Belfast Telegraph

Pub shut down after sudden death during late night 'lock-in'

By Eamonn MacDermott

A sudden death at a bar in Co Londonderry resulted in paramedics and police being called in.

They then became aware that alcohol was being served several hours after closing time, a court has heard.

Paramedics were called to attend a sudden death at Joe's Bar in Dungiven at 6am on October 6 last year, Limavady Magistrates Court was told.

Police arriving a short time later found several people still at the bar, in what is colloquially known as a 'lock in'.

Till receipts showed alcohol was being served in the bar as late as 4.49am.

Colleen O'Neill (43) of Kevin Lynch Park in the town, was charged with two counts of allowing the consumption of liquor outside licensing hours.

James Thomas (44) of the same address, faced one count of the same charge.

A defence solicitor told the court that the licensing laws in Dungiven "were not strictly adhered to".

He said it was clear that the premises had not been run in a proper manner and had been running well into the morning.

The judge said Ms O'Neill, who is the licence holder, had "an appalling record" and expressed concern that he did not have power to impose a custodial sentence.

"This was as bad a case as I have come across and as bad a record," he said.

Ms O'Neill was also fined £3,000, while Mr Thomas was fined £1,000.

The judge ordered the bar's closure for three months.

Belfast Telegraph


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