Dick Sheil, General Manager of Fairyhouse Racecourse, today announced his intention to resign his positionn with effect from October 31 this year. 

Doneraile native Sheil, a graduate of Warrenstown Agricultural College and UCD, was appointed to the Fairyhouse job in 1999.

He had previously been an area manager for stainless steel and drainage firm Richmond Trading Company.

Sheil commented today: "I have enjoyed the challenges presented by the redevelopment of Fairyhouse, but feel that now is the right time to move on to other challenges. 

"While Fairyhouse has had a couple of difficult years, its future is now bright under the ownership of Horse Racing Ireland (HRI)." 

"I wish Brian Kavanagh and his team every success for the future. I would also particularly like to thank the staff of Fairyhouse for all the support I have received from them in the past."

HRI Chief Executive Brian Kavanagh said "Dick Sheil has served Fairyhouse Club well for over seven years, overseeing eight Irish Grand National meetings. 

"Fairyhouse probably achieved the best value for money of all the premier racecourses with its last development and together with the long term sponsorship of the Grand National by Irish Distillers, this is a tremendous tribute to Dick. 

"I thank him for all his efforts in the past, appreciate his desire to move on and wish him well in the future."

Ownership of Fairyhouse was switched from the Fairyhouse Club Ltd to Horse Racing Ireland in October 2005 after the course reportedly lost E125,000 in 2003-4 and between E300,000 and E400,000 the following year.

Management had hoped to build a hotel on the Fairyhouse site to increase revenue, but HRI, which had a right of veto prior to its complete takeover, did not allow this to happen.