The owner of the so-called ‘Bog Hotel’ in Frosses has been fined €50 for keeping intoxicating liquor for sale without a licence. Patsy Brogan (75) contested the charge at yesterday’s siting of Donegal District Court.
The court heard that a team of gardai, under the supervision of Inspector Denis Joyce searched the premises on September 25 last.
The premises was closed when they arrived, and a note had been pinned on the door advising that they’d been called away. Gardai waited for an hour and, when Mr Brogan returned, he opened the premises. They confiscated liquor that was found there.
The court heard evidence from Garda Patrick Battles that he visited the shebeen on August 14 under the instruction of Supt. Jimmy Coen for the purpose of gathering information.
He stayed for an hour and three quarters, told Mr Brogan he was a builder and consumed approximately five drinks. He was not driving, he told the court.
When he offered to pay for his drinks, Mr Brogan told him that he could pay when he was leaving.
As he left, Garda Battles left a €20 note, £5 and some change on the counter and asked if that covered his bill. Mr Brogan said: “That’s fine”.
Defence solicitor Paudge Dorrian argued that the actions of August 14 could not be brought to bear on the summonses relating to September 25.
He said that his client could not have a case to answer in relation to September 25 because the premises was closed and there was not evidence that his client sold drink on that date.
Judge Kevin Kilrane disagreed however. He said: “The position is that the summons states that on the 25th, that he did sell intoxicating liquor, which he did not; that he exposed liquor for sale, which he did not; and that he kept intoxicating liquor for sale, which, Mr Dorrian, your client has a case to answer for.”
He set the fine at €50, giving Mr Brogan three months to pay and advising him that he would have to make an application for the return of the seized liquor.