Garda inquiry into video appearing to show crowded shebeen
Officers attempting to establish if recording, linked to a sporting event, taken during Covid-19 pandemic
Gardaí are investigating a video appearing to depict a crowded shebeen, or illegal pub, where people have gathered for a sporting event and celebration.
A key focus of the inquiry is to determine if the scenes were recorded in recent weeks or months, during the Covid-19 pandemic period, which is strongly suspected.
Under the Intoxicating Liquor Act 1962, it is a crime to run an “unlicenced drinking premises” and it is also an offence to drink there. However, gardaí must be able to prove a customer consumed alcohol on the premises before they can be convicted.
Gardaí have already determined that the premises where the video was recorded has been operating as a shebeen. The investigation into the premises, and those suspected of running it, is already well advanced.
The next phase of the inquiry will seek to confirm when the video of the crowd packed into the shebeen was recorded.
Investigators suspect the video was recorded very recently on the occasion of a match played in the State and the subsequent celebrations, with members of a sports club in attendance.
If those suspicions are proven, the footage is likely to put pressure on the club and a national sporting body. The apparent breaches of the Covid-19 regulations depicted in the video would not give rise to criminal charges, however.
Garda sources confirmed that the investigation was underway and that the video was part of the evidence used to launch the criminal investigation into the shebeen.
There appears to be no social distancing in the shebeen in the scenes depicted in the video with the premises packed full of people engaging in celebrations.
In replay to queries, Garda Headquarters said the force “does not comment on unverified online photographs or videos”.