Wetherspoon’s outlines how it plans to keep eye on drinking here

Court grants declaratory order for extended drinks licence at Dublin pub

JD  Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin  in the Three Tun Tavern in Blackrock, Co Dublin.  Last week he said  the company did not want to pay more to Diageo  for Guinness in Ireland than it did in Britain.  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

JD Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin in the Three Tun Tavern in Blackrock, Co Dublin. Last week he said the company did not want to pay more to Diageo for Guinness in Ireland than it did in Britain. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 01:02

A judge has heard how a UK pub group plans to tackle drunkenness and disorderly behaviour in Ireland and prevent the sale of alcohol to under-18s.

Constance Cassidy SC, for Wetherspoon’s, handed in a protocol to the Circuit Civil Court when JD Wetherspoon Ireland, which plans to open 30 pubs here, was granted a declaratory order for an extended drinks licence at the Three Tun Tavern, Blackrock, Co Dublin.

Ms Cassidy told Mr Justice Matthew Deery there was a strong emphasis on food from 8am to 11pm, which was a crucial part of the company’s business.

Mr Justice Deery granted the declaratory order for the extended premises at Temple Road, Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, which means that if it is completed in accordance with planning permission, the enlarged area will receive a drinks licence.

Ms Cassidy told the court the premises was bought by Wetherspoon’s last December. The company spent €2.3 million on refurbishment.

Alistair Broome, who is responsible for the operation of the company’s premises in Ireland, said the company’s proof-of-age policies would be active at the Three Tun Tavern, including mystery visitors who would test its under-age policy.

Mr Broome also told the court the company took numerous positive steps to ensure that, under its prevention of drunkenness and disorderly behaviour regime, facilities and promotions offered in its pubs did not encourage excessive consumption of alcohol. All staff had induction and refresher training on its don’t do drunk policy, designed to ensure alcohol was not served to anyone who appeared drunk.

“Our employees are trained to continually assess the state of sobriety of any customer purchasing alcoholic drinks or consuming alcohol within the premises,” the protocol stated.The company monitored this by reviewing the use of the refusal button on tills, which were pressed when a customer was refused alcohol.

Mr Broome said JD Wetherspoon had 924 pubs in the UK.

Wetherspoon Ireland, meanwhile, is involved in a prices dispute with Diageo and, for now, will not stock Diageo-distributed products such as draught Guinness, Budweiser, Carlsberg or Smithwicks. Company chairman Tim Martin said Wetherspoon’s did not want to pay more for Guinness in Ireland than it did in Britain.