Gardaí raid Shebeen complete with pool table, smoking area and flat screen TV

Gardaí raid Shebeen complete with pool table, smoking area and flat screen TV

The Shebeen in Kildare had a smoking area, storeroom and toilet. Picture: Gardaí

With its full-size pool table, giant flat-screen TV, a smoking area and tables packed with glasses, it could be a bar scene like any other.

But instead, these are the photographs of the latest of a number of Shebeen premises to be raided by gardaí.

As part of Operation Navigation, Gardaí conducted a search of the suspected Shebeen premises last night.

The Shebeen had a pool table. Picture: Gardaí
The Shebeen had a pool table. Picture: Gardaí

They began investigating the place after reports on social media began appearing about how it was operating, despite the recently-announced lockdown.

They raided it at approximately 8pm and located a "fully operational bar in a repurposed state”.

“The premises was fitted with a bar, stools, tables, chairs, 70-inch flat screen television, and a full-size pool table,” gardaí said.

“There were several beer taps on the bar, along with an underbar cooler and kegs.

“There was also a smoking area, storeroom and toilet on the premises.”

During the subsequent search of the premises in Athy, Co Kildare, gardaí seized five kegs of beer, a “significant” amount of spirits and bottled beers, and various bar equipment, taps, gas, and coolers.

A full investigation is now underway into this matter and files will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions because the premises was operating contrary to the Liquor Licensing Regulations and members of the public were congregating there in contravention of the Health Act 1947.

Gardai appealed to anyone with information about the operation of illegal Shebeens to contact their local Garda Station.

“The Covid-19 Pandemic remains a public health crisis and An Garda Síochána continues to appeal to all citizens to comply with Public Health Guidelines and Regulations in order to continue to save lives,” gardaí added.

Gardaí took part in the raid last night. Picture: Gardaí
Gardaí took part in the raid last night. Picture: Gardaí

Earlier this month, three suspected Shebeen premises in Laois, Meath and Westmeath were searched by gardaí investigating alleged breaches of liquor licencing legislation in support of public health measures.

During the searches, substantial quantities of alcohol were seized along with beer taps, coolers, kegs, spirit dispensers and other barware.

At the time, Deputy Commissioner Policing and Security John Twomey said: “The vast majority of licensed premises are complying with the public health guidelines and regulations. The operation of any unlicensed premises puts at risk individuals and communities.

“This is not acceptable and under Operation Navigation An Garda Síochána will continue to take appropriate action. I would also like to thank members of the public who brought some of these matters to our attention."

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