A day at the races

Jackie Maguire, CE, Meath County Council May 31st  2017

And another thing

I’m almost tempted to start this blog by writing, ‘…and another thing…’. That’s because every time I’m asked for reasons as to why someone should consider setting up a business in Meath my answer goes on forever. If you look at my other blogs you’ll see most of the ‘functional’ business reasons for making it Meath. We have the people, the infrastructure, the work ethic etc. But there is something else that is very important. Meath is a great place to live.

You’ve never seen the likes of this

Most likely only racing aficionados will know much about the Laytown Races. But the Laytown Races are indicative to me about the many opportunities there are for recreation across the county. Laytown is unique. There are no horse races run on a beach, under full Racing Rules, anywhere else in Europe (and I couldn’t find mention of strand racing anywhere else on Google). The Laytown Races are a spectacle unto themselves. And it’s typical Meath. Spectacular.

150 years in the making

The races themselves are determined by the tides and the next meeting is in early September, book-ending the Irish summer. Run every year since 1868 the these races will celebrate their 150th anniversary next year. And what a history the races have had over those years. And I’ve only just found out that Irish political hero Charles Stuart Parnell, the great Home Rule leader, was one of the first stewards of the strand races.

Quite unique

Meath is also about community and race day is a big community undertaking. A local committee checks everything from the a three acre field known as the ‘race field’; there are checks on the suitability of the strand itself and of course there are the logistics for race day itself. This includes the setting up of a racing enclosure, with parade ring, bookies pitches, judge’s box and temporary grand-strand erected. Marquees spring up to house the bar, restaurants, weigh rooms ambulance room and secretary’s office, all to serve up to 10,000 racegoers some years.

QED

There’s a tremendous work ethic in Meath. Towns like Navan have had a very rich and long industrial manufacturing history. With that work hard ethic comes a play hard attitude. People love to enjoy themselves. Like going to their unique race meetings and so, so much more. Meath; it really is a very special place to locate your business.