Prevalence and Conviction Rates for Shebeening in Irish Cities (1898-1900)

According to a report from the Royal Irish Constabulary Office in Dublin, shebeening, or the act of illegally selling alcohol, has been prevalent across Ireland from January 1898 to May 1900. During this period, 678 convictions were obtained for this illicit practice, with imprisonment imposed as a penalty in 396 cases. Among the cities, Belfast had the highest number of convictions, with 35 recorded incidents, followed by Waterford with an unspecified number, and Limerick in a distant third place with just two convictions. Based on these statistics, it seems that shebeening was not a significant issue in Limerick compared to other cities in Ireland during this time.

This disparity in conviction rates across cities could be an indication of differing levels of law enforcement or cultural attitudes toward shebeening. Limerick’s relatively low number of convictions could suggest that the city’s authorities were more effective in preventing the illegal sale of alcohol, or that the community was less reliant on shebeening as a source of income or entertainment. Alternatively, it may also raise questions regarding the adequacy of policing efforts in addressing this criminal practice in other cities. As a result, this data provides valuable insight into the regional variations in the prevalence of shebeening in Ireland, as well as the potential effectiveness of law enforcement in curbing this illegal activity during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Nottingham Evening Post – Wednesday 22 August 1900

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