A Donegal pub-owner has appeared in court charged with breaking the licensing laws – for the 26th time.

Martin Coyle, of the Village Inn in Kerrykeel, appeared before Letterkenny District Court charged with permitting liquor to be consumed on his premises after hours.

The court heard Gardai called to the pub at 2.25am on January 25th, 2018 and found six people inside the pub who were drinking.

Garda Sgt Gerard Dalton told the court that Coyle had 25 previous convictions under the Licensing Act going back over recent years.

Judge Paul Kelly asked “There are a lot of them. Have Gardai never objected to the license being renewed?”

He then asked Gardai if they knew if there was a custodial sentence for breaking the licensing laws and was told there was not.

Solicitor for the accused, Mr Kieran Dillon, told the court that on this particular occasion there was a pool competition in the bar and that the team from the Village Inn had been playing in the tournament and stayed on in the bar.

He said that the bar trade was bleak especially in the winter months and that publicans were trying their best to make a living.

Judge Kelly added that Mr Coyle’s future will be a lot bleaker if he does not have a bar license.

Solicitor Dillon added that his client was heavily involved in the local community and asked the Judge to be as lenient as he could.

Judge Kelly fined Mr Coyle €1,000.


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