Counihans, located on Pembroke St in Cork city centre, was the subject of criticism over the incident, with the mother of the young man at the centre of the incident claiming “He was so upset because he felt he had done something wrong.”
Dale Blount, from Ballybough in Dublin, was in Cork for the weekend alongside his parents. His mother, Rosaleen, told 96FM’s Opinion Line that they went into the bar to listen to some music and had been there for some time at 9.30pm a man came over to their table.
“He bent down to Dale and said it to Dale, not to ourselves, that he needed ID, that if he was in the bar he needed ID. I said ‘he is 21, he’s not drinking’. We were told that between 21 and 23 they can ask for ID and if guards came in and seen him there they could be in trouble.”
Rosaleen said her son, who competed in the home Special Olympics in 2010, was upset and when the door staff went outside she followed a short time later to show him Dale’s medical card, which displayed his date of birth.
The trio was then all outside the premises and Rosaleen said: “Dale was running up and down, he was crying, he was so upset because he felt he had done something wrong.”
She claimed no other customer had been approached in the bar.
In a response posted on its Facebook page on Monday, Counihans said: “In response to comments being levelled against us on Facebook we would like to say that it is the law that all customers in a pub after 9pm must be over 18. This is even if they are with their parents. At 9pm last night we asked all of the customers in our bar who looked younger than 22 for their ID as people between 18-21 must have ID to be on the premise. If customers don’t have ID to show us then they don’t have ID to show the Gardaí were they to arrive and check. A customer was asked for ID last night and did not have any. They then produced an ID with date of birth on it. Nobody was asked to leave the bar last night. We have an anti-discrimination policy at Counihan’s and we were just following the law of the land.”
Rosaleen said of the explanation: “I do not accept that because he was in our face. He was in Dale’s face. There was no way you could sit there after it.”