a sinister campaign of threats against a former showjumping boss from Kildare and his family, which escalated two weeks ago with the arrival of shotgun cartridges in the post, began almost a year ago.
The Leinster Leader understands that threatening letters addressed to Ronan Corrigan started to arrive at the Show Jumping Ireland (SJI) offices in Naas last summer but stopped after a few weeks.
However, last month, they started again, and gardai were alerted when a package containing two spent shotgun cartridges and a threatening note arrived on July 20. The frequency of the letters had also increased and were delivered on July 18, 20 and 22. They were also sent to Mr Corrigan’s family home. Mr Corrigan confirmed the matter had been reported to the gardai last week.
When asked if this had happened before at SJI, he replied; “Not that I know of. There will always be rows and disagreements like in any other sport, but nothing like this. It has been going on for the past two and a half months. Last year it went on for about six weeks or two months or so, but I managed to keep it low key and it stopped. It was a worrying element when the cartridges arrived,” he said.
He stressed he had no idea who was behind the threats.
“It may be someone who has a grudge, or somebody who is angry about something, someone with a gripe, I don’t know.”
The letters and the casings were handed over to gardai for DNA, handwriting and finger print analysis.
Mr Corrigan, who is a Prosperous native, was chairman of SJI for three years. However, he is still on the board of directors and is chairman of the management and finance committee.
It is understood the most recent letters gave him one week to quit, but did not specify what position. It’s believed one of them said; “You f**ker get out and, if you don’t, we have the lads that will get you out.”
Last Friday, July 29 Show Jumping Ireland released a statement condemning the act. It said the shotgun casings’ package, which was opened by a member of the SJI staff, also contained an extremely threatening letter which implied a physical threat to Mr Corrigan and his family.
Christy Murphy, Chairman of SJI commented: “This is something that is completely unacceptable and on behalf of the Executive Committee of the SJI I would like to publicly condemn this act”.
He added; “I understand that Ronan has been receiving letters similar to this since last August, however, none were as threatening as this one. This is also the first time that the gardai have been involved.”