial Stake 2019: Noel Earlie, Walter Shanahan & Paul Foley (Martinstown), Ger Dollard (CEO, Irish Greyhound Board), Seamus McNamara (Vice Chairman, Limerick County Board), Frank Reidy (Munster Council), Dan Flynn (Limerick Advisory Council) with Rallying Star (Kirby Trial Stake winner), Liam Herlihy (Monagea GAA, 2013 winners), Ger Cussen (Galbally GAA, 2014 winners), Gerard O Connor (Fr. Casey’s GAA, 2015 winners), Paul Crotty (Bruree GAA, 2016 winners), Colm Barry (Ahane GAA, 2017 winners) & Mike Sheehan (Cappagh GAA, 2018 winners). Photo: Michael Cowhe