Thursday 18 January 2018

Publican jailed after refusing to end picket outside brewery

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A PUBLICAN has been jailed after refusing to end a picket outside Dutch brewing giants Heineken, who he accused of trying to drive him out of business.

Anthony 'Tony' Horgan (47) was remanded in custody when he refused to comply with a District Court bail condition, which stipulated that he stay away from Heineken's headquarters and distribution warehouse in Cork.

Judge Leo Malone expressed regret but said that he had no option but to remand Mr Horgan in custody given his stance.

The publican faces charges of trespass, breach of the peace and obstruction.

Mr Horgan, who was arrested by Garda Mick Kelleher, made no reply after being cautioned and charged.

In testimony to Cork District Court, Mr Horgan said he was merely trying to operate his business.

However, he said that when he was asked to remove his vehicle from in front of the Heineken gateway at Leitrim Street, Cork, last Thursday, he immediately refused.

"I am not moving anywhere until my (vehicle) is loaded up. It is going to have to be the (garda) armed response unit who are going to have to move me," he said.

Mr Horgan, a father of one, runs the successful Old Mill pub in Donoughmore, Co Cork, and mounted a protest outside the Heineken factory after claiming his order was not being honoured.

The publican said he had no debts to the Dutch firm and had an excellent record with all his brewery suppliers.

However, he said he was informed by Heineken that a quota was now applying to all his sales.

He said he could not secure the supplies he required this week and could not get anyone in Heineken to negotiate with.

"They (Heineken) are trying to put me out of business for no good reason. I don't owe them money or anything.

"I just want to get product. I need product to run my pub," Mr Horgan said.

Gardai said they had no option but to seek a remand in custody given that the publican would not give an undertaking to stay away from the Heineken premises.

"It doesn't give me any pleasure to do this. But if you do not abide by the rules of this court I have no choice," Judge Malone said.

He remanded Mr Horgan in custody to Cork Prison to appear again before the District Court on Monday.

Irish Independent

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