Clonmel is gearing up for the annual influx of coursing fans this weekend for the National Coursing Festival at Powerstown Park.
The three day event over Saturday, Sunday and Monday is expected to attract thousands to the town and provide a huge econimc boost at an otherwise quiet time of the year.
It is estimated that the event could be worth €5m to the town.
Clonmel is the mecca for coursing enthusiasts with greyhounds qualifying at events througout the country in recent months to get through to the finals at Powerstown Park.
And there is an added local interest this year with three dogs from the Irishtown area of Clonmel competing for the top prize, the Derby.
Mayor of Clonmel, Martin Lonergan, said he looked forward to welcoming all the visitors to Clonmel, many of them returning on an annual pilgrimage.
He paid glowing tribute to the Irish Coursing Club for its organisation of the event and keeping the festival to the forefront of Irish sporting attractions.
And he commended the club for its ongoing concern for hare conservation that makes the sport so unique.
“Without the efforts of the clubs and members, the hare population would be without the significant layer of protection it enjoys today from the hare husbandry initiatives afforded by coursing clubs on a 12 month basis”, he remarked.