Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Michael John O’Connor Referral - Random Stable Inspection

Michael John O’Connor Referral

Random Stable Inspection 12th July 2013

The Referrals Committee, N.B. Wachman (in the Chair), N.P. Lambert and Paul Ronan met at the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare on Monday 22nd July 2013 to consider the Referral of Michael John O’Connor, Restricted Trainer, following an inspection carried out at his Training Establishment on 12th July 2013 by Turf Club Officials Michael O’Donoghue and Nicola O’Connor. The Officials found that none of the horses returned in training by him were present at that premises but were instead being trained from another premises owned by him which had not been approved by the Stewards of the Governing Bodies or the Licensing Committee. The Turf Club Officials also found that there was no medicines register.

Evidence was heard from Michael John O’Connor, who said that he apologised for what had occurred. He said he moved the horses from the premises at Knockbarry, Liscarroll (which was the premises specified on his licence application) to a premises he owned at Knocktemple, Liscarroll, which was an unregistered premises, three days before the Turf Club Officials carried out the random inspection. He said the reason for this was because the stables at Knocktemple were better ventilated and were not as warm as those at Knockbarry and that the move was for welfare related reasons. He concluded by saying that he intended to make the move permanent and was in the process of registering the stables at Knocktemple. He accepted he was in breach of Rule 147 (vi).

Mr. O’Connor accepted that he did not have a medicines register at Knocktemple, but said that it wasn’t necessary as he didn’t administer any drugs to his horses. He also said that he had a copy of a blank register at his other premises at Knockbarry. He accepted that he was in breach of Rule 148 (iii) (b) as he didn’t have a medicines register at Knocktemple.

The Committee also considered a written report from Michael O’Donoghue and Nicola O’Connor.

Having considered the evidence, the Committee found that Michael John O’Connor was in breach of Rule 147 (vi) with regard to the use of unregistered premises at Knocktemple, Liscarroll. He was fined €300 for this breach of rule. They also found that he was in breach of 148 (iii) (b) with regard to the maintenance of a medicines register and fined him €300. In arriving at their decision, the Committee stated that they regarded the keeping of a medicines register as of the upmost importance and that the level of the fine in this case should not be taken as a precedent that a similar level of a fine will be imposed in future cases. They also ordered that Michael John O’ Connor pay a contribution of €400 towards the Turf Club costs.

The case was presented by Conal Boyce, Solicitor, Naas, Co. Kildare. 


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