Part 1

Part  2

Part 3

Part 4

If one goes to 17 minutes on Part 4,  it appears to be a contradiction of CEO’s earlier evidence from Part 2 at 20 minutes


Deputy Simon Harris: I am hearing Mr. Neilan loud and clear but I am still not getting my question answered. I understand it was not in the contract and that it was not a condition of sale but my question is, why was it not? Why did Mr. Neilan, as chief executive, make a decision to proceed with a contract when his engineers stated to him on 22 November 2007 that it should be in it and when his solicitors wrote to him five days later on 27 November 2007 suggesting a condition to add? Why did it not appear? When Mr. Neilan received this advice from his engineers and solicitors, what did he do?

Mr. Adrian Neilan: The board was fully aware of all aspects of the Limerick project in terms of the various discussions. All the way through our meeting minutes, there would be a topic on the Limerick development. Our strategic plan was that we would develop a number of facilitates. Limerick was just one. We had Kilkenny, Clonmel and Enniscorthy. Capital development was front and centre of all board activities. When that issue was raised, my response to those people was that per what was agreed, it was not a condition of sale or a term to go into the contract.

Deputy Simon Harris: I put it to Mr. Neilan that he ignored the advice of his engineers to include this in the contract.

Mr. Adrian Neilan: Our engineers and our legal people were confused. It was never part of the condition of sale.

Deputy Simon Harris: I am not an engineer or a legal person but if I buy something, I rely on the advice of professionals. I bring in people who have engineering and legal professional skills and I ask them to advise me. The engineers clearly looked at the site and said the fill would be an issue and that Mr. Neilan had better include it in the contract. The legal people then went about trying to make sure it could be in the contract or putting a proposal forward of what one could insert in the contract. All of that took place in the year before the contract was signed and yet Mr. Neilan and the greyhound board chose to sign a contract and ignore those warnings. That is my assertion.

Mr. Adrian Neilan: What the Deputy is trying to suggest is that if one goes to buy a Mazda car for somebody here but before one does a contract for sale, somebody advises him he should get a different car.

Deputy Simon Harris: No. What I am trying to suggest is that if I go to buy a Mazda and there is water leaking onto the back seat and the mechanic says I should not buy it unless the leak is fixed, I would make sure the leak was fixed before I bought it. I put it to Mr. Neilan that his engineers said he would have to fill the site and in regard to those works upon the site and throughout the site that are to be undertaken in advance of taking possession, it is important those works are properly specified in the contract. That was the advice of the engineers’ firm, Atkins, in regard to filling on the site. That was offered on 22 November 2007. What was the point in getting the advice because it was disregarded? Mr. Neilan cannot say to me and to the committee that it was not a condition of the deal or the sale. All these advices were offered to him before the deal was done.

Mr. Adrian Neilan: To be very clear here, I refer back to the car analogy. Bord na gCon bought the car as it stood with that leak. That was the clear condition of sale.


Reality TV at its best.

Chairman: I see the name Mark McMahon recorded in the minutes. Will Mr. Neilan identify this individual?

Mr. Adrian Neilan: Mr. McMahon is the chief executive officer and chairman of Limerick Racecourse Company.

Chairman: The minute of 28 June 2007 states that Mr. McMahon advised that he did not have a licence to fill but had submitted an application for same and, if he received the licence, he would fill the site.

Mr. Adrian Neilan: The clear indication there is that Mr. McMahon would fill the site on a best efforts basis when fill became available.

Chairman: However, it does not say that in the minute; it says Mr. McMahon would fill the site. We as a committee are not happy with some of the details we have been given this morning – I will not say we are unhappy with the accuracy, but the detail of statements given – and are unconvinced by certain answers we have received. As such, we will have to go back into this matter again. I am simply pointing out to Mr. Neilan that on 28 June 2007, the board minute states very clearly that Mr. McMahon would fill the site. It does not say this would be done if it was possible, if he had the fill or if something else happened; it says very clearly that he would fill the site. Mr. McMahon also indicated his wish to project manage a stadium development up to planning stage. Here we have a situation where, as part of that deal, this person would fill the site.

Based on that information – the proposition of one individual seconded by another – the board unanimously agreed to proceed with the purchase of the site. In other words, it agreed to purchase the site based on the information given by the individual in question. If I was told that this individual would fill the site and I was proposing that the site be purchased on that basis, I would expect the site to be filled. Mr. Neilan had an exchange with Deputies Simon Harris and Derek Nolan in regard to the contract, but here we have the minute suggesting something rather different. I have not had time to go through Mr. Neilan’s document this morning, but there certainly are issues that need to be addressed. If the members of the board were told that Mr. McMahon would fill the site, I presume the Minister would have signed off on something on 28 June to the effect that this would happen. Immediately following that sentence in the minute is the proposition by Mr. McKenna and Mr. Reilly, unanimously supported, to purchase the site. I would have to question the board members as to what they thought was being said to them here. What is conveyed in the minutes seems to answer the question that was posed to Mr. Neilan by the two Deputies completely differently from what Mr. Neilan said in response.