GER ‘Dixie’ Dalton, the bookmaker at the centre of the non-payment of winning bets at Listowel last Saturday, broke his silence yesterday.
Dalton laid two favourites late in the afternoon, Jack Cool and Laughing Boy, which both obliged, and was unable to meet his liabilities.
He reported as much to the Horse Racing Ireland levy office and did not bet on the final race. Ironically, that was also won by the market-leader, Cloone Rocket.
Said Dalton: “I hold my hands up and take one hundred per cent responsibiility for this.”
The Killarney-based bookmaker, however, maintains that HRI and it’s betting division manager, Paul Finegan, should emerge from the debacle with little credit.
Explained Dalton: “My direct debit to HRI bounced seven months in-a-row. That direct debit is for pitch fees and levy and would come to approximately €2,000 a month.
“I owed HRI €4,500 and they stood me down for two and a half months. I then got a loan for €4,000 and Paul Finegan, on behalf of HRI, took that and told me I could pay the monkey (€500) when I had it.
“I returned to bookmaking at the Curragh on the Saturday and Sunday before Listowel. I lost €2,500 on the Saturday and a friend paid that for me. I didn’t do any damage on the Sunday and then headed for Listowel.
“I went to Listowel with no money and didn’t set out to rob anyone, but was under desperate pressure.
“I was in trouble when the favourite won the last race on Wednesday and wrote cheques which have bounced.
“I was supposed to be getting money from a man on the Friday by that never came. I left Listowel on Saturday owing about €30,000.
“At some stage I want to honour these debts if I can, but just don’t have the money at the moment.
“I haven’t got a plan, because my head is upside down and I don’t know whether I’m coming or going.
“I know it’s my fault, but HRI and Paul Finegan probably should not have allowed me to stand at Listowel.
“I’m aware it’s not a great defence, but it is my only defence right now.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved