A JUDGE has warned a Donegal publican that he will be shut down if he continues to flout licensing laws.

Judge Paul Kelly issued the stern message to the manager of Dinny Grant’s Bar in Buncrana.

The bar manager, Mark Scanlon (53) of Rockdale, Buncrana, was before Buncrana District Court charged with selling alcohol after hours.

Gardaí called to the pub at 1.55am on March 1, 2020 and observed a crowd of 50 to 60 people consuming alcohol. Officers also noted a lot of empty glasses around the bar.

Scanlon was asked by Gardaí to provide a copy of the last till receipt, he said the machine was turned off and he was unable to do so.

Sergeant Jim Collins told the court that Scanlon confirmed that he did not have an exemption and the people were ordered to vacate the premises.

Defence solicitor Mr Ciaran Mac Lochlainn said that a charity fundraiser was being held in the bar on the night in question.

“It dragged on far longer,” Mr Mac Lochlainn said. “It shouldn’t have happened. He shut up shop and asked the people to leave. The function drew a large crowd.”

Mr Mac Lochlainn said his client was currently unemployed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Like a lot of pubs in Buncrana, it may never open again,” Mr Mac Lochlainn said.

Addressing the court, Scanlon said that he hoped he would still have his job when pubs are given the go ahead to reopen.

Scanlon and the bar owner, Jason Donaghy (48) of Ballymagan, Buncrana and now based in the UK, have previous convictions for similar offences.

“The way things are going with Dinny Grant’s, if Covid doesn’t shut you down, the guards or the courts will,” Judge Kelly said.

“This seems to be a regular occurrence. You might find yourself out of a job anyway, unless you get your act together.”

Scanlon was fined €200 for allowing the sale of alcohol after hours.


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