Man fined for ‘shebeen’ style party

Hosting a ‘shebeen’ style party turned out to be more trouble than it was worth for a man who was fined this week for illegally exposing and selling alcohol.

Appearing before Galway District Court on Monday Samuel Igwilo (41 ) with an address at 14 Cluain Riocaird, Headford Road, pleaded guilty to selling or exposing for sale pint bottles of Guinness, 500ml cans of Stella Artois, and bottles of Star lager without a licence, contrary to Section 7 of the Intoxicating Liquor (General ) Act 1924, at Liosbaun Industrial Estate, on August 8 2010.

Inspector Sean Glynn told the court that at around 1am gardai on patrol were alerted to a party taking place at a commercial premises at Liosbaun Industrial Estate. When gardai arrived at the scene music could be clearly heard and it was further observed that drink was being consumed on the premises and that money was changing hands.

The inspector explained that gardai spoke to a person who claimed to have organised the party. As a result of further investigation the gardai found a “make-shift” bar counter and till which contained €149.60. Also behind the counter were 200 bottles of Guinness and nine bottles of lager.

“So it was a sort of shebeen?” asked Judge Mary Fahy.

“I wouldn’t go that far,” replied Igwilo’s solicitor who then explained that it had been a private party with a “very modest” amount of alcohol on the premises. He then asked Judge Fahy to consider giving his client, who works as a nurse and a care assistant, the benefit of the Probation Act as he might decide to apply for a licence for a shop or other premises in the future.

“I don’t think so,” said Judge Fahy who added that the court must treat the matter seriously in order to deter others from organising other similar parties. Judge Fahy then convicted Igwilo and fined him €100 with three months to pay.

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