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Tesco cleared to sell spirits in Temple Bar

A JUDGE has thrown out objections by a commercial group against Tesco Ireland getting an off-licence certificate for the sale of spirits and wines in their major new store in Dublin's Temple Bar.

The Circuit Civil Court had heard that moves to block Tesco Ireland obtaining a drinks licence could have repercussions for all of the chain's 130 Irish outlets.

The retailer had taken the threat to its drinks trade so seriously as to retain the country's top senior counsel -- Dermot Gleeson and Constance Cassidy -- in their bid to overturn a District Court order refusing the licence. Mr Gleeson told the court the new Tesco store was on the ground floor of the former ESB offices in Fleet Street, Dublin, part of Temple Bar.

Mr Gleeson said the refusal to grant the company a licence had been made on the grounds of fitness and character.


He said it was a serious matter for the company.

Character related almost exclusively to the reputation of the applicant in relation to its track record in running its licensed premises.

He said all of the concerns in the District Court had been raised on planning permission grounds, none of which in his view was sustainable. He submitted that the District Court had acted beyond its jurisdiction.

Dorothy Collins, counsel for the objectors, said doubts had been cast over the bona fides of Tesco Ireland Ltd by the District Court judge who had stated she had been annoyed that full facts in relation to planning had not been disclosed to the court.

Judge Alison Lindsay said that the objectors had missed their opportunity to legally object to the licence at the initial stages and could not do so now. Tesco had complied with all planning laws and the legal proofs necessary to obtain its certificate for a licence which she granted.