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Pub could escape 'lock-in' prosecution... as laws aren't in Irish

Donegal GAA captain Anthony Molloy’s bar is the third to employ an apparent loophole in Ireland’s legal system.

Image: Simon Cocks via Flickr

A DONEGAL PUB is challenging its prosecution for alleged after-hours drinking – because the relevant laws have not been translated into Irish.

If its challenge is successful, Ardara’s Central Bar would become the third pub to use the loophole. Two pubs in Claremorris, Co Mayo, saw late-opening charges against them dismissed last week after using the same defence.

The Irish News (print edition) reports that solicitors for the Central Bar – run by former Donegal GAA captain Anthony Molloy – have argued that the case is invalid because the legislation only exists in English. If Mr Molloy wanted to have the case heard in Irish it would not be possible, Glenties District Court heard.

Under the Constitution, Irish is the official language of the Republic. During the Mayo case, the OPW confirmed that the Intoxicating Liquor Acts of 2000, 2003 and 2004 have not yet been translated. And they are not alone – among the other laws still untranslated are the law creating the National Pension Reserve Fund, the Equality Act of 2004, and laws enacting every Budget from 2000 until 2004.

Read Seamus McKinney’s full story in today’s Irish News (print edition) >

Read more: Could two Mayo publicans have exposed a gaping hole in Ireland’s legal system? >

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Michael Freeman

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