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The Licensing Committee, Peter N. Reynolds (in the chair), Ms Caroline Corballis and Noel McCaffrey met at the Offices of the Governing Bodies, The Curragh, Co. Kildare on Monday, 18th August to consider the referral of S.J. Mahon, Trainer, by Denis Egan, Chief Executive of the Turf Club following a random stable inspection carried out at his Training Establishment on 23rd July 2014 by Turf Club Officials, Michael O'Donoghue and Ms Nicola O'Connor M.R.C.V.S. During the inspection the Officials discovered a number of irregularities.

Evidence was heard from Michael O'Donoghue, Ms Nicola O'Connor M.R.C.V.S, S.J. Mahon and Thomas Quinn, the owner of the training establishment and the employer of S.J. Mahon. The Committee also considered a written report on the visit and photographs of the swimming facility. They also noted a veterinary report from Paul Houlihan M.R.C.V.S dated 23rd July 2014 on the examination of three injured horses and a report from Ned O'Flynn M.R.C.V.S dated 14th August 2014 in relation to a number of other horses on the premises.

In his evidence Michael O'Donoghue outlined what was discovered during the visit on 23rd July 2014 and in particular concerns that both he and Nicola O'Connor had about the welfare of a number of horses in training, the condition of the premises, the security arrangements, the swimming regime currently in practice, the failure to return "Cappa Kaieteur" out of training and administration irregularities that needed to be addressed.

In her evidence Nicola O'Connor M.R.C.V.S outlined her findings in relation to a number of horses returned in training and confirmed that she had concerns about their welfare, three of which were in need of immediate veterinary attention at the time of the random inspection.

Evidence was heard from S.J. Mahon who provided a veterinary report dated 14th August 2014 from Ned O'Flynn M.R.C.V.S in addition to a veterinary report previously submitted from Paul Houlihan M.R.C.V.S. He did not accept the concerns of the inspectors in relation to the swimming regime in practice and detailed the daily routine and the reasons for its continued use. He said that many of the other irregularities identified by the Officials had now been addressed. He provided a facsimile of eleven passports showing the recording of vaccinations that were either out of date or not previously recorded.

Evidence was heard from Thomas Quinn, owner of the training establishment and the employer of S.J. Mahon. He supported the views of S.J. Mahon in relation to the swimming regime in place and provided photographic evidence of his horses swimming at close to high tide. He accepted that the use of gates within and on the exit boundaries of his farm needed to be addressed in the interests of safety and that the internal roadways needed attention.

Having considered the evidence the Licensing Committee adjourned the case for one month and requested that a further random inspection be carried out by Michael O'Donoghue and Nicola O'Connor M.R.C.V.S within this time to ensure that the irregularities identified have been addressed. They also requested that all S.J. Mahon's runners in the intervening period be inspected prior to running by the Turf Club veterinary officer on duty on the day. They agreed that the matter will be adjourned until the report of the next random inspection has been completed and submitted to the Offices of the Governing Bodies.

The case was presented by Conal Boyce, Solicitor, Naas, Co. Kildare.

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