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Brian O’Connell (Rider) Appeal Limerick, 27 December 2014

The Appeals Body (Division Two) N.B. Wachman (in the Chair), Sean Barry and Philip Caffrey met at the Turf Club, Curragh, Co Kildare on Tuesday, 3rd February 2015 to consider the appeal of Brian O’Connell, rider, against the decision of the Stewards at Limerick on 27th December 2014.  On that date the Stewards found he was in breach of Rule 272 following a complaint lodged by Derek Cullen, starter.  As a result he was fined €500.

His grounds of appeal were that he did not breach Rule 272 and did not act in a manner which was prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct or good reputation of racing.

Evidence was heard from Liam Walsh, stipendiary steward, Derek Cullen and Brian O’Connell.

In his evidence Liam Walsh outlined the sequence of events surrounding the report made by Derek Cullen to the stewards concerning the false start and the two subsequent stewards enquiries, firstly into the complaint lodge by Brian O’Connell and secondly into the complaint lodged by Derek Cullen.

In his evidence Derek Cullen gave details of an alleged exchange that occurred in the weighroom between himself and Brian O’Connell following the race. 

In his evidence, Brian O’Connell said he was unhappy with the start of the race and approached Derek Cullen in the weighroom.  He outlined what occurred between himself and Mr Cullen and said he did not agree with Mr Cullen’s version of events.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body noted there was a clear difference between Brian O’Connell and Derek Cullen in their interpretation of the exchange in the weighroom.  They noted the evidence and the submissions from both parties.  They found that on the balance of probabilities Brian O’Connell was not in breach of Rule 272.  Therefore they allowed the appeal.

The case was presented by Paul Murtagh, Stipendiary Steward.  Brian O’Connell was represented by Andrew Coonan, Coonan Cawley Solicitors, Naas, Co Kildare.  Patrick Reidy, Reidy Stafford & Co Solicitors, Newbridge, Co Kildare acted as legal assessor.

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