THE LICENSING ACT
Brace of Prosecutions in Thomastown
Two Publicans Convicted
Penalties inflicted in both cases
At the Petty Sessions held on Tuesday last in Thomastown, before Mr. C. P. Creaghe, R.M. ; Col. W. T. Butler, Mr. W. Pilsworth and Mr. M. J. Ryan.
John Sheehy, publican, Market street, Thomastown, was charged by District Inspector Silcock with a breach of the Licensing Act on Sunday 18th October. Philip Lennon, Logan Street, Thomastown and Patrick Murphy, Market Street, do., were summoned for being found on Sheehy’s premises.
In the absence of Mr. Silcock, the case was conducted by head-constable Connell.
Constable Hennessy gave evidence to the effect that on Sunday 18th October, he was on duty in the town with Constable McCarthy. At 8-40 p.m. he called at Mr. Sheehy’s public house and demanded an admission. They were admitted through the hall door. After entering witness asked the publican’s assistant if he had any persons on the premises, and h said he had a few travelers. On going through the hall witness heard footsteps and a rush as if parties were hastily leaving the back kitchen or room and going towards the rere of the premises. He saw Mr. Sheehy, the publican, standing at an outhouse door, and asked him had he any persons on the premises, and he said he had a few travelers at the bar. He asked him was there any person in the outhouse, and he replied that there was not and that witness need not go look for anybody in there. Witness went into the back house, which was in darkness, he lit a match and saw Philip Lennon and Patrick Murphy crouched up in a corner against the wall, hiding. He called them out and asked them how could they account for their presence there ; they gave no explanation but subsequently said they were invited in. Defendant was present, and when asked by the witness to account for the presence of the two men on his premises he said that he had invited them in for a drnk.
Chairman (Mr. Creaghe) :It was a very odd place indeed, to put his guests (laughter)
Witness said: the bar was open and lighted. There were people there whom witness satisfied himself were travelers.
Publican: Did you see these men going into the store when you were coming in?
Chairman: He found them there, and that is all that matters.
Constable McCarthy corroborated the evidence of the previous witness
A boy named Michael Walsh was examined for the defence, and stated that on the Sunday evening in question he was present when r. Sheehy invited Lennon and Murphy in for a drink.
Head-constable: What time was that?
Witness: About 8 o’clock or so. The four of us were standing together at the time outside Mr. Sheehy’s door.
Chairman: Were you invited in?
Witness: No, I was not (laughter), but I was present when the two men were invited in by Mr. Sheehy, and I then walked away.
The defendant Lennon said he was invited in.
Chairman: What is the character of this house?
Head-constable Connell: Mr. Sheehy is not long a publican. The house has been well conducted since he came there.
Chairman: Is this his first offence?
Head-constable Connell : It is.
Chairman: He did not improve his position by telling so many lies about these boys. They undoubtedly were in there when they had no business to be there. If they were bone fide guests hey would not have gone and concealed themselves in the outhouse. I don’t believe a word of the evidence of that boy who was examined for the defence.
Sergeant Gormley said that Mr. Sheehy only got the licence for the premises six months ago when a transfer was granted to him from a man named Cuddihy.
Chairman: It is your first offence and I hope you won’t have another offence against you for a long time. It is just as well for you to take a wrinkle from what I say, and that is when the police visit your house and find you doing wrong you ought to tel them the truth. A man who comes before us and tells the truth – an honest man who admits he has committed a crime – gets out of it better than the man who tells lies. You will be fined 10s. and costs for this offence, and the two men found on the premised will be fined 5s. each.
Taken from ‘The Kilkenny People‘, November 7th, 1914