Irish Pub Raided While Nuns Were Drinking for a Worthy Cause
An Irish pub has
been prosecuted after police found dozens of "nuns" drinking illegally,
several hours past closing time on his premises. Christy Walsh, who runs the
bar in Listowel, County Kerry, has been fined a total of 700 euros after his
pub was raided twice in one night. He had helped to organise a charity event
in the town last July, in which hundreds of people dressed up as nuns.
Nunday event took place in Listowel last June, and set a new record
for the "largest gathering of people dressed as nuns". £In total,
1,436 adults made a holy show of themselves at a sports ground in
the town. £ The volunteers donned nuns' outfits and gathered in the
field, where they were counted by officials acting on behalf of the
Guinness Book of World Records. The adjudicators also made sure that
the 'sisters' observed a strict dress code. It had to include a
habit, a veil, black shoes and black socks or tights. £ They were
officially counted and set a new Guinness World Record.
Mr Walsh, who was a
member of the Nunday organizing committee, said the small town's population
doubled for the day as up to 3,000 extra people came to Listowel to either
participate in or witness the unusual event.
However, after pub closing time, in the early hours of the following morning,
police entered Mr Christy's bar on two separate occasions, and found 51 'nuns'
on the premises.
The officers first came in about 45 minutes after closing time and found 30
people dressed as nuns and their second visit was a few hours later, when they
observed 21 'sisters' still at the bar.
Mr Walsh said he was at the premises for the first police visit and accepted
that the police were "doing their job". ££He said he was not there in person for
the second visit, because he was driving people home.
He claimed that many people found to be in the pub after hours were waiting on
Mr Walsh said Listowel had a population of about 3,000 people and on a typical
Saturday night there were only about 10 taxis to cater for late night revellers.
The publican said he was disappointed by the decision to proceed with the
prosecution. ££ However, he appeared philosophical about it, adding that the
event had raised around 26,000 euros for charity.
The idea had come from a County Kerry couple, who had lost their 17-year-old son
Mr Walsh said when the nun costumes were suggested, the organizing committee
sought reaction from a local convent and from a parish priest before going ahead
with it. £ He claimed that both saw the humor, agreed it was for a good cause,
and "gave their blessing" to Nunday.