Gardaí find Dublin business selling alcohol but claiming to be a restaurant

Large quantity of alcohol seized on Saturday under Operation Navigation

Part of the consignment of alcohol seized by gardaí on Saturday

Part of the consignment of alcohol seized by gardaí on Saturday


Gardaí have discovered a business claiming to be a restaurant and where alcohol was being sold to customers without a required liquor licence. A large quantity of alcohol was seized.

The discovery was made in Dublin on Saturday under Operation Navigation, which involves gardaí inspecting pubs and other licensed premises nationwide to ensure compliance with Covid-19 public-health measures.

Gardaí said the business in Dublin was “allegedly operating as a restaurant”. But when it was observed by officers working under Operation Navigation breaches of Covid-19 measures were witnessed.

Some of the alcohol seized in Dublin
Some of the alcohol seized in Dublin

The sale of alcohol on the premises was taking place in breach of pre-existing liquor licensing laws with a large amount of alcohol seized. An investigation is ongoing into the breaches of the liquor licensing laws.

Last Monday pubs that served food were allowed to re-open in the Republic, subject to a number of conditions. These include social distancing being in place, customers pre-booking and staying for a maximum of 1¾ hours, among others.

Gardaí had intended to carry out “spot checks” on pubs to ensure compliance. However, senior Garda officers early last week received reports that some pubs were flouting the public-health measures.

As a result gardaí were directed by Garda Headquarters in Dublin’s Phoenix Park to carry out inspections of all pubs under Operative Navigation.

The conditions in place that pubs have been asked to adhere to are public-health measures rather than regulations. That means breaching any of the measures is not a crime.

While gardaí do not have the power to close a pub on the spot, if they find pubs not adhering to the Covid-19 public-health measures they can inform the Health & Safety Authority. The HSA can close any workplace under court order on the grounds they pose a risk to the health or safety of employees.

In the case of publicans not adhering to the public-health measures, gardaí can also record the breaches and when the publican’s licence comes up for renewal in the courts, gardaí can object to its renewal.

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