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Tipperary Greyhound Trainer Loses Racetrack Exclusion Appeal

In a judgement delivered yesterday, a three-judge appeal court, comprising of Ms Justice Ann Power, Ms Justice Caroline Costello and Mr Justice Brian Murray, unanimously dismissed an appeal by a Tipperary dog handler, latter who previously used a live piglet, to train greyhounds.

Mr Christopher Connolly, of Farney’s Cross, Cappawhite, Co Tipperary, had brought an appeal against an earlier High Court’s refusal in 2019, to reject as invalid, a decision by the Irish Greyhound Board (Bord na gCon) and the Irish Coursing Club (ICC); to exclude him from all racetracks and coursing events in the state.

These events initially occurred when Mr Connolly was then residing in Australia back in 2014, when he was the subject of a ban, imposed by the Victoria State regulatory authority, legally prohibiting his operation, after he was found guilty of using a live piglet as bait, at Tooradin Trial Track, east of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

The RSPCA who had raided Tooradin dog trial track, run then by leading dog trainer Stuart Mills, showed film footage where live rabbits and possums were being tied to a mechanical lure, in order that they could be chased and brutally mauled to death by greyhounds.

Mr Connolly had received a lifetime ban, but this was later reduced on appeal in 2015, to five years with another five suspended, on condition he be of good behaviour.

Mr Connolly returned to Ireland in 2015 and in 2016, applied to the Irish Greyhound Board for “Kennel Hand Authorisation”, which would allow him to become employed in the Greyhound industry.

His application was refused, after which he then appealed to the Bord na gCon control committee. Latter also found he was not a fit and proper person to be granted certification.

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