Quenching at the Fires goes to the wire

Gardaí seek re-assurance on traffic management

The granting of a licence for the beer marquee at next week’s Festival of the Fires is to be left until almost the last possible date after minor Garda concerns postponed the formality for another seven days at Athlone District Court this week (April 25 ).

Ciaran and Carol Clarke of Clarke’s Bar, Patrick Street, Mullingar were in court this week to apply for the special exemption needed to run an outdoor bar at a public event such as the festival.

This would be the Clarkes’ third year in succession to run this, and there were no difficulties on either of the two previous occasions at what was universally deemed a well-managed facility.

However, as solicitor Gráinne O’Neill was going through her paces with the application, Inspector Aidan Minnock told the judge he just had one outstanding concern with regards to the traffic management at the one-day event, and sought an adjournment of one week to allay this completely after consultation with his colleagues in Mullingar and with the festival committee.

“So you’ve no objection [to the application ] in principal?” asked Judge Seamus Hughes.

“No, judge,” confirmed the inspector. However, as this year’s event was expected to be well attended, he wanted to clarify the organisers’ plans for traffic disbursement off the R390 at the foot of the hill into the 40-acre field opposite, and asked for a short adjournment to confirm this.

Once the inspector confirmed he had “no difficulties with the Clarkes”, Judge Hughes postponed granting the extension until May 2.

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