News

Irish pub wins right to run loyalty card scheme for customers

NewsBy Alan Sherry
Solicitor said it was no different to a supermarket having such a scheme
Solicitor said it was no different to a supermarket having such a scheme

A CORK pub has been given permission to run a loyalty card scheme for customers, despite the objections of Gardaí and other publicans.

Michael Cambridge received a three-year licence for Molloy’s Bar in Clonakility this week. 

Gardaí expressed concerns about the licence as Mr Cambridge intends to run a loyalty card scheme. 

His solicitor said it was no different to a supermarket having such a scheme. 

However, Inspector Fergal Foley told Clonakilty District Court that a loyalty card could lead to excessive drinking and “gardaí are then the ones that have to pick up the tab on the street”.

Mr Cambridge said he was already operating a similar scheme in another pub he owns in Kanturk. “It has not affected me in the other pub,” he said.

Inspector Foley said he believed a loyalty card was contrary to Section 16 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act, 2008, but a loophole meant relevant regulations had not been put in place. 

Judge James McNulty granted the licence. He told Mr Cambridge that Clonakilty was “a ‘Premier League’ tourist town” and he needed to be aware of that. 

The Department of Justice said the loophole would be closed in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill.