Judge Mary Fahy has granted the Róisin Dubh on Domininck Street a Special Examption Order allowing it to serve alcohol right up until 2am from Sunday to Thursday despite objections from the Gardai there who stated that public order offences and assaults had declined since the 1am closures were enforced at the beginning of August.
The Róisin Dubh’s Simon Harris had claimed that during six weeks in August and September turnover had fallen by a fifth as a result of the clampdown.
Despite purchasing a SEO, vintners in Galway had found their serving times restricted to 1am after a new licensing Sergeant, Brendan Moore, was appointed to the district last April (see Drinks Industry Ireland, September issue, page 27).
A clampdown on extended opening was launched by Galway Gardai in August with clubs and pubs open beyond the 1am deadline being inspected by Gardai, causing widespread disquiet and objections from licensees, employees and consumers alike.
“Gardaí were aware of the situation on the ground and even though exemptions were given until 1am they were tolerant until 2am – if Gardaí had a problem with a premises they wouldn’t have allowed the situation to continue for 14 years,” stated Judge Fahy whose decision was welcomed by the local vintners as it will set a precedent in permitting other late-night venues to apply for a SEO.
The VFI’s Terry Tyson is happy for those who’ve got their late licences and he believes that any one that doesn’t deserve one won’t get one.
“It’s great for Galway,” he told Drinks Industry Ireland, “You can’t have a place like Galway that’s well-known for music and festivals etc closing up at one o’clock in the morning. If our friends and colleagues up in Dublin can open ‘till 2am, then why can’t we?” he asked.