A leading Irish racehorse trainer has failed to have a prosecution for alleged possession of banned animal remedies, including steroids, thrown out of court.
Philip Fenton is facing eight charges over treatments and medicines found at his yard in South Lodge, Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, by veterinary inspectors in January 2012.
Judge Terence Finn dismissed claims by defence lawyers that the charges were not being taken correctly as regulations had been amended between the date of the inspection and when summonses were issued in October 2013.
The prosecution is being brought in the name of Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney for infringements of rules on animal remedies.
Judge Finn ruled that the case should proceed.
“In this instance, in conclusion, I’m satisfied that the minister has the right to prosecute in respect of proceedings that are being taken,” he said.
Mr Fenton, 49, attended the ruling at Cashel District Court but did not make any comment.
The judge added: “I am satisfied that the law in relation to the minister is well settled.
“We have reached a point here where the defence need to consider the ramifications of the court ruling and the matter will have to proceed, albeit somewhat slowly, but there are some important issues to consider.
“I don’t intend taking anything at a gallop – if you will excuse the pun.”
The case will be mentioned at Carrick-on-Suir District Court on September 4.
Defence lawyers suggested at a previous hearing that the matter may end up in the High Court at a future date.
Eight charges had been brought against Mr Fenton including alleged possession of Nitrotain and Ilium Stanabolic and prescription medicines including Engemycin 10%, Neomycin Penicillin, Marbocyl 10%. No plea has been entered.