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Seanad: Protection of the Native Irish Honey Bee Bill 2021: Second Stage (2 Jun 2022)

Paul Daly: I welcome the Minister of State and our guests in the Public Gallery. I apologise for the fact that I did not make it out to them this morning due to prior engagements. I compliment Senator Martin on his enthusiasm in promoting this Bill and bringing it to this Stage. I am a firm believer that a stich in time saves nine and that prevention is better than cure. While it is timely now, to...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Horse Racing in Ireland and the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board's Anti-doping Programme: Discussion (1 Jun 2022)

Paul Daly: I welcome the witnesses and thank them for their submissions. The common theme in all three submissions was the welcoming and the complimenting of the independent review by Dr. Suann. I have a couple of quickfire questions to get some background clarification. I will delve into the review a little more. What process or procedure did IHRB follow in coming up with the author, Dr. Suann?...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Horse Racing in Ireland and the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board's Anti-doping Programme: Discussion (1 Jun 2022)

Paul Daly: A very quick Google search on Dr. Suann, without going too deep below the surface, indicates a lot of correlation between him and Dr. Hillyer, when they served on the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities. They are co-signatories to many different reports of that body. Did the fact there was a previous working relationship between our head of anti-doping and Dr. Suann somewhat...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Horse Racing in Ireland and the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board's Anti-doping Programme: Discussion (1 Jun 2022)

Paul Daly: Did Dr. Suann visit Ireland during the compilation of his review?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Horse Racing in Ireland and the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board's Anti-doping Programme: Discussion (1 Jun 2022)

Paul Daly: It was basically a desktop review, as we call it. I know there was Covid, which may be a reason for somebody not to go to the southern hemisphere, but we can discuss that later. When Dr. Suann required information, it was the IHRB that gave him the information he required for his desktop review. Who was the point of contact? When he had a query or when he wanted access to historical...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Horse Racing in Ireland and the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board's Anti-doping Programme: Discussion (1 Jun 2022)

Paul Daly: He was reviewing the IHRB but it was giving him the information to do that. He did not have access. As I said, he never had the opportunity to visit a racecourse or a point to point to see the IHRB testing, to go out on a day with its authorised officers or even to review its historical data, unless it was the historical data it sent to him. How did the IHRB know Dr. Suann was getting...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Horse Racing in Ireland and the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board's Anti-doping Programme: Discussion (1 Jun 2022)

Paul Daly: Can the representatives appreciate how I and others might be sceptical of the fact that because of the IHRB's previous history with Dr. Suann - namely, the independence or lack of same, - he could do this comprehensive review, which has been welcomed by all three parties this evening, from a different hemisphere without actually setting foot on the island? I would like our other witnesses to...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Horse Racing in Ireland and the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board's Anti-doping Programme: Discussion (1 Jun 2022)

Paul Daly: Dr. Suann never visited a race meeting or a point-to-point meeting, though. He never accompanied the authorised officers on a visit to a licensed or an unlicensed premises. He was very happy with what he saw from the information he was given.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Horse Racing in Ireland and the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board's Anti-doping Programme: Discussion (1 Jun 2022)

Paul Daly: Who made that video?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Horse Racing in Ireland and the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board's Anti-doping Programme: Discussion (1 Jun 2022)

Paul Daly: Somebody from the IHRB, which was being reviewed. Does Mr. Osborne see the point I am making?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Horse Racing in Ireland and the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board's Anti-doping Programme: Discussion (1 Jun 2022)

Paul Daly: That is why I asked at the start why Dr. Suann was picked. Somebody off-island could have been picked and could have been given IHRB access-all-area passes because there were races at the time. I would have thought that that would have been taken into consideration. Dr. Suann knew about Covid when the decision was being made. Did that not influence the decision as to who to pick?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Horse Racing in Ireland and the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board's Anti-doping Programme: Discussion (1 Jun 2022)

Paul Daly: I have just a couple more brief questions. They will not be as long-winded. We discussed the authorised officers a lot the last time the witnesses were before us. We also discussed training of the authorised officers and a training manual. I think the Department was to give training. The witnesses can correct me if I am wrong about the following. Was there an incident recently in which...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Horse Racing in Ireland and the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board's Anti-doping Programme: Discussion (1 Jun 2022)

Paul Daly: It was their people, though. I am asking if they entered the premises. This is not about Northern Ireland but about authorised officers from the IHRB. I am led to believe they entered a premises. Irrespective of the fact that they had been trained by the Department and one of the submissions refers to the legal aspect of the authorised officer, still I am led to believe, and I am just...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Horse Racing in Ireland and the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board's Anti-doping Programme: Discussion (1 Jun 2022)

Paul Daly: Can the Department confirm whether authorised officers from our Government, the Department or the IHRB have authority to enter private property, be it licensed or unlicensed, outside this jurisdiction?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Horse Racing in Ireland and the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board's Anti-doping Programme: Discussion (1 Jun 2022)

Paul Daly: Therefore, if it is unlicensed, the IHRB does not have authority.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Horse Racing in Ireland and the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board's Anti-doping Programme: Discussion (1 Jun 2022)

Paul Daly: Therefore, in that jurisdiction the IHRB does not have authority to enter unlicensed premises. Is there a training manual? There was a lot of discussion here before about a training manual, who was trained, what training was done and whether there is a manual.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Horse Racing in Ireland and the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board's Anti-doping Programme: Discussion (1 Jun 2022)

Paul Daly: I appreciate that.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Horse Racing in Ireland and the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board's Anti-doping Programme: Discussion (1 Jun 2022)

Paul Daly: But the Department did have a role in training the IHRB authorised officers.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Horse Racing in Ireland and the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board's Anti-doping Programme: Discussion (1 Jun 2022)

Paul Daly: Since our inquiries started, how often has the IHRB met with the trainers or the trainer representative bodies to discuss everything that has been ongoing? When was the last time the IHRB met them and when might it propose to meet them again? I am led to believe that such meetings do not happen with great frequency.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Horse Racing in Ireland and the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board's Anti-doping Programme: Discussion (1 Jun 2022)

Paul Daly: You have a request in with them.

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