Judge calls time on last orders

PORTLAOISE’S new District Court judge has fired a shot across the bows of publicans warning that they should cut out big rounds at last orders.

PORTLAOISE’S new District Court judge has fired a shot across the bows of publicans warning that they should cut out big rounds at last orders.

Judge Catherine Staines sent out the warning at the town’s courthouse last week in a effort to curb after hours drinking and prevent publicans breaking the law. The judge told the court that pubs should only allow customers buy one drink at last orders instead of stocking up on pints and other drink.

The judge made her recommendation in the case of Paddy Mooney, Market Sq, Abbeyleix, who was charged with permitting drink to be sold after hours at his pub The Horseshoe Inn, Abbeyleix, on August 15, 2010.

Garda Inspector Martin Harrington told the court that gardaí found 40 people with fresh drinks in front of them at 1.50am in the bar, even though closing time was 12.30am and clearing out 1am.

Defence solicitor, Ms Anne Manning said her client owns the bar but he was not present on the night. She said his staff told him that the bar had stopped serving when the guards arrived, but when closing time had come many people had bought multiple drinks.

“The solution to that is that only one drink should be sold, not multiple ones,” said Judge Staines, who told Mooney she hoped he had reprimanded his bar manager over the incident.

The publican was fined E300.