Gardai set to target booze-run deliveries
GARDAI are considering the launch of a sting operation to tackle the illegal delivery and sale of alcohol in North Dublin.
Senior officers are concerned about outlets delivering alcohol to homes and public locations before it is paid for.
The practice is illegal, and was brought up at a recent meeting of the Dublin North West joint policing committee.
Gardai have said outlets are entitled to deliver alcohol to homes once payment has been made "at source".
However, there has been a growing number of complaints about outlets accepting cash on delivery.
There have also been reports of alcohol being delivered to parks and other public places in response to orders placed by teenagers under the legal age.
The Herald has learned that gardai are preparing to engage in a number of test purchases in a bid to gauge the extent of the "booze-run" problem.
Under the scheme, young people aged from 15 to 17 are recruited by gardai using the force's contacts with schools, youth clubs and other organisations.
The teenagers and their parents must consent to taking part, and they are not paid.
During test purchases, a young person goes into a pub or off-licence and tries to buy alcohol while being watched by an undercover garda.
Officers are expected to contact retailers suspected of being engaged in the practice before deciding whether to launch a full "sting operation".
Sinn Fein TD for Dublin North West, Dessie Ellis, said: "It's a particular problem in areas such as Ballymun and Finglas.
"This is difficult to police. If somebody visits an off-licence and pays at source, they are entitled to agree for the alcohol to be delivered later.
"Alcohol being delivered and sold at doorsteps is illegal but it certainly is happening."