Paddy Power backs down on Limerick men’s disputed bet

Donal O’Regan

Reporter:

Donal O’Regan

Mike Sexton and Danny Deady backed themselves and were proved right as Paddy Power gave �1,500 to the Rockhill Bruree sports field project after initially refusing to pay out on the bet placed on golfer Rory McIlroy. The lads are pictured with Noel O'Halloran, the club chairman. Picture: Michael Cowhey
PADDY Power has settled a disputed bet on Rory McIlroy placed by two County Limerick punters – days before the picket of a branch in Charleville.

PADDY Power has settled a disputed bet on Rory McIlroy placed by two County Limerick punters – days before the picket of a branch in Charleville.

The real winner is the Rockhill Bruree sports field development as the bookies are giving them €1,500.

The men who placed the bet – Mike Sexton and Danny Deady, from Bruree – each get their €50 back and a €100 voucher.

The bet goes back to the Augusta Masters when Danny walked into the Paddy Power’s in Charleville and he asked staff did they have any specials. One that came up on the screen was Rory McIlroy to shoot par or better at 14-1. Danny knew this was a good price so asked the girls to check with head office. They did and it was sanctioned. Danny put on €50 for himself and for Mike. The staff even wrote out the dockets.

Rory obliged, just, but when Mike and Danny went to collect their €1,500 they were offered only their stakes back. Mike contacted the Leader and said: “We did everything that a punter would do just to make sure that everything was above aboard. I just don’t think we were treated fairly.” A Paddy Power spokesperson said it fell under their palpable error rules and they wouldn’t be paying out.

The story got a huge reaction.

Mike wasn’t going to let it go and planned to picket the shop last Saturday with many supporters. He was about to organise signs to be made when he got a phone call from head office.

“They backed down. It is the principle of the matter. The deal we came to was €1,500 for the sports field, our €100 stake back and €100 betting voucher each. We are still losing out from our point of view. When the bet won I planned a holiday so that is disappointing but at least it is going to a very good cause. They are doing incredible work on the field and have got no luck with sports grants. I only wish it was €15,000 we were giving them,” said Mike, who was blown away by the feedback locally.

“The backing we got was unbelievable. The world of people rang me on Saturday to find out what was happening with the picket as they wanted to come in and support us. It was phenomenal,” said Mike. They plan on putting the whole €200 on one bet.

Danny is also delighted that the money is going to an excellent project.

“We’re not overjoyed with the result but at least they are paying out and it is going to the field. I know I put the money down but Mike, in fairness to him, didn’t let it go. The word was out in Charleville last Friday. I walked into the Ladbrokes and four or five guys started clapping and fellows were coming up and shaking my hand. I said we couldn’t let them [Paddy Power] away with it. There was going to be a big crowd at the picket,” said Danny.

Asked to comment on the deal, a Paddy Power spokesperson said: “We’re happy to bring this incident to a close and that a worthy cause will benefit.”

As Mike said earlier, Rockhill Bruree sports field development hasn’t fared well with getting grants so they were due a bit of luck.

Noel O’Halloran, chairman, said there is a big wish-list and it is “money we didn’t have this morning”.

“I have to thank the lads for suggesting us to Paddy Power. It is a parish project and we now have a full size GAA pitch and international size soccer pitch. Last October that was drained, ploughed and reseeded so it’s a new field really,” said Noel. A walkway, pre-school building and dressing rooms are all planned so fundraising is ongoing.