Landmark pub Quinn’s in Drumcondra, Dublin, has been fined €1,750 after health inspectors found a dead rat, raw sewage, and soiled toilet paper in its main stockrooms.
The pub — one of the most popular spots for GAA fans because of its proximity to Croke Park — is regularly packed on big match days. However, following a damning hygiene inspection the day after the All-Ireland hurling final last year, it was ordered to close for 48 hours by the HSE.
Its owners, Quinn Hospitality Ireland Operations 2 Ltd, with an address at Church View, Cavan, Co. Cavan, pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court to breaking hygiene and foodstuff laws.
Senior environmental health inspector Chris Counihan told Judge John O’Neill that in his 17-years’ professional experience, he had not seen anything as bad.
Mr Counihan told Adrian Lennon, prosecuting, that on September 8 last he went to the pub, on the Drumcondra Rd, Drumcondra. He said he found “evidence of rat infestation” in two cellars where drinks were stored.
In one cellar, he found a dead rat on the floor and he said no effort had been made to clean it up. There were rat droppings on the floor, fragments of dried sewage, and pieces of soiled tissue on the walls and on a manhole cover. Mr Counihan said the dried fragments of toilet paper was a result of over-flowed sewage which contained human waste.
The manhole had also allowed rats to enter, the court was told. The floor was in a state of disrepair with gaps that could have also let in pests. Drinks in the basement cellar were at risk of contamination from diseases, and hepatitis .
In the bar areas, the surfaces were in a “filthy condition”, a sink was filled with tissue paper and cigarette butts, and there was mould on fridge doors.
There was also a large amount of flies in the back bar area, the court heard. The pub had to be served with a closure notice and remained shut for two days because of “risk of contamination”. All its drinks, worth €25,000, had to be destroyed.
The inspector agreed with Kenneth Morgan, defending, that there was no food stored in the pub’s basement.
He also agreed with the defence that the sewage and rodents were confined to the cellar, the pub had no prior convictions, and the gaps in the floor had been filled in with cement.
Mr Counihan also said the pub has worked hard to “to remove the grave and immediate danger that was there”.
Judge O’Neill imposed a conviction and fines totalling €1,750. The pub owners have also agreed to pay the HSE’s costs of €2,000 plus Vat.
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