A former Dublin lord mayor was questioned by gardaí who were investigating a suspected 'lock-in' at a city pub as part of an alleged breach of coronavirus regulations.
Last night, Councillor Nial Ring completely denied "any wrongdoing" and commended gardaí for the "professional and polite" way they handled matters.
He insisted there had been no breach of Covid-19 rules.
The incident under investigation by Fitzgibbon Street gardaí began at around 11pm last Friday when officers observed three men outside The Ref Pub in Ballybough in the north inner city.
Gardaí tried to gain entry to the pub by knocking on the shutters for a period of time before a man who they understood to be the owner let them in.
"On entry five males were found to be present in an upstairs area and they were all sent home after their details were obtained," a source said.
There were no arrests and the case is being investigated under the tough anti-coronavirus regulations, which require that all non-essential businesses, including pubs, be closed.
Records from the Land Registry show Mr Ring and his business partner Liam McGrattan took out a mortgage on the building housing the pub, 70 Ballybough Road, with AIB in August 2006.
Mr Ring told Independent.ie he no longer owns the building.
Mr McGrattan is listed as the licensee for alcohol sales, according to Revenue Commissioners records.
When contacted by Independent.ie, the Independent councillor said: "There were five of us upstairs in my office, which is completely separate from the bar downstairs which I have no access to, when I answered the door to gardaí.
"This is my work office and I was there with my business partner and a couple of his colleagues and we were each having a bottle of beer after completing an important business matter.
"We were all two metres apart and what we were drinking did not come from the pub downstairs.
"I think the gardaí are doing a great job in policing the Covid crisis and they were very professional and polite when they entered the premises - I am 100pc behind their efforts.
"There was no breach of the regulations."