Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

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D Dunne Referral – Curragh 12 and Cork 15 October 2023

The Referrals Committee, Mr Robert Dore (Chairman), Mr Anthony Byrne and Mr John Murphy convened at Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Tuesday, 9 July 2024 to consider the referral of Daniel Dunne by a Senior Racing Official following reports from IHRB Security Staff in relation to misconduct at both The Curragh on 12 October 2023 and Cork on 15 October 2023.

The case presented outlined that Mr Dunne had acted in a manner that was prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct or good reputation of horseracing. Mr Dunne had been advised that he was not permitted access to integrity areas of The Curragh Racecourse on 12 October 2023 but continued in attempting to gain access to those areas anyway. It was alleged Mr Dunne had subsequently supplied misleading information to an IHRB Official in stating that he was an owner and therefore entitled to access the saddling boxes. Mr Dunne became verbally abusive to an IHRB Official when advised that he was not permitted access to certain areas. Mr Dunne then attended Cork Racecourse on 15 October 2023 and accessed integrity areas without appropriate authority or without holding a temporary pass. 

At the referral hearing, evidence was heard from Mr Dunne. In his evidence, Mr Dunne accepted he was in breach of Rule 272. Mr Dunne apologised for his actions and what he described as a misunderstanding. Mr Dunne explained that he was not aware that he was prevented from accessing integrity areas and initially reacted in a way which was unacceptable but that once it was explained to him after the event, he accepted his mistake.

Having considered the evidence, the Referrals Committee were satisfied that on two occasions, Mr Dunne was in breach of Rule 272(i) in that he had acted in a manner that was prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct or good reputation of horseracing and Rule 272 (iii) in that he became verbally abusive to an IHRB Official. In issuing a sanction to Mr Dunne the committee acknowledged the undertaking by Mr Dunne to this committee that he will never subject anyone involved in the day-to-day operations of racecourses to any abuse whatsoever. Having taken his previous record into account in this regard, his apology and undertaking to the IHRB, the committee fined Mr Dunne a total of €2,500 (€1,250 in respect of each fixture) and reminded him that if he breaches the undertakings given to this committee, he exposes himself to the possibility of a very serious sanction which may include significant periods of disqualification.

The case was presented by Ms Christine Traynor, Head of Racing Regulation and Integrity on behalf of the IHRB. Mr Dunne represented himself at the hearing.

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