Family’s bar wars would ‘see teen in the morgue’

A lawyer has said a price war between rival bar-owning cousins, with one selling cocktails for as little as 50c and another offering as much as customers could drink for €20, was in danger of putting a teenager in the morgue.

Judge Kevin Kilrane cracked down on the drink price battle between the cousins after hearing of parents’ fears.

Conor McEniff applied for a bank holiday late-night extension for his nightclub, called Paris, in Bundoran.

Ballyshannon District Court heard how he was selling cocktails for as little as 50c.

Conor McEniff told the court of competition from Jumpin’ Jacks nightclub, which was giving “free drink” to its customers.

Jumpin’ Jacks, owned by his cousin Seanie McEniff, and which is just up the street from Paris, has been advertising that, for a late-night entry fee of €20,patrons could drink all they wanted.

Solicitor Cathleen Dolan went into the witness box on behalf of a number of parents of 18- and 19-year olds who were concerned about their children getting drink so cheaply.

She said the parents in Ballyshannon were “outraged” at what was going on in Bundoran 6km away.

She said that Paris was advertising on Facebook that vodka, Jagermeister, Sambuca, tequila, Red Bull and Lucozade, and all Stivy shots were available for as little as 50c.

Bottles of Budweiser and sex on the beach cocktails were €1 and Captain Morgans, Jack Daniels, and Tia Maria were only €2.

Ms Dolan said: “It’s a little bit like giving Smarties to children. Are we going to wait until a teenager is lying on the slab in Sligo General Hospital because of a competition war between nightclubs?

“I’m asking, for the parents, that this court does not grant these extensions unless they are going to stop these promotions.”

At this stage Conor McEniff told the court that, in light of what Ms Dolan had said, he was prepared to return to normal pricing. He said he hoped “the other McEniff” would do the same.

Judge Kilrane granted Conor McEniff his late extension for Paris and warned the McEniff cousins against continuing their price war.

He said: “I know times are tough, but from now on there is not going to be a race to the bottom price in Bundoran.”

He warned against advertising ‘“drink as much as you can for €20” and said he would be reviewing the situation very carefully.

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