DISTRICT JUSTICE Dermot Dunleavy issued a stern warning to hotel proprietors in the Dundalk area just after Christmas 1973 that he would refuse to grant liquor licence exemptions to establishments running dances in premises if any more cases came before him involving young people being drunk at dance halls.
He also called on Garda authorities in the district to keep a stricter check on functions were drink was on sale after the normal closing time so that they could report to him when applications for such exemptions came before the court in future.
The Justice issued his warning on the first court in January, 1973 when dealing with a case of two teenagers who were before the court on charges of being drunk on St. Stephen's night. One of the teenagers was also charged with assault on a member of the dancehall staff and for being in possession of a dangerous weapon, namely a bottle of ale.
After issuing his warning about the sale of drink after hours and to people who were under age the Justice said ' the granting of these exemption orders is purely discretional on the part of the District Justice and I am afraid that I will have to conclude that there is not enough proper supervision if these cases continue. It is playing with fire to sell drink to youngsters at dance halls who are not able to take it'.