High Court dismisses greyhound owner’s application for judicial review

13 Nov
The High Court has dismissed a Tipperary greyhound owner/trainer’s application for a judicial review of a decision taken by the Control Appeal Committee of the Irish Greyhound Board.
 
Irish Legal News is reporting today: “The Appeal Committee had dismissed the man’s appeal against a finding that a prohibited substance was present in three of his greyhounds. Refusing to quash the decision taken by the [IGB] Appeal Committee, Ms Justice Miriam O’Regan said that the man had failed to discharge the burden of proof necessary to condemn the decision.”
 
Outlining the background to the case, Irish Legal News details that “on three dates in September 2015, at Shelbourne Park greyhound stadium, various samples were taken from three greyhounds belonging to Mr Owen McKenna. In February 2017, the Control Committee of the Irish Greyhound Board issued a decision in circumstances where it was satisfied that a prohibited substance, hydrochlorothiazide, was present Mr McKenna’s greyhounds. A total fine of €1,000 was imposed and certain prize money forfeited.” Read the full report at https://www.irishlegal.com/article/high-court-greyhound-owner-fails-to-quash-finding-that-a-prohibited-substance-was-present-in-his-animals
 
Owen McKenna is the individual who was previously sentenced to three months imprisonment after being filmed at an illegal greyhound blooding session. In 1994, McKenna (then 23 years old) and four others received prison sentences from Judge Michael Patwell who described their crime as “horrible savagery”. The blooding session was secretly filmed by a BBC journalist at a private greyhound training track in Tipperary. The video footage which can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q33yiORJfXs shows Owen McKenna “present as the McKenna dogs are fed live rabbits”. Earlier that day, dozens of rabbits were delivered to the track in cages. In the BBC film, the rabbit cries are clearly audible.
 
Owen McKenna is also a trainer of greyhounds used in the bloodsport of hare coursing. A greyhound he trained was the winner of the “Grace and Matt Bruton Champion Bitch Stakes” final at Clonmel in February.
 
A photograph published by The Nationalist newspaper in February shows an Owen McKenna-trained coursing greyhound. The photo, taken in November 2017, includes Owen McKenna along with the husbands of the owners of the dog – Donal O’Connor (chairman of Clonmel Greyhound Track) and Pat Creed (Irish Greyhound Board member). Also in the photograph was former Fine Gael TD and Senator Tom Hayes –
 
According to the Irish Greyhound Board website, Owen McKenna has 5,805 recorded race entries to-date and 1,730 winners. So far in 2018, he has had 210 race entries and 52 winners.
 
The latest High Court decision follows a similar one in September in which the court dismissed Judicial Review proceedings taken by Graham Holland in relation to samples taken from greyhound Clonbrien Hero. In three races at Curraheen Park track in Cork in June and July last year, traces of the drug benzoylecgonine (the principal metabolite of cocaine) were found.
 
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What is blooding? The blooding of greyhounds – using live rabbits, hares, kittens and other small animals – is a cruel and illegal training method in the greyhound industry. It is believed to be common in Ireland. One Irish Independent greyhound scene journalist noted: “The bald truth is that greyhound racing would not continue to exist without blooding. It follows that, with a constant greyhound population of close on 30,000, blooding must be widespread. Don’t expect an admission of that from Bord na gCon.”
 
 
ICABS ACTION ALERT
 
Don’t attend greyhound races or fundraisers/hen parties/office parties held at greyhound tracks.
 
The greyhound industry has received nearly a quarter of a billion euros of taxpayers’ money since 2001 (including €16 million for 2018 and €16.8 million for 2019). Urge Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe to end funding to the greyhound industry and instead direct the money to charities and other deserving causes. Email “Stop funding the greyhound industry” to taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie, leo.varadkar@oireachtas.ie, paschal.donohoe@oireachtas.ie, minister@per.gov.ie
 
An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion St, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Email: taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie, leo.varadkar@oireachtas.ie, finegael@finegael.ie
Tweet to: @campaignforLeo
Leave a comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/campaignforleo/
 
Paschal Donohoe TD
Minister for Finance
Email: paschal.donohoe@oireachtas.ie, minister@per.gov.ie
Phone: +353 (0)1 6045810
Leave a comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PaschalDonohoe/
Tweet to @Paschald
 
 
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