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Publican fails to keep pub’s alcohol

March 2nd, 2024 8:00 PM

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BY DAVID FORSYTHE

A PUBLICAN who challenged the right of gardaí to dispose of alcohol confiscated from his premises on a point of law, failed in his bid to keep the goods at a recent sitting of Macroom District Court.

Solicitor Jack Purcell raised the issue on behalf of Patrick Ring (59) of Peake, Coachford. Inspector Debra Marsh told the court that Mr Ring, owner of the Dew Drop Inn, Coachford, had lost his licence on December 20th 2023. The court heard that he had told gardaí he would be opening the pub on December 21st and did so.

A warrant was obtained and the premises was searched at 2.30pm on December 22nd and a significant quantity of alcohol was seized. Gardaí in Macroom were seeking an order to dispose of the goods.

Mr Purcell said that because the warrant issued for the search was addressed to the station superintendent and not to Inspector Anthony Harington, who actually carried out the search, that it was questionable whether the warrant was actually valid.

Inspector Marsh said that although the warrant was not addressed to Inspector Harrington, he was named on the warrant.

She said it was a simple formality to address a warrant to the superintendent and it was generally understood that it could be acted on by other officers from the station.

Judge James McNulty noted that the appeal was made under the 1874 Licensing Act and said that the court considered the warrant valid. He said that it was his understanding that the warrant authorised the superintendent and his officers, and respectfully declined the submission and held the warrant to be good. He also granted the order for the gardaí to dispose of the goods as per the application.

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