AN outdated law on shebeens, means that Anthony Kelly will face a fine of just £50 old pounds if he is convicted of a breach of the intoxicating liquor act in running a shebeen at Southill.
Gardaí in Limerick confirmed Mr Kelly has been served with a summons to appear at Limerick District Court on November 27.
The Director of Public Prosecutions has given gardaí the go-ahead to start court proceedings over the shebeen, which Mr Kelly and his brother Francie have been running at Lilac Court, Southill, since last April. The Kellys insist they are not selling drink, but are entertaining friends with drink bought with money given to them by people who come to their homemade pub.
Gardaí have confiscated drink worth about €15,000 in five separate raids. However, after each raid, the Kellys restocked and say they are seeking the return of the confiscated drink.
The act under which the summons has been served dates to 1962 and has not been kept up to date. A legal source said: “The only penalty set out in this act is a fine of £50 old pounds. It has not been amended. However if a case was brought under the excise laws, in the Finance Act of 1909/1910 a conviction could lead to a fine of £1,000 old pounds. The 1962 act refers to unlicensed drinking at a premises to which an on-licence is not attached and which is not a registered club premises being made available for the consumption of intoxicating drink.”
Anthony Kelly has instructed a solicitor to fight any legal action taken against him.
The shebeen is located in a large shed at the rear of the Kelly’s mother’s home in Lilac Court.
It is known locally as Mother Kelly’s.
Facilities in the shebeen include a pool table, poker machines, TV with racing channels and as it is not a licensed premises visitors can smoke when having a drink.
The Limerick branch of the Vintners Federation have complained the shebeen has affected trade in pubs in the area.
Francie Kelly said he brings in friends for a drink as he is barred from every pub in Limerick.
And as it is a private dwelling it operates as an early morning house and a late night haunt.
Limerick City Council are also investigating the premises for breaches of the planning act over a change of use.
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