“Personality of the year” award for fined greyhound trainer

21 Dec

A greyhound trainer fined after a greyhound tested positive for a prohibited substance has been awarded “Irish Greyhound Review Personality of the Year”.

Paul Hennessy was fined €200 in February when a urine sample taken from “Tailteann Ace” at Shelbourne Park track “returned an adverse analytical finding for the prohibited substance Hydroxylated Metabolite of Pentobarbital.”

Hennessy was presented with the “Personality of the Year” award by Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Andrew Doyle, alongside Irish Greyhound Board Chairman Phil Meaney and IGB CEO Gerard Dollard – see photo at https://www.igb.ie/talking-dogs/hennessy-the-personality-of-the-year/ A report on the Irish Greyhound Board website notes that the award is the third time that Hennessy has been “honoured” as the personality of the year but, not surprisingly, there is no reference to the adverse analytical finding or fine.

Last year’s winner of the “Personality of the Year” award was Graham Holland – the trainer whose dog Clonbrien Hero tested positive for cocaine during the summer.

In imposing the latest fine to Paul Hennessy, the Irish Greyhound Board Control Committee noted “Mr Hennessy’s previous offence before the Control Committee”.

As reported by the Irish Independent in 2007, Hennessy – described as one of Ireland’s most successful trainers – was “fined more than €4,000 for possession of performance-enhancing drugs” after he “pleaded guilty to seven sample counts of possession of unauthorised animal remedies at the District Court in Kilkenny.”

The same year, the Independent highlighted that “a greyhound which failed a drugs test in England has been nominated for Ireland’s ‘Greyhound of the Year’ awards by a Bord na gCon judging panel. Trained by Paul Hennessy, Heart Rumble tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone when running in a puppy event at Sunderland.”

The year before, the Irish Examiner reported that “Kilkenny-based Mr Hennessy was fined €1,000 by greyhound racing’s control board in November for running a dog, Barefoot Jenny, which had been given the banned substance EPO.”

MEDIA QUOTES

“A greyhound which failed a drugs test in England has been nominated for Ireland’s ‘Greyhound of the Year’ awards by a Bord na gCon judging panel. Trained by Paul Hennessy, Heart Rumble tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone when running in a puppy event at Sunderland.” (Dog that failed drug test up for Bord award, Irish Independent, April 3rd, 2007)

A top millionaire greyhound trainer has been fined more than €4,000 for possession of performance-enhancing drugs. Paul Hennessy, of Rathbaun, Garryduff, Gowran, Co Kilkenny, is one of Ireland’s most successful trainers and earned €2.6m from the sport in the past six years. Yesterday, he pleaded guilty to seven sample counts of possession of unauthorised animal remedies at the District Court in Kilkenny. He had bought the drugs from an Australian internet site called Nature Vet. The substances were seized at the top trainer’s premises in Gowran, when it was visited by a Special Investigation Unit of the Department of Agriculture on April 28, 2005. (Top greyhound trainer fined for drugs haul, Irish Independent, February 6 2007)

Kilkenny-based Mr Hennessy was fined €1,000 by greyhound racing’s control board in November for running a dog, Barefoot Jenny, which had been given the banned substance EPO. The case was never publicised by the Irish Greyhound Board. This prompted its chief executive, Aidan Tynan, to last week complain to the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism that the board’s chairman, Paschal Taggart, had ensured that the drug abuse case was not put in the public domain, contrary to established policy. Mr Tynan was fired on Thursday by the board. (Irish Examiner, 28 January 2006)

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