A PENSIONER who says he runs a ‘ceili house’ near the Frosses in south west Donegal was today found guilty of one charge of keeping drink for sale and fined €50.

Two other charges that he sold drink or had drink displayed illegally there in September 2010 were dismissed.

At a hearing in Donegal District Court today, 75-year-old Patsy Brogan had contested the charges.

He has maintained the fully-fitted pub in a shed at the back of his home – dubbed the Bog Hotel – is where friends and tourists can call in for a drink and claims he does not charge for drink.

Mr Brogan was accompanied to court today by 31-year-old barmaid Daria Weiske whom he calls his ‘girlfriend’.

Garda Patrick Battles told the court that when he visited the premises on August 14, 2010, posing as a builder he had obtained five drinks over a 90-minute period. He said he had left €20 and Stg5 as payment, marking the sterling note.

Gda Battles alleged that when he offered to pay on a number of occasions, Mr Brogan had told him “sure pay when you’re leaving.”

Five gardai then visited the premises on September 25th, a sergeant cautioned Mr Brogan and removed drink from the shed.

Defence solicitor Paudge Dorrian maintained his client merely had a ceili house to which people called. No-one was ever charged for drink, he said.

Judge Kevin Kilrane struck out two of the three charges, saying: “The position is that the summons states that on the 25th, that he did sell intoxicating liquor, which he did not; that he exposed liquor for sale, which he did not; and that he kept intoxicating liquor for sale, which, Mr Dorrian, your client has a case to answer for.”

Judge Kilrane fined Mr Brogan €50 for keeping alcohol for sale. Mr Dorrian said his client would appeal the case.

Outside the court Mr Brogan insisted: “I have never charged for drink at the Bog Hotel and I didn’t charge the Garda. He insisted on leaving money.”

At a hearing last year the same Judge Kevin Kilraine dismissed a case brought by Donegal County Council under planning laws.

The council had taken a case alleging Mr Brogan had failed to comply with an order to remove a bar and lounge from a shed on his property.


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