After six years at the helm of Killarney Racecourse and Ross Golf Course, Gerard Coughlan has stepped down as Chairman of Killarney Race Company, however he will remain an active Director on the Board of Management.
Leading property consultant, Billy O’Sullivan who has served as Vice Chairman for the duration of Coughlan’s term will take over the role of Chairman.
Over the last six years, Gerard Coughlan has embraced a great deal of change and unprecedented uncertainty. During this period his commitment has been unwavering as he guided Killarney Race Company through testing times and the business has not only survived but thrived as a result.
Incoming Chairman, Billy O’Sullivan has served on the board at Killarney Race Company for 15 years. A keen golfer and horse racing enthusiast, he is eager to hit the ground running in his new role. “I am very much looking forward to working with the team and my fellow board members to build on the achievements of recent years. I would like to thank our outgoing Chairman Gerard Coughlan and former company secretary Con O’Mahony in particular for their sterling work and dedication. In recent years we have expended in excess of €10m on capital development projects to enhance our offering at Killarney Racecourse. In 2022, we hosted 13 days of quality race days with €1.68m in prize money which encompassed 1200 runners, over 91 races. We as a team are ambitious to build on the quality of our racing, increase prizemoney and the overall racegoer experience at Killarney.” said O’Sullivan.
From a racing perspective in 2022, Killarney celebrated its bi-centenary year of horse racing in the beautiful town, an incredible feat for any sporting entity. The track has never been in better condition having produced two Epsom Derby winners in Wings of Eagles and Anthony Van Dyke in recent years. The racecourse facilities have also been enhanced tremendously with a new Parade Ring, a complete new build of the Stable Yard, the opening of The Panoramic Restaurant and Corporate Suite as well as enhancements to the Maurice O’Donoghue Stand.
The golf course and golf aspect of the business has also enjoyed improvements during this period with an improved membership offering. Ross Golf Club has a growing active membership with almost 350 members in 2022 across all categories.
Killarney Race Company is a flourishing commercial enterprise and hospitality facility located in the heart of Killarney Town incorporating corporate offices and meeting facilities, a stunning 9-hole golf course, Iguana Coffee House, Nave Yoga Studio and Celtic Steps Theatre.
The most recent capital project has been the opening of the impressive new aesthetic entrance to Killarney Racecourse and Ross Golf Course.
Outgoing Chairman Gerard Coughlan said “I am delighted to hand the reins over to Billy, it has been a tough few years without crowds at our track for almost two years but we have pulled through the pandemic well and maintained a healthy balance sheet.
Billy’s family have been steeped in the history of the town, in fact his grandfather Dr. Bill O’Sullivan Snr. was one of our founders. Billy and wife Hilary and their grown-up family live in Dublin but spend a great deal of time in Killarney, have a home here which they regularly frequent and they are very much part of the fabric of the local and sporting community here. Billy will be a wonderful asset to Killarney Race Company as Chairman and I look forward to continuing to work with him at board level.”
With 4 racing festivals to look forward to in 2023 in May, July, August and October it is a really exciting time at Ireland’s most scenic racecourse. For further information visit www.killarneyraces.ie.