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'Fully-equipped bar' and 'significant amount of alcohol' found at suspected shebeen in Westport

During the course of a search, gardaí located a number of people on the premises consuming alcohol.

A FULLY-EQUIPPED bar and a “significant amount of alcohol” was found by gardaí when they searched a suspected shebeen in Westport, Co Mayo.

As a result of information received as part of Operation Navigation, gardaí obtained a search warrant under Section 26 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 1962 and conducted a search of an outhouse in the Westport area at approximately 8.15pm yesterday.

During the course of this search, gardaí located a number of people on the premises consuming alcohol and informed them they were breaching the current Covid-19 regulations in relation to indoor gatherings.

Upon further inspection by gardaí, a fully-equipped bar was located with taps for draught stout and lager, as well as a proper cooling unit under the counter. Barrels were kept outside in a deep freeze unit.

A sum of cash and documents were seized by gardaí.

A significant amount of alcohol (cans, spirits, wine and barrels), glasses, beer taps and a cooling unit were also seized.

A full investigation is now underway and files will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

An Garda Síochána has appealed to anyone with information about the operation of illegal shebeens to contact their local garda station.

In addition to potential criminal breaches by the operator, a spokesperson said An Garda Síochána “wants to remind every person of their social and personal responsibility not to frequent premises or engage in activity which is likely to contribute to the increasing spread of the Covid-19 virus”.

“The Covid-19 pandemic remains a public health crisis and a real threat to everyone, particularly the most vulnerable in our society, the virus is still spreading, it is still leading to serious illness and death.

“An Garda Síochána continues to appeal to all citizens to comply with Public Health Guidelines and Regulations in order to continue to save lives,” a statement released tonight noted.

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