Pubs in Killarney have been granted a special exemption to open early tomorrow to cater for the crowds arriving for the Cork-Kerry Munster Football Final.
The application for an area exemption under Section 10 of the Intoxicating Liquor Acts was heard at Killarney District Court yesterday.
However, Judge James O’Connor refused to back a 10am opening time requested by the vintners and instead set an opening time of 11am. The judge warned gardaí to prosecute anyone who opened before this.
The area exemption application for a special event in which huge crowds were expected, was moved on behalf of Mc Sweeney Arms Hotel at Killarney District Court yesterday. There were 23 signatories and it covered the town pubs of which there were 40, Killarney solicitor Dan O’Connor told the court.
The minor match between Clare and Kerry starts at 12 noon and the senior Cork-Kerry clash starts at 2pm and 35,000 people are expected to arrive from early morning for the matches.
The “reasoning” for the application was because of the earlier than normal start to the matches; senior matches traditionally start at around 3pm but there was a need now to accommodate TV coverage, Mr O’Connor said.
Judge O’Connor questioned what time “an ordinary fellow” would be heading up to Fitzgerald’s Stadium and he was told usually this would be for the second half of the minor match. He was told supporters would be coming from Clare and Cork, but it would be “the Corkonians who would be flooding the town,” the judge himself observed after hearing from the solicitor.
“The application is to facilitate people in town early who want to have lunch early, accompanied by a certain beverage,” Mr O’Connor solicitor said.
Sergeant Miriam Mulhall-Nolan said the notice to the gardaí was short, but the gardaí had no objection.
Judge James O’Connor said: “But I don’t think it should be 10am — it should be 11. If anyone breaks that, they have to be prosecuted,” he told Sgt Mulhall-Nolan.
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