Gardaí objected to the renewal of the licence for one of Cork’s biggest pubs – Rearden’s on Washington Street – which employs over 300 people.
The objection to the annual renewal of their licence to trade as a pub was made because of what happened around the premises on All-Ireland Hurling Final Sunday, August 20, when Cork played Limerick. Hanover Street at the rear of Rearden’s was closed off and a large TV screen and other TV screens were erected.
Inspector Martin Canny objected to the renewal of the licence for Rearden’s and called evidence from Superintendent Colm O’Sullivan, Sergeant Alan Cronin and Sergeant Seán Minihane.
Insp. Canny addressed Judge Marian O’Leary and said: “There was an obvious breach of the licence on the day of the All-Ireland. You heard evidence of Sgt Cronin that he spoke with the licensee prior to the All-Ireland about his concerns in relation to TV screens.
“There was a blatant disregard of the licence and of the advice given by Sgt Cronin.
“In the middle of the pandemic this was wholly unacceptable. A street was closed off. There was no permit to do this. It was a wholly reckless act where there was no consultation with the gardaí.”
Defence senior counsel Michael McGrath said: “Rearden’s was wrong on All-Ireland day. It has already been penalised with some bad publicity and has had to pay the cost of meeting this objection.
“It was managed well for 25 years before All-Ireland day and since then. Rearden’s has learned its lesson.
It did not breach Covid-19 and HSE guidelines. There has been evidence of unedifying conduct. It was a mistake on one day out of 25 years.
“To close down the premises for this would be disproportionate – for one act of wrongdoing.” Quoting from a documented case involving an unrelated premises where there was an objection to licence renewal because of one mistake