Tuesday 25 July 2017

Vinnie Jones greyhound case may settle at High Court tomorrow

Tim Healy

A HIGH Court action over a failed drug test on a winning greyhound part owned by actor and former professional footballer Vinnie Jones may settle tomorrow.

Mr Jones is a member of a three-man syndicate which ran a greyhound called "Boavista" to victory in the €80,000 JP McManus Irish Cup at a coursing event held at Limerick Racecourse in February 2006.

The dog failed a drug test and an Irish Coursing Club (ICC) inquiry disqualified it. No adverse findings were made personally against Mr Jones or his fellow syndicate members, greyhound trainer Pat Curtin and bookie Denis Gould.

However, the syndicate, along with Mr Curtin's sister and greyhound handler, Bridget Curtin, sought a High Court judicial review of the ICC's decision. They claimed they were not afforded proper procedures by the ICC in relation to the inquiry and also alleged there had not been full disclosure of the allegations against them.

The ICC opposed their application as did the owner of the greyhound which came second, retired businessman Michael Kelleher, whose said his dog became the winner as a result of the disqualification of Boavista.

Mr Kelleher, who was joined as a notice party in the case, says he was being deprived of the race's €80,000 purse which still has not been distributed some seven years later.

The case was due to begin today before High Court president, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, who was told talks were underway in an effort to settle it.

Gavin Ralston SC, for the ICC, said the terms of any settlement had to be relayed to a committee of the ICC which comprises 21 members.

He said "we are approaching getting a majority" but more time was needed.

The judge said in view of this, he would adjourn the matter to tomorrow.

Vinnie Jones was a member of Wimbledon FC's 'Crazy Gang' team which beat Liverpool in the 1988 FA Cup Final. He later went on to capitalise on his tough image in the game to play the role of a hard man in movies.

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