WHEN gardai inspected the licensed premises The Ballintemple Inn at Churchtown, Newcastle West at 2.25am last August 23, they found about 80 people there, with fresh alcohol drinks being consumed, Inspector Brian O’Donovan told Newcastle West court last week.
There were a number of young people also drinking alcohol with some 14 year olds who were drunk and had to be removed.
“They couldn’t stand or even talk,” the inspector said. There was a 21st birthday party on the premises on the night.
The gardai again inspected the Ballintemple Inn at 1.55am last October 19. There was loud noise coming from the premises, the inspector said, and the gardai had to knock for some time before they gained access. There were about 60 people on the premises and no attempt was being made to clear the bar.
“There was a large number of fresh alcohol drinks,” Inspector O’Donovan said.
Pleading for his client, solicitor Enda O’Connor said the facts were accepted.
“This is the last venue remaining in the town where such functions can be held,” he said.
His client, Brian Casey, had been called away by a family member to assist at another licensed premises, he said and had left the running of the bar in the hands fairly inexperienced staff who were persuaded to continue serving alcohol.
He had since spoken to his staff and disciplined them, Mr O’Connor said.
“He wasn’t present on either night,” he said but Mr Casey had ten years experience in the business and was very anxious to keep a clean record.
Inspector O’Donovan pointed out that it was the same staff on both nights.
“How were they serving 14-year-olds?” asked Judge Mary Larkin. “It’s bad enough for adults to be drunk, but 14-year-olds.”
Had Mr Casey been charged with serving minors, he would have been closed down, she added.
She fined Mr Casey €300 for the October 19 offence of permitting people to be on the premises after hours but took the offence of August 23 into account.