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Dublin: 4°C Friday 21 January 2022

Judge denies liquor licence, says there are enough pubs in Temple Bar

The judge said local residents were entitled to the quiet enjoyment of their homes.

Image: Shutterstock/Tilman Ehrcke

A JUDGE HAS refused to grant a Dublin solicitor a licence to open a pub in the Temple Bar area, saying there are enough licenced premises in the area.

Judge Karen Fergus said there were enough public houses around 5 Aston Quay to provide for the 130 customers that Aston Hospitality Ltd, of which solicitor Dermot O’Neill is a director, planned to cater for.

Judge Fergus told barrister Kerry-Jane Morgan, counsel for a number of objectors, that her clients which included local residents were entitled to the quiet enjoyment of their homes.

The judge said Mr O’Neill purchased 5 Aston Quay in June 2014 and obtained planning permission to convert the top floor into a one-bedroom apartment where he intended to live. He had leased the first and second floors to a charity.

Judge Fergus said the ground floor and basement area were previously incorporated into Numbers 3 and 4 Aston Quay and operated as a nightclub and bar under a theatre licence.

Publican seven-day licence

Mr O’Neill had reinstated a wall between Numbers 4 and 5, with the intention to open the pub on the ground floor and basement. He had applied to the Circuit Court for a declaratory order which would guarantee him a publican’s seven-day on-licence if the premises was completed in accordance with planning permission.

The full licence would have allowed him to sell beer, wines and spirits once the premises had been renovated.

Judge Fergus said in a reserved judgment that the objectors (one of which is RTÉ Space expert Leo Enright) claimed the new premises were unfit, inconvenient and unsuitable for the needs of residents in the neighbourhood.

They had also claimed that there were enough licensed premises in the area. An Garda Síochána, the Fire Authority and other licensed premises in the area had not objected to the application.

No need for one more 

Judge Fergus said there were 13 seven day on-licence premises in the neighbourhood and the creation of one more was unnecessary.

“Of course there are pros and cons of city centre living but the residents have given evidence that their lives are being negatively impacted by the numbers of pubs that are already operating in the area,” the judge said.

Constance Cassidy SC, who appeared with Nicola-Jane Andrews for Aston Hospitality Ltd, had told the court that Mr O’Neill, a solicitor with the Director of Public Prosecutions, had always wanted to open a pub and intended to take a leave of absence if the application was granted.

Judge Fergus refused Aston Hospitality’s application.

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Saurya Cherfi

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