Judge orders end to Bundoran club’s ‘drinks war’

A judge today(Fri) set a minimum price in a seaside town hit by a club drinks war.

The lowest price any club can charge for any single measure, spirits or beer, in Bundoran is now €2.50.

The order laid down by Judge Kevin Kilrane followed a running prices battle between two night-clubs in the town, At one stage weekend shots were available at 50 cents in Paris club because rival Jumpin’ Jacks was offering free drink all night in return for a €20 cover charge.

Following an order last month at Ballyshannon District Court Paris reverted to its original price of €2 for vodka, rum and some whiskeys but the rival club still had €20 cover charge for free drink.

When further late-night extensions were sought today Judge Kilrane ruled out competition and advertising drinks either free or at rock-bottom prices.

He set the minimum €2.50 for single drink units, with immediate effect, and ordered all advertising on Facebook or anywhere else of the lower rates to end.

He said the same order applied to a third Bundoran club not before today’s court but where he was told some alcoholic spirits were available for €1.50.

The judge said he would be extending his lower price limit to anywhere else selling below it in his jurisdiction, which includes Sligo.

He explained that he wished to end the prices “race to the bottom” to  stop public order offences “the length and breath of the country” by young people on alcohol.

Supt Leo McGinn said two clubs were well-run by members of the McEniff family but the gardai were aware of apprehension in the community about cheap and free drink.