A publican who pleaded guilty to an offence under the Health Act was ordered to make a donation of €1,500 to North West Hospice.
Adrian Cox, Newtown, Tarmonbarry, Co Roscommon pleaded guilty to contravening a regulation under the Health Act to prevent, limit, minimise or slow the spread of Covid 19 on June 6, 2021 at Cox’s, Dromod, Co Leitrim.
Evidence in court was given that a complaint was made and Gardai were dispatched to the Dromod area on the above date as there was a large crowd outside Cox’s pub making a lot of noise.
Gardai witnessed 50 to 60 people drinking and a beer cart was outside the premises actively serving alcohol.
There were three pergolas and eight umbrellas raised and at least ten members of staff were working. People were also using the toilets in the public house.
The court heard that Gardai had been called to the area the previous day as well.
The pub is a family run business and while Adrian Cox is not the owner or the licensee, he identified himself as the person in charge and was the specified person who the Gardai spoke with on the day.
Solicitor, Colm Conway, said Cox’s is a very well known business in the area and Adrian Cox is the owner of a nursing home in Rooskey.
He said Mr Cox and his family have always enjoyed a healthy working relationship with the Gardai.
This incident occurred three hours before the further easing of Covid regulations, he said.
Mr Conway said that Mr Cox, as owner of a nursing home, goes through a rigorous interview with HIQA every three years and a conviction of this nature would cause him “extreme difficulty”.
He said Mr Cox would be happy to provide a donation and asked Judge Sandra Murphy, in the circumstances, to apply her discretion.
Mr Conway said it was a case of “over-exuberance of patrons with the impending lifting of regulations” which “may have got out of hand.”
Judge Murphy said that particular time was “horrendous for business owners” and on the balance she would take a contribution of €1,500 for the North West Hospice and strike out the charge.
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