Bid to open pub on Good Friday night ‘against spirit’ of law

Judge refuses application by Tralee’s Blasket Bar for midnight-2am exemption

The Blasket Bar, Castle Street, Tralee, applied for exemption for between 12 midnight and 2am on Saturday, April 4th next, a date described in court as “the night of Good Friday”, a day when all pubs are closed. Garda Insp Donal Ashe said “technically” there were no grounds for objecting, but  gardaí were objecting because this was the night of Good Friday. File photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

The Blasket Bar, Castle Street, Tralee, applied for exemption for between 12 midnight and 2am on Saturday, April 4th next, a date described in court as “the night of Good Friday”, a day when all pubs are closed. Garda Insp Donal Ashe said “technically” there were no grounds for objecting, but gardaí were objecting because this was the night of Good Friday. File photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

 

An application by a well known Tralee pub for a late night exemption on the night of Good Friday was refused by a District Court judge on Wednesday on the grounds it was against “the spirit” of the intoxicating liquor legislation.

The Blasket Bar, Castle Street, Tralee, had applied for exemption for between 12 midnight and 2am on Saturday, April 4th next, a date described in court as “the night of Good Friday”, a day when all pubs are closed.

When the application was moved at Tralee District Court yesterday, Garda Insp Donal Ashe said “technically” there were no grounds for objecting, but gardaí were objecting because this was the night of Good Friday.

Spirit of legislation

Granting such an exemption would be “completely against the spirit of what was intended” in the legislation, the Garda felt, said Insp Ashe.

Louis O’Connell, solicitor for the applicant, George Savage of the Blasket Bar, said when he lodged the application - along with three other exemption applications for the same bar on various dates in April, gardaí had indicated there would not be a problem.

The Blasket Bar (a popular bar in Tralee town centre) was a “ very well-known premises”.

One previous conviction

It was a well-run establishment and had just one previous conviction for an after-hours offence and this was two years ago, the solicitor said.

Judge James O’Connor said: “The bottom line is, this is an exemption for Good Friday night. I am refusing it. It goes against the whole spirit of the legislation.”

Judge O’Connor granted the other exemptions applied for by Mr Savage.

The exemptions were sought under various Intoxicating Liquor Acts: Section 12 of the 1962 Act, as amended by Section 5 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2000.