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Prosecution of casino accused of selling alcohol without a licence collapses

A casino operator in Galway City had charges of serving alcohol without a valid liquor licence dropped by the state after the company went into liquidation.

Midnight Entertainment Ltd, as the operator of 4 Aces Casino on Dominick street, was charged in November 2015 with selling alcohol without a liquor licence.

The company denied the charges, claiming that it was a private members club and didn’t need a licence.

The matter dragged on for several years, with the company seeking, and obtaining, a High Court order to prevent Judge Mary Fahy from hearing the case in March 2019, as reported in the Irish Independent, after she refused to recuse herself.

The company sought her recusal as she had sentenced the director of the company to six months in prison in 2015 for a similar offence.

The case proceeded to hearing before Galway District Court this week before Judge Marie Keane, where the state announced that it was withdrawing the charges.

Three employees of casino who were also charged in the same incident also had their charges dismissed.

Inspector Des Beirne told Judge Keane that he had just received information from the Companies Registration Office that Midnight Entertainment Ltd went into liquidation in July of this year.

The prosecution of the company would therefore fail, he said, and the state was withdrawing the charges.

If the prosecution of the company failed, it would also fall in the case of the individual defendants, he added, and those charges were therefore also being withdrawn.

Solicitor for one of the employees Ms Valerie Corcoran asked Judge Keane to have the charges dismissed with prejudice, meaning the state could not prosecute them again for the same charges.

She said that her client has been badly affected by this for the past five years, and has been prevented from getting a passport, and that she was told as recently as the Friday prior that the case would be proceeding.

Mr John Martin, representing the other two individuals, echoed her submission.

Judge Keane agreed to strike out all the charges with prejudice, bringing the saga to a definitive close.

Briain Kelly
Email: news@galwaydaily.com
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