Tipperary publicans fined for serving during lockdown restrictions
Two Tipperary publicans were before Nenagh Court in relation to breaching Covid-19 regulations by allowing people on their premises.
The court heard that gardaí found people consuming alcohol in Roscrea and Rearcross pubs in breach of pandemic regulations.
The court heard that gardaí on patrol decided to inspect John Carroll’s pub on Castle Street, Roscrea, on September 15, 2020.
They entered the premises at around 5.30pm and found several people smoking and consuming alcohol inside.
Regulations at the time stipulated that licensed premises could not open without serving a substantial meal.
John Carroll, 43, of Rockforest, Knock, Roscrea, was charged with breaching regulations to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Solicitor Elizabeth McKeever said the inspection of his premises occurred three days before all pubs could reopen.
She said that Mr Carroll had people carrying out renovations to the pub at the time. Mr Carroll had told the bartender to give the workers a pint at the end of the day to thank them for the job they had done.
Ms McKeever pointed out that the pub had been closed for a substantial period up to the time of the offence.
Mr Carroll gave evidence that he been installing a new smoking area and outdoor seating area in order to comply with the pandemic regulations.
He said he was not trading at the time and did not take any money for the drinks.
The court heard that the maximum fine for the offence was €2,500.
Judge Elizabeth MacGrath noted that there were exceptional circumstances in the case. She imposed a €150 fine.
In a second case, Michael Carey, 72, of The Rising Sun, Rearcross, was charged with breach of regulations to prevent the spread of Covid-19 on October 12, 2020. Gardaí arrived to inspect The Rising Sun at around 12.30am. The door was locked but they could hear voices inside.
On entering the premises, the gardaí found a number of people drinking. They told the gardaí that they were celebrating a birthday. Empty bottles and glasses were observed on the counter; the cash register was open and contained cash.
Level 3 restrictions were in force in Tipperary at the time and no persons were permitted within the premises in question.
Solicitor Donal Smyth said Mr Carey had been celebrating his birthday with three friends. These people were in his “bubble” but he realised that he should not have been on the premises.
Mr Smyth made the point that the restrictions had been very difficult for publicans, especially those in rural areas.
Judge MacGrath noted the time at which this offence occurred. She imposed a €400 fine. Leave to appeal was granted.
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