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Licensing Act Conviction Upheld for Unauthorised Sale of Beer |

Licensing Act Conviction Upheld for Unauthorised Sale of Beer

At the Ennis Quarter Sessions before Judge Carton, Mrs. Edmund McCarthy of William Street, Limerick, appealed against a conviction by magistrates at Broadford Petty Sessions. The conviction found her guilty of selling beer at a location other than her licensed premises on October 24th, and she was fined £2 under section 3 of the Licensing Act of 1872.

The case revolved around the sale of beer by the defendant’s van man, John Condon, in Broadford. Constable Boyd testified that Mrs. McCarthy held a retail license for her premises in Limerick. On the day of the alleged offence, he witnessed Condon arrive in Broadford with the defendant’s van, delivering boxes of beer to various houses, including Mr W. J. O’Brien’s premises. Condon received payment for the beer and then left. The boxes were not labelled in any way.

Constable Prendergast corroborated Boyd’s account, and Condon himself stated that he only brought goods that had been previously ordered. However, he also mentioned bringing back some goods that had been refused during his journey.

Mr John Egan, the general canvasser and bookkeeper, explained the system of booking and filling orders for the van man. According to Egan, no goods were sent out without prior orders.

After legal arguments, Judge Carton confirmed the decision of the lower court. The bench unanimously agreed that no sale took place except at Broadford, which constituted a clear breach of the Licensing Act. While believing in the bona fides of the transaction, they held that since the boxes were not labelled, appropriation of the beer did not occur until it arrived at the customers’ houses. As a matter of fact, the place of sale was deemed to be at the customer’s house, not at William Street, Limerick, as argued by the defence.

Constabulary Gazette (Dublin) – Saturday 11 February 1905

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