A 51-year-old pub licensee has been fined £1500 after more than 130 people were found drinking on his Magheraveely premises after hours. Basil Wiggins, of Mullynagowan, Newtownbutler, has been the license holder at the Oasis Bar, Magheraveely for 20 years and was convicted at Enniskillen Magistrates Court of both selling alcohol outside permitted hours and permitting the consumption of alcohol outside permitted hours.
The prosecutor outlined that on June 7, 2015 police were called out to the Oasis Bar, Magheraveely at 2.50am.
Police arrived and noted the front door was locked, but could hear voices talking and laughing. A man came to the front door and told them he was one of the bouncers and that the owner was at the back of the bar. When police went around to the back of the premises they saw a fully lit area being manned by a female member of staff.
Officers observed more than 130 people in the area spread around the pub. They noted that most had a pint glass or bottle in their hands and seized alcohol being drank in the pub.
Wiggins was interviewed at Lisnaskea Police Station on July 18 and cautioned in relation to the offences. Police then attended Enniskillen Courthouse and attained a copy of the bar license.
District judge Nigel Broderick asked why so many people were on Mr Wiggins’ premises at 2.50am. Representing himself the defendant, a self-employed part-time electrician stated: “It’s a wee country bar. People were waiting for buses and taxis, it was a one-off event.” Wiggins told the court a band had played in the village on the night in question.
He explained that along with his wife they have run the pub for over 20 years.
When asked if he wished to say anything further to the charges, the defendant added: “It was just a one-off event and people were just hard to get home and out that night and it will never happen again.”
The district judge said these were “serious offences”, but decided against taking away the defendant’s bar license. Mr Broderick imposed the monetary penalty and five penalty points on Wiggins’ liquor license. “I have to warn you any further penalty points and the licence will be suspended, ” the district judge added.