THE Director of Public Prosecution has instructed gardaí in Limerick to commence legal proceedings against the Southill shebeen that has been operating since last April.
A Garda spokesman confirmed that a summons has been served on Anthony Kelly of O’Malley Park to appear at Limerick District Court on November 27 to answer a charge alleging he is in breach of the 1962 Intoxicating Liquor Act by illegally selling drink at a premises at Lilac Court.
Legal sources said last night even if the court convicts Mr Kelly the maximum penalty is a relatively small fine.
And Mr Kelly said he will fight any case all the way to the highest court in the land.
Francie Kelly, the defendant’s younger brother, has been operating the Shebeen in a shed at the back of his mother’s house, since last April. Hence it being named Mother Kelly’s by locals.
Although €15,000 worth of drink has been confiscated in five Garda raids, Roxboro Road Station had been awaiting instructions from the DPP to proceed with a court summons. That instruction came in recent days.
The Kellys have restocked after each raid and say they intend going to the courts to have the drink returned to them.
Facilities at the shebeen include a pool table, poker machines and TV with racing channel coverage.
A piano was also installed for sing-songs and finger food is provided to elderly people who drop in after the weekly bingo.
A special wheelchair accessible toilet caters for one of the older guests.
Francie Kelly insists that he buys drink with money given to him by his friends and there is no sale.
He said: “It’s the only place I can enjoy a drink with my friends as I’m barred from every pub in Limerick. Sure Charlie Haughey had a bar in his mansion up in Dublin and why can’t Francie Kelly have one in his shed in Southill?”
The shed has been fitted out like a regular pub with bar furnishings. And unlike licensed premises, Mr Kelly’s “guests” are allowed smoke while enjoying their drink.
Limerick City Council are also considering court proceedings claiming the shebeen is in breach of the planning laws as no change-of-use permission has been obtained.
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