Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Derry Christmas market is given green light after court agreement

Londonderry's biggest ever continental Christmas market finally got the go-ahead yesterday when District Judge Barney McElholm granted an application for an occasional licence to enable alcohol to be sold at the event.

Five local publicans had originally objected to the application when it was first raised in the city's Magistrates Court last Friday.

Their objections were that the event was scheduled to take place in the Guildhall Square which is an alcohol-free zone, and that local publicans would would suffer a financial loss.

The continental market will run from December 1 to December 22.

At last Friday's court hearing, solicitor Thomas Doherty who represented the applicant, Meenan Square Limited which owns the Bogside Inn, said the event would be called off if the application to obtain an occasional licence was refused.

He said the application was supported by Derry City Council and no objections had been received from the PSNI.

In court yesterday, following five hours of negotiations between Mr Doherty and solicitor Don Conway who represented the five objectors, an agreement was reached to enable the occasional licence to be granted by Mr McElholm.

When he was told that an agreement had been reached between the parties, the judge granted the occasional licence and said: “Let joy be unconfined. Both sides are to be congratulated on reaching agreement on something which hopefully will attract visitors to the city and good luck to all concerned.”

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