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Declan Queally (Trainer) Referral – Stable Yard Inspection, 5th May 2021

The Referrals Committee, Mr. Peter M. Allen (in the chair), Mr. Peter N. Reynolds and Mr. Anthony Byrne convened at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Friday 2nd December 2022 to consider the referral of Declan Queally (Trainer) following an inspection at his premises on 5th May 2021.


On the day, the IHRB inspection team advised Mr. Queally that a complaint had been received regarding his distribution of the Stable Employee Bonus Scheme monies and they were there to investigate compliance with Rule 298.


At the Referral hearing, evidence was heard from Mr. Queally and Mr. Declan Buckley, IHRB Security Official.


Mr. Buckley outlined details of the IHRB Investigation visit. He stated that Mr. Queally and Mr. Queally’s son, Declan Luke Queally, were advised that the unannounced visit arose from the information received by the IHRB in an anonymous letter. Mr. Buckley confirmed that Mr. Queally was requested to set out the employment status of all persons registered with him since January 2020. Mr. Buckley stated that Mr. Queally was unable to provide records of the Stable Employee Bonus Scheme payments made at the time but admitted that certain individuals listed on the returns as having received monies had not received the payments. Mr. Buckley also advised that he had requested to be shown the copy of the annual Trainer/Employee Agreement, which is required to be displayed in a staff working area for inspection by all employees, and Mr. Declan Luke Queally was unable to do so. Mr. Buckley said that he could not be satisfied that the Stable Employee Bonus Scheme payments could be accounted for.


In his evidence, Mr. Queally accepted that misleading information relating to the Stable Employee Bonus Scheme had been provided and that the funds had not been distributed in accordance with the Agreement or as per the quarterly returns made to the IHRB as required under Rule 298. Mr. Queally said the errors made were unintentional and due to a lack of understanding of the workings of the scheme. Mr. Queally stated that he had no full-time staff at the time in question and that his understanding was that it was only full-time staff who qualified for the payment. Mr. Queally confirmed that although the returns made by him declared that stable staff attached to him received the Stable Employee Bonus Scheme, they had not received the funds.


Having considered the evidence, the Referrals Committee found Mr. Queally in breach of Rule 272(i) in that he acted in a manner which was prejiducal to the integrity, proper conduct or good reputation of horseracing and Rule 272(ii) in that he supplied misleading information to a Racing Official. Furthermore, the committee found Mr. Queally in breach of Rule 298.1 in that he had failed to pay monies deducted for the benefit of the stable employess as part of the Stable Employees Bonus Scheme, Rule 298.3 in that he failed to meet his requirements by correctly completing the agreement and making the payments, Rule 298.5 in that he also failed to display a completed copy of the annual Trainer/Employee Agreement in a staff working area and Rule 298.7 in that he appeared to have withheld money without notifying the IHRB in writing of any agreement in place to withhold money. In relation to the breaches, the committee fined Mr. Queally €3,000 for the breaches covered under Rule 272, and €1,000 for the breaches covered under Rule 298. Furthermore, the panel imposed a six month withdrawal of Mr. Queally’s licence to train but suspended that withdrawal for a period of 12 months subject to the IHRB’s satisfaction that he was in full compliance with Rule 298.


The case was presented by Ms. Clíodhna Guy, IHRB Head of Licensing, Legal and Compliance. Mr. Queally was represented by Denis Linehan, Denis A. Linehan & Co. Solicitors, Charleville, Co. Cork.

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