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Alliance expresses disappointment over Drumbo Park closure

Alliance Lisburn representatives have expressed disappointment after it was confirmed Drumbo Park Greyhound Stadium is to close with immediate effect.

Directors of the Lambeg venue said several factors were behind the decision, including local licensing laws, the impact of online gambling and a shortage of greyhounds. 

"There is no doubt this will have an impact on the local economy and my thoughts are with the 44 members of staff who are now out of a job," said Lagan Valley MLA Trevor Lunn. 

"Alliance has long been vocal in the campaign to have our licensing laws liberalised, advocating a more common sense approach to the issue. It is a long overdue step forward Northern Ireland needs to take and in light of this development, it should be a wake-up call for those opposed to reform. It is especially disappointing given a Bill leading to changes in the law was moving through the Assembly before the collapse of devolution." 

"I have met with Council officials this morning to ask we urgently clarify the status of the company, reach out to the owners of the venue and to Lisburn Distillery FC to ensure any assistance that can be given is made available," added Lisburn North Councillor Stephen Martin. 

"The staff affected, many of whom worked there for many years, need to be offered every possible assistance and not left to their own devices when the dust settles. The loss of a such a key tourism and social driver as Drumbo Park is a real blow for the local area and particularly to the greyhound industry here in Northern Ireland."