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Saturday 23 February 2019

Well known pub 'forced to hire extra security' to deal with students celebrating at 7am

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Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

ONE of Cork's best known early houses has had to hire extra security to cope with college students celebrating as early as 7am in the morning.

Speaking on the Neil Prendeville Show on Cork's RedFM, Fianna Fail Cllr Mary Shields raised concerns about students going to the early houses, which can legally start serving alcohol at 7am.

"I don't think students are getting up that early to go drinking. It would be reasonable to think they are out drinking all night. I've nothing against students having a good time but there will be major problems if students are getting taxis into the city in the morning to go drinking after having been out all night," Cllr Shields said.

"Last Wednesday taxis brought two loads into the city and they were queuing outside the pub because it was so full.

"Young people should be getting up to go to college at 7am. I'm sure parents who are working hard and paying huge fees wouldn't be happy to see their son or daughter in the town drinking at 7am."

Cllr Shields said that the early houses should have strict policies when it comes to students.

"It was never designed to cater for [students]. The licence exists since 1927. In this context, there is an onus on the people who run them to bar students."

Michael O'Donovan, chairman of the Cork Vintners Federation said that students drinking early in the morning is a new "phenomenon" and called on the Government to introduce laws to end the sale of cheap alcohol.

"I don't think it is the business that pubs want but it is a new phenomenon over the last year and a half. It happens particularly on RAG week and Freshers' week. There is one early house that they seem to target and that bar takes precautions by taking in security and having people on the door to look after the students.

"It also happened last week on 'Refreshers' week'. It's primarily people who are out all night and continuing the party in the morning. Not all the students get in and some are refused at the door because they're so intoxicated."

Mr O'Donovan said that laws around refusing students in the pub are a "minefield".

"These pubs are there primarily for dockers and for shift workers because people working throughout the night come for a drink after their shift. Students going to it, once they're over 18, can use it legally and it's very hard to stop them.

"Cheap alcohol in the supermarkets has become a big problem. People are drinking at home before going onto an event. The amount of alcohol that is being sold is much higher off-trade than on-trade. It is expensive to come to as bar to have a drink but it's become cheaper to drink from the off-trade."

Paraic O’Regan from the Welcome Inn pub, which has an early house licence, said that the most people who come to his pub are in their early 60s.

"I've a lot of pensioners that come in the morning for company, I've a lot of guys off the drink who come in and we just look after them. There is a lot of loneliness out there.

"There are zero issues in relation to public order at my premises."

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