Irish gang boss Christy Keane arrested over kidnap of €1m greyhound Clares Rocket
Gang boss and drug dealer Christy Keane has been arrested following the theft of a greyhound worth an estimated €1m.
The trainer of Clares Rocket confirmed on Wednesday morning that a ransom was demanded for the safe return of the dog.
Keane, a 55-year-old grandfather, was caught by armed gardai traveling towards Limerick in a vehicle with Clares Rocket.
Gardaí have confirmed four men have been arrested in total.
The dog was stolen on Monday night from the kennels of Irish Derby-winning trainer Graham Holland.
The dog is owned by the Limerick Full House syndicate, headed by Joe Cahill and has been trained by Mr Holland, who owns family-run business Riverside Kennels in Golden, Co Tipperary.
It is understood that members of the armed Regional Support Unit swooped on a car travelling through Waterford late last night. Two men, including Keane, were arrested and the dog was recovered safe in the vehicle.
Gardaí arrested two further men in a separate operation.
The men are being held at Tipperary and Clonmel garda stations under Section 4 of the criminal justice act.
“The dog has been recovered safe and well,” the spokesperson confirmed.
Speaking on RTE1’s Today with Sean O’Rourke, trainer Graham Holland confirmed that the dogs kidnappers did ask for a ransom but couldn’t confirm the amount.
“People thought they could hold him for ransom. It is a bit like Shergar, if they haven’t got his identity book, they can’t do a lot with him.
“He is only worth money to the people who own them and what he can win for them,” he said.
“I can’t really confirm (the amount), I think that is for the guards to make the statement on, not me. They’ve done all the work and all the credit to them.
“Obviously we were delighted to see him. I didn’t think the dog would be coming home.”
When asked if the ordeal would affect Clares Rocket’s performance in next year’s English Derby, Mr Holland said he didn’t think so.
“He has come back in good condition. He is not dehydrated and he hasn’t lost weight, they obviously fed him. He’s a little bit distressed but happy to be home, so hopefully he’ll be okay.
“On his day, he probably is the fastest dog in Ireland. There are always younger dogs and other dogs producing good runs, but he has been a fantastic dog for us.
“Obviously we were delighted to see him. I didn’t think the dog would be coming home, you just feared that whoever had him would dispose of him and run for the hills,” Mr Holland said.