Shebeen owner guilty of drunkenness charge

A GARDA raid on the Southill shebeen sparked an incident that led to the man running the premises being summonsed yesterday at Limerick District Court.

Francis Kelly, aged 33, ran foul of the law over an altercation with gardaí after drink was seized at the premises during the first of four raids.

Kelly, of 9 Lilac Court, was yesterday handed a suspended jail sentence and bound to the peace.

He admitted two public order offences arising out of incidents at Roxboro Road Garda Station.

He was summonsed for being drunk in breach of section 4 of the Public Order Act and for refusing to leave the Garda station, breaching section 8 of the Public Order Act.

Inspector Gerry McNamara said Kelly arrived at Roxboro Road station at around 6am on the morning of April 12.

Kelly had been arrested earlier after a raid on a building at the rear of his house in Lilac Court.

Kelly demanded the return of drink valued at around €1,000 which was taken from the building by gardaí during the raid.

After leaving the station, Kelly later returned and refused to go home, and was arrested.

Ted McCarthy, solicitor for the accused, said his client had gone to the station to complain about an earlier matter.

He was asked to leave, but returned to the station shortly afterwards for “a second bite at the cherry” and was arrested when he refused to leave.

Judge Tom O’Donnell remarked that Kelly had previous convictions for public order offences. He imposed a two-month suspended sentence and bound the accused to the peace for 12 months.

The accused sat in court, having left his Southill watering hole, known variously as “Our Mother’s”, “Ma Kelly’s” and “Mother Kelly’s” to attend the hearing.

Gardaí have raided the shebeen on four occasions and the incidents which led to yesterday’s court appearance occurred after the first Garda raid. Kelly has repeatedly restocked after the raids and last weekend a piano was brought to the shebeen for nightly entertainment.

Gardaí expect to bring a prosecution next week against Kelly under the Intoxicating Liquor Act and are awaiting instructions from the DPP, who has been sent a file on the shebeen activities.

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