Judge accuses Bundoran club of breaching minimum drinks price order

The judge who ordered a €2.50 drinks price minimum in a seaside resort clubs was today told that one club breached the spirit of his ruling by not charging for mixers with shorts.

Garda Supt Leo McGinn told Judge Kevin Kilrane that there was an attempt to circumvent what he believed was the “spin” of the order.

The issue was called again at Donegal District Court today to establish whether the Bundoran clubs complied with the order made on Friday.

Two clubs, Paris run by Conor McEniff and Aqua run by Thomas Wilmott, were represented at the “conformity” hearing but there was no representation from Jumpin’ Jacks which served the free mixers.

The judge was told that by Saturday night all three premises placed signs that their drinks would cost a €2.50 minimum per single measure

There was only one public order arrest and a few warnings were issued but that was away from the clubs.

After listening to evidence from the owners of Paris and Aqua clubs that they were prepared to abide by the minimum price order, the judge issued a clarification.

He said he wouldn’t fix a price for mixers but added that there must be no inducements like free or semi-free mixers. He said if mixers were sold for five cents that would “not wash” with him.

He added that the late extensions would be revoked if there was a breach of the spirit of his order.

The fixed minimum was laid down by Judge Kilrane followed a running prices battle between two night-clubs in the town..

The judge explained in earlier hearings 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.

Local parents raised concerns within the community about cheap and free drink for their teenage children.