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Race punters left thirsty after error from Galway Vintners Association

Published 30/07/2014 | 16:03

Galway race week is as famous for its nightlife as its action on the Ballybrit track, but last night revellers were left without a pint in hand due to a hiccup by the local Vintners Association.

Punters were baffled when bars shuts and they were left standing out on the city’s famous Shop Street from midnight on Tuesday night - due to the absence of a 2am licence.

The Galway Vintners Association traditionally applies for a late night licence for the entire week of the horse-racing extravaganza to keep the thousands entertained into the early hours.

However, instead of requesting licensing for the full seven days of the festival, the Association sought a licence for just five days.

Terry Tyson, head of the Galway Vintners Association, represents the publicans in the city and the mistake was due to a “clerical error”.

"There was a clerical error between the solicitors and ourselves.

“We took it that we had an exemption for all seven nights and pubs stayed open until late on Monday as would normally be the case.

“But on Tuesday the licensing sergeant brought it to our attention when he informed us that there was no exception and he would be implementing the law.

“When we looked into it we discovered where the error had occurred which meant pubs had to stop serving at midnight instead of 2am.”

He added:

“We informed as many of our members as possible but the guards were lenient and everyone worked together to sort it out.

“Some people were discommoded that they couldn't get a late drink but they'd probably had enough by that stage anyway.”

Race goers are expected to turn out in their droves tonight as the festival heats up and normality resumes in the dozens of pubs around the city centre.

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