Judgement in rower's case will be revealed next week

The High Court has reserved judgment in an action brought by an International rower who is seeking an injunction requiring the Irish Amateur Rowing Union (IARU) to sanction his participation in a Polish regatta next week in a last-ditch bid by him to represent Ireland in the Beijing Olympic games.

Sean Jacob has brought an application before Ms Justice Mary Laffoy for an injunction restraining the IARU from preventing his participation in Poznan and requiring it to take all necessary steps to ensure his participation.

Today following the completion of submissions from both sides Ms Justice Laffoy told the court that she was reserving judgment, as the Judge wanted "to reflect on the matter".

The Judge said that she hoped to give her judgment at a sitting of the High Court in Ennis on Tuesday next.

Counsel for Mr Jacob Ciaran Lewis BL said his client was told after a regatta in Munich last October, a time when Mr Jacob had been ill and not at the peak of his fitness or abilities, that he would not be

participating in Poznan.

Mr Jacob had not been told by the IARU that Munich was a test for participation in Poland and this breached his right to fair procedures, counsel said.

Mr Jacob was claiming it was always understood he would compete in Poznan and that he would not have to prove his entitlement.

However, Ms Emily Egan, for the IARU, said that there was no lack of fairness in this case as Mr Jacob was always aware his performance was under a continuous assessment, counsel said.

The IARU had to be able to pass judgment on whether its rowers meet the standards necessary, Ms Egan said.

Counsel said the Union had sympathy with Mr Jacob, who is a superb athlete.

However counsel said that Mr Jacob was aware since 2005 rowers were under continuous assessment and that rowers were deselected from the Irish squad if they did not reach certain standards of performance.

The IARU had earlier told the court it had entered the name of Mr Jacob in the regatta in Poznan but his counsel said Mr Jacob also needs a declaration from the IARU that he is present in Poznan and is going to row.

An undertaking was also given by the Union that Mr Jacob's boat would be sent to Poznan.

The Court previously heard that Mr Jacob had missed out on a place at the Beijing games by two positions at the 2007 World Championships as the top 11 scullers qualified automatically but he finished 13th.

Mr Lewis said it had been represented to him that he had already been selected to participate at Poznan but following a regatta at Munich, was told he would not be sent to the event in Poland.

He appealed that decision to both the International Rowing committee and the IARU, but those appeals were rejected.

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