Inspector Gary McPolin said the prosecution before Cork District Court yesterday was on foot of the unchallenged sale of a bottle of wine to a 17-year-old girl.
Insp McPolin said this was a controlled purchase in an operation where the girl went to the premises, selected a bottle of Rio del Oro, purchased it at the counter without challenge, and gave this evidence of purchase to a garda outside the shop.
A plea of guilty to the charge was entered on behalf of Paul Camden of Topaz filling station, Main St, Ballincollig, Co Cork, on a charge of being the holder of a licence for the sale of intoxicating liquor and allowing the sale of intoxicating liquor to a person under the age of 18.
Defence solicitor Karol- Ann Randles said the incident was taken very seriously by the licensee and that all staff were fully trained in the sale of alcohol and regularly retrained. Ms Randles said two shop assistants were on duty on the evening in question and the member of staff who had made the sale without asking for ID had since lost her job at Topaz.
In response to a question by Judge Con O’Leary about the nature of the disciplinary action, Ms Randles said: “Ultimately it led to her being made redundant — let go.”
The judge then asked what internal disciplinary action was taken against the relevant manager.
Store manager Deborah Divine said no manager was on duty at the time and the shop assistant was fired because she broke company procedure on the sale of alcohol.
Judge O’Leary said that whether or not there was a manager on duty at the time, it was the responsibility of managers to make sure it was ingrained in staff that the sale of alcohol to someone under the age of 18 was something they did not do.
Judge O’Leary ordered a five-day closure of the premises to take effect 30 days after yesterday’s order. He also fined the defendant €400.