Shebeen back in business after raid

GARDAÍ seized what they describe as a sizeable quantity of drink during the midweek raid of the Southill shebeen, but it was business as usual again last night.

The shebeen, which opened last April, has now been raided on four seperate occasions and gardaí have seized drink worth almost €15,000.

After the latest raid, the shebeen was closed for some hours.

Francie Kelly, who runs the drinking den, restocked late on Wednesday night.

After three previous garda raids, during which large quantities of alcohol were confiscated, the shebeen reopened within hours.

Mr Kelly and his brother, Anthony have engaged solicitor John Devane to take proceedings to recover drink seized from the premises.

The Kellys claim drink is not sold but that they purchase alcohol with money given to them by friends.

They say they then serve the drink to these friends when they are invited into a bar, which they have constructed in a shed at the rear of their mother’s home in Lilac Court.

Since the shebeen opened in April, business in pubs in the area has reportedly been badly hit.

Dancing girls have been entertaining people at the shebeen in recent weeks, and facilities include poker machines, tv and pool.

A team of 10 gardaí from Roxboro Road station under Insp Gerry McNamara carried out Wednesday night’s raid.

They arrived at the premises in two garda vans.

There was no obstruction of the gardaí as they went about removing crates of beers and spirits.

Gardaí intend to go to the district court next month to seek an order to dispose of confiscated drink under the police property act.

The Kellys have said they will oppose the application and demand the seized drink be returned. They stock up with drinks purchased from stores such as Tesco and Dunnes, while kegs of draught are bought from a separate outlet.

There were about six people at the shebeen when gardaí arrived at around 8.30 pm on Wednesday.

The shebeen is accessed through a laneway at the rear of Lilac Court.

CCTV cameras are sited outside the entrance and connected to a screen located inside the bar.

Mr Kelly has stated he will not be forced to close by garda raids.

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