Gardaí find a ‘fully operational bar’ in raid on suspected Limerick shebeen

A dart board, TV, six beer kegs were among items found during search of garage

An unlicensed shebeen bar has been discovered in Limerick after a garage beside a private house was searched by gardaí in the county under Operation Navigation, established to enforce liquor licensing laws during the pandemic.

The latest shebeen found during the search on Saturday was “a fully operational, unlicensed bar”, according to gardaí.

“When gardaí arrived there were a number of glasses on the tables with the remnants of alcohol inside them. The premises were found to be equipped with a fully functioning toilet, a television and a dartboard,” a statement said.

“A significant amount of alcohol, including six beer kegs, was seized during the operation along with refrigeration units, four beer dispenser taps, gas regulators and optic dispensers. No persons were present at the time of the search.”


Garda Headquarters, Phoenix Park, Dublin, added enquiries were ongoing and that "a file will now be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions".

The search was carried out by gardaí in Henry Street searched as part of their investigations into alleged breaches of liquor licensing legislation in support of current public health measures.

The discovery the shebeen follows other similar finds across the country since the pandemic began.

While shebeens are illegal under licensing laws, as they are unlicensed and operate outside those laws, they are also in breach of Covid-19 regulations, which have resulted in most pubs and all nightclubs in the Republic being closed for the past year.

The shebeen discovered in Limerick had undergone work to create a bar scene, with stools, tables and bench seating, along with a bar for dispensing pints and other drinks in one area.

It had been decorated with Limerick GAA colours, and had a range of mafia photographs and posters on the walls.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times