| 12.1°C Dublin

Racecourse barman pocketed cash, court told

THIS is the barman accused of siphoning off cash from a catering company while he worked behind a bar at a racecourse.

Oliver Harrington (41) is alleged to have stolen over €460 worth of alcohol and cash, after he served drinks to racegoers and pocketed the money. He has denied the charge.

A court heard that Mr Harrington, who was searched after gardai were alerted and found with a "wodge of cash" in his trouser pocket, will allege the money was a mixture of cash tips from customers and money he won on a bet on a horse.

He claimed bar staff can earn as much as €100 per day in tips, though this was refuted by his bosses, who said the most bar staff would earn in tips would be €15 or €20. The defendant, of Lacken View, Naas, Co Kildare, appeared before Dun Laoghaire District Court charged with stealing €460 and £5 (Stg). The alleged incident took place at a bar at the Leopardstown Racecourse on December 28 last year.


Declan O'Callaghan, a bar manager with Compass Catering, which provides the catering services at Leopardstown, said he was on a balcony overlooking a bar area when he saw Mr Harrington serve drinks to a customer but put the money into his pocket.

He spoke to the manager, John Farrell, who joined him on the balcony, and they watched while Mr Harrington served a number of customers, walk to the till and press a few buttons. Mr O'Callaghan said the till opened and Mr Harrington closed it, but he did not put any money into the till.

Mr O'Callaghan told the court he saw Harrington put the money in his left pocket. He claimed he saw the accused repeat this process seven or eight times.

The till was later checked, and over 20 "no sales" were recorded on the till printout, which would be highly unusual.

When Mr Harrington was confronted, he denied he had any money. He then told them "leave me alone, this isn't fair" and walked off. Gardai were called and when they searched Mr Harrington, he had €250 in crumpled notes. The case continues.