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Wednesday 24 May 2017

Restaurant staff 'abused by drunk punters from racing festival'

Restaurateur JP McMahon Picture: Julia Dunin
Restaurateur JP McMahon Picture: Julia Dunin

Meadhbh McGrath

Restaurateur JP McMahon has said he will close his three Galway restaurants during the 2017 Galway Races after suffering abusive behaviour from inebriated customers returning from the races.

Restaurateur JP McMahon has said he will close his three Galway restaurants during the 2017 Galway Races after suffering abusive behaviour from inebriated customers returning from the races.

Mr McMahon co-owns Michelin-starred restaurant Aniar on Lower Dominick Street, as well as Cava Bodega and EAT Gastropub, with his wife Drigín Gaffey.

"I think the festival is more and more about drinking in the last few years," he told the Irish Independent.

"Unfortunately, on Ladies' Day it just turns into an absolute drunken mess, and you get people wandering around the streets.

"Aniar has a big window and we get people bouncing off the window in the evening and other people just p***ing on the door."

Chaos

Although race attendees flock to the city each evening, Mr McMahon said they tended to be on the hunt for low-cost meals and, as a result, "it's not a great week for us in the restaurant".

As well as anti-social behaviour on the streets, Mr McMahon said his staff had to put up with abuse from some customers inside the restaurants.

"Customers are not turning up or many are turning up really drunk. Last year, we had to throw someone out for being too drunk," he said.

After four nights of drunken behaviour from guests and passers-by outside his restaurants, Mr McMahon said he plans to close in future to escape the chaos that comes with the races.

"Next year it would be better off just closing and giving everybody a week's holidays," he said.

Irish Independent

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