PSNI & Judiciary intent on closing down Fermanagh pub industry – Flanagan
Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan said that the both the PSNI and the judiciary in Fermanagh appear intent on closing down the pub industry.
He was reacting to a decision by the PSNI to impose a blanket objection to all applications for extending opening hours from pubs across Fermanagh.
Mr Flanagan said:
“I have been contacted by a number of worried publicans across Co Fermanagh who are very concerned about the manner in which licensing applications are being dealt with by both the PSNI and the Courts Service and the damage that the current restrictions place on their already struggling business.
“There is a widely held belief that publicans in Co Fermanagh are facing a different situation than their counterparts in other council areas across the north. Especially given the drastic action taken by the PSNI locally in objecting to all applications for extended opening hours at a recent court hearing.
“These cases are scheduled for a further hearing on October 21st and I am concerned decisions that should be taken by the judiciary or legislators are being taken by the PSNI. This is completely unacceptable.
“It appears to me that the actions by both the PSNI and the judiciary are nothing more than an attempt close down a wholly legitimate industry, which provides extensive benefits for our local economy, on what appear to be ideological grounds.
“I have requested an urgent meeting with PSNI Chief Superintendent Pauline Shields to discuss this matter in advance of the next court hearing and I have also contacted the Minister of Justice to see whether he sees this as an acceptable situation.”