No trace of rogue bookmaker as race debts mount
FRIENDS of on-the-run bookie Ger 'Dixie' Dalton have been making attempts to contact him at his address in Firies outside Killarney, Co Kerry.
There have been no sightings of him in Co Kerry or in his native Co Tipperary since he left Listowel racecourse on Saturday owing thousands of euro in unpaid bets.
Mr Dalton is originally from Carrick-on-Suir, where his parents still live. One local described the family as "decent and respectable" people.
He got married in Killarney last May to woman believed to be from Croatia, and the couple held their reception in the Randall's Court Hotel.
A spokesman for Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) has admitted he did not know if Mr Dalton was still in the country.
HRI betting division manager Paul Finegan said he had been unable to contact Mr Dalton since he admitted to HRI officials on Saturday that he didn't have enough money to pay winning punters.
The racing authority confirmed an investigation was underway into the non-payment of winning bets by Mr Dalton following last Saturday's race meeting.
"We're pretty anxious to talk to him and I have written to him telling him that he must contact us immediately," he said.
Mr Finegan said that he was not aware of there being any previous incident where Mr Dalton came to the attention of the HRI for not honouring his debts.
However, sources claim that a fellow bookmaker had threatened to object to Dalton being granted a licence, following an incident at a Clonmel coursing meeting which was later resolved.
Mr Dalton's permit to operate as a bookmaker is due for renewal in November.
The revenue commissioners issue the state licence that allows bookmakers to operate on course or in shop, once a tax clearance certificate has been obtained by the applicant along with garda clearance.
All applications must also be accompanied by documentary evidence that the bookmaker has obtained public and employers' liability insurance.
HRI then issues the permit that allows the bookmaker to operate "a pitch" on race days. There has been speculation that Mr Dalton's debts from the Listowel racing meeting could amount to €30,000.
HRI said the total figure won't be known until all outstanding betting slips have been received.