Gardai object to application by members of Travelling Community to operate Limerick pub

Gardai have cited law and order concerns in an objection to an application by a company with directors who are members of the Travelling community who have sought a license to operate a public house in Rathkeale, Co Limerick.

A company, Five Lamps Inn Public House Limited, with an address in Rathkeale, has made the application before Limerick Circuit Civil Court.

The directors of the company are Patrick Kealy, and his wife Breda Kealy, both with an address in the UK and at Red Brick House Fairhill, Rathkeale.

Evidence was initially heard during a sitting of the Circuit Court in Newcastle West on October 10th last, when then, a number of gardai gave evidence outlining concerns over the impact on law on order in Rathkeale should the license be granted to the applicant.

State Solicitor for County Limerick, Aidan Judge, while cross examining Patrick Kealy, (59), put it to the witness he was the “Patriarch” of the Kealy family, who were involved in a long running feud with other Traveller families.

Mr Kealy disputed this, but, said a number of families had “shaken hands”, and there were no ongoing difficulties between families.

The State says there is a “sufficient” number of public houses serving the Rathkeale area, as well as its surrounding hinterland, at all times of the year.

Traditionally, around Christmas time, there is a surge in the local Traveller population due to families returning to the town from abroad during the festive period.

The applicant has disputed other concerns raised by the State over the suitability of the proposed premises located on Main Street Rathkeale.

The property has lain vacant for the past number of years and is currently undergoing refurbishment works.

Last month’s hearing in Newcastle West court was told gardai have had to deploy enormous resources to Rathkeale at certain times of the year to maintain law and order.

In view of this, the state cited concerns over significant law and order enforcement issues in Rathkeale, should the applicant be granted the pub license.

The matter was listed for hearing of further evidence today at Limerick Circuit Civil Court, sitting in Limerick City, before Judge Eoin Garavan.

However, the matter was adjourned to next week for all parties to present further submissions.

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