Court challenge to Berlin Bar licence

The Berlin Bar in Dublin is facing a court challenge to the renewal of its licence after footage emerged last month of non-compliance with covid-19 social distancing rules.

A video clip was shared on social media of patrons in the popular venue on Dame Lane in Dublin city-centre.

A masked staff member danced on the bar as he poured shots into dancing customers’ mouths during the controversial bar brunch. The event was advertised as “A Very Boozy Baked Brunch With Your Buds”,

The footage went viral online.

The bar’s manager, businessman Jay Bourke, described it as “20 seconds of madness” when he commented to the media. The restaurateur told RTE's Morning Ireland: "That footage does not reflect what went on that day at all."

Licence application

However, gardai have formally objected to the bar retaining it’s licence in an application which came before Judge Michael Coghlan at the Dublin District Court on Thursday.

It has been brought by Garda Inspector John Finucane from Pearse Street station.

Barrister Dorothy Collins confirmed it related to the Berlin Bar, which is operated by her client Trillium Leisure Ltd.

A Garda sergeant told Judge Coghlan the objection was, “on the basis of non-compliance with covid regulations”.

Evidence has not yet been heard.

Judge Coghlan ordered that the hearing would take place on October 28th next.

Mr Bourke was not present for the proceedings on Thursday.

Judge Coghlan also acceded to request from Ms Collins to direct disclosure of full statements in relation to the various alleged breaches of the regulations by her client.

At the outset of the busy licensing court list, Judge Coghlan reminded parties in the cases that these were “unprecedented times”.

Licences were granted to or renewed by pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes, with pre-conditions that strict compliance will be observed, he said.

If gardai have found there were acts of misbehaviour, “it is not just an endorsement and a slap on the wrist, it is the loss of a licence,” he warned.