by Liam Heylin
The Bishopstown Bar will have to close for two days by court order as punishment for serving two pints of Beamish to a 17-year-old.
Community guard for the area, Garda Brian White visited the pub in Cork at 10.35 p.m. on January 5 when an 18th birthday party was taking place.
“Were you concerned about the premises, about underage drinking?” Judge Olann Kelleher asked.
Garda White confirmed that he was concerned.
Defence solicitor, Aoife McCann, said the defendant company White Chestnut Taverns Ltd was pleading guilty to selling intoxicating liquor to a named person under the age of 18.
That young person was since dealt with by gardaí through the juvenile liaison scheme.
Garda White testified that he presented himself to manager Niall Murphy in order to carry out an inspection of the premises in relation to suspected underage drinking.
“I observed a young male drinking out of a glass. He said he was 17. He was drinking a pint of Beamish. He said it was his second pint of Beamish. I asked him did her purchase it at the premises and he said he did,” Garda White said.
The barwoman who admitted serving him said it was her presumption that security staff at the door had checked him for an identity card on his arrival at the premises.
Judge Olann Kelleher said underage drinking was a serious problem and he commended Garda White for investigating it.
Ms McCann, solicitor, said the teenager was not attending the 18th party at the premises and that someone had admitted him through a security door. Mc McCann said management at the premises had no similar previous conviction and at considerable expense had put a camera on the emergency door and taken steps to ensure that young people would not gain access in this manner again.
“He has taken it seriously,” Ms McCann said on behalf of the manager.
Judge Kelleher fined the defendant €850 for permitting the sale of alcohol to a person under 18 and he ordered the mandatory closure of the pub on October 24 and 25. The judge said a sign would have to be put up on the premises on those dates explaining the reason for the two-day closure.