Licence decision due on Belfast bar Filthy McNastys

By Conor Spackman
BBC News

Image caption,
A ruling on Filthy McNastys will be made on Wednesday

A new Belfast night spot faces legal action for providing entertainment despite not having a licence.

Proceedings began after Belfast City Council officials visited Filthy McNastys on the Dublin Road in May.

Details have emerged ahead of a council meeting ruling on Wednesday on an application for the licence by bar owners, Jermon Developments.

The council will hear how the previous bar on the site Dempseys was "notorious for trouble and disturbances".

Dempseys, which was owned by Harry Diamond, closed in September 2007 after being badly damaged in a fire.

It was taken over by Jermon Developments, a property company run by former pharmacist, Peter Dolan.

He had hoped to knock down the building and others running between Great Victoria Street and Dublin Road to construct a landmark 11-storey tower and plaza called South Bank Square.

However, the plan did not go ahead due to the refusal of planning permission and the economic downturn.

A report compiled for councillors on the licence committee states that following a complaint on 21 May 2010, enforcement officials visited Filthy McNastys the following day and found that "entertainment, in the form of a two-piece band, was being provided on the premises".

'Strict door policy'

An email to the council from Mark Beirne, a consultant acting on behalf of Jermon, explained that a misunderstanding occured between him and his employers "with both parties assuming the other had dealt with the issue of obtaining the entertainments licence".

Mr Beirne, a former director of the failed Life Inns chain, also detailed how it was agreed with Jermon that Filthy McNastys would "have a strict door policy that was mainly aimed at students, young professionals and tourists".

The email continued: "The idea was to create a sociable atmosphere as opposed to the scene that Dempsey's would portray of late night drinking and dancing".

Councillors will also hear how an official has met with Mr Beirne on site and "the majority of technical issues required to enable a licence to be issued have now been satisfied."

There has also been an unannounced inspection since the original offence and no entertainment was being provided.

A representative of Jermon Developments will be at the City Hall to answer questions from councillors on Wednesday.

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