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Cloonfad pub traded without licence

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Cloonfad pub traded without licence


A Cloonfad man who was running a pub for over two years without a licence escaped a conviction after the District Court Judge decided to strike out the case.
Dermot McGuire trading as Larry’s Bar, Cloonfad admitted trading without a licence when he leased the pub from a property developer based in Dublin. Mr McGuire was prosecuted under Section 50 of the Finance Act and the case had been adjourned for a ruling on the translation of the Finance Act into Irish.
While Judge Mary Devins ruled that the case should go ahead, she added there was a lot of ‘ducking and diving’ going on by the State and other state agencies relating to the translation of the Act and it was ‘not for the District Court to decide one way or the other’. She said the research carried out for the ruling had been a ‘useful exercise’ and struck out the charge as a result.
Last week’s sitting of Ballyhaunis District Court heard that an official from Revenue and Customs called to Larry’s Bar, Cloonfad, Co Roscommon on September 29, 2010 and after he was served a glass of whiskey, he asked to see the licence holder. Mr McGuire was not in the pub at the time but later admitted he did not have a licence and had been renting the pub since March, 2009.
Mr McGuire told the court he had been trying to get a licence but he could not get in touch with the developer who he was leasing the pub from. He said he was paying €1,200 a month of rent into his account and added the property was in NAMA.
He explained that the developer bought property in Cloonfad and availed of its tax designated status to build 52 houses in the village - 50 per cent of which were now vacant he said.
Mr McGuire said he took over the lease of the pub after he had worked for the developer during the construction of the houses. He has not spoken to the developer since and was in possession of the premises for two years and two months and added the business was doing well.
The court heard that the premises was now taken over by a different landlord. Judge Devins struck out the case and agreed to make copies of her ruling to both the prosecution and the defence.