At a recent Joint Policing Committee meeting held at Limerick County Hall Chief Superintendent David Sheahan stated that gardai had carried out ‘test purchases’ in 17 pubs and off-licences in Limerick city and county to find 10 in breach of the licensing laws.
He said that the local gardai have “come up with a different model” for clamping down on illegal trading in pubs.
As a result, gardai there would be stepping up detection of other offences such as adults purchasing alcohol for minors and publicans fluctuating the price of alcohol during sports matches, for example.
Jerry O’Dea, a Limerick City VFI NEC member, explained to Drinks Industry Ireland, “I understand that the Chief Superintendent made these comments in the larger context in that he intends to apply the liquor laws more proactively across the whole sector. As a Federation we would welcome the law being applied equally and fairly to all licensees”.
He continued, “We do have strong opinions on how alcohol is being sold in the multiples. We’ve always maintained that the best and safest place to drink is in a pub where alcohol is controlled under a watchful landlord. In an off-sales environment thee is more scope for abuse. We have a good relationship with the Super and with the Gardai in general.
“I think the Limeirck Leader made a mistake with the number of pubs involved but I’m waiting to hear back from the Superintendent’s office regarding how many pubs were actually involved.”
He believed that of the 17, only one was a pub.