Gardai smash notorious Early Bird Gang in Tralee pub raid

Raiding an early pub to keep us all safe in our beds

Crime, as we all know, has run rampant in Ireland in recent years.

No longer the sleepy backwater it used to be, this country is now a home for killers, robbers and worse. Big-Tom listeners, goose-booers, heron stranglers.  Boy-band managers. Bamboozlers.

The Real IRA. The Surreal IRA. The Unreal IRA. The Paranormal IRA, The Homeopathic IRA, the Ayurvedic IRA.


We have marauding gangs using the motorway system to roam the countryside in high-powered cars, terrorising rural dwellers. And violent crime in Dublin has made O’Connell Street virtually a no-go area at night. We have weekly shootings, we have sexual assaults and we have a massive hard drug problem, not to mention the gigantic white-collar crime that brought the country to the brink of extinction.

But none of these come close to the depravity of the most feared and dangerous criminals this island has ever faced and no, I’m not talking about those desperadoes Yeats warned of, the freckled men who go to a grey place on a hill in grey Connemara clothes at dawn to cast their flies. Such men might be evil but they are nothing compared to an even more dangerous class of criminal.

I speak of course, of those men who enjoy a quiet pint and a bit of a chat outside official licensing hours. If we can only get on top of this particularly nasty crime, everything else will fall into place, which is why the Gardai, since their foundation, have devoted all their resources to tackling this form of criminality.

Who could forget the heroic Garda who visited the Aran Islands posing as a backpacker and who went to his tent when the pub was supposed to close, got into his uniform and returned to bust everyone on the premises? A true hero for old Ireland, keeping the crime-ridden mean streets of Aran safe for godfearing folk like you and me.

I remember how the Gardai looked after my own moral well-being one night some years back when they raided a local pub just past midnight on a Tuesday and waited until the six customers including two frail old men had left. Imagine the mayhem on the streets if they hadn’t ejected us from Crime Central.

There has always been a doctrine within the Gardai, going all the way back to the puritanical men who set up the force, that in order to control the streets it’s necessary to control the pubs. The logic has never been tested but it’s necessary to repeat the orthodoxy if you want to get promotion in the force and we can only presume that’s what the gardai in Tralee had in mind when they raided Turner’s Bar.

turners bar tralee

Barely escaping with their lives, after a savage struggle they managed to detain one vicious criminal having a pint and three men waiting for a bus. It was a close-run thing but the highly-trained SWAT team somehow got the situation under control without needing to call in helicopters, dog-handlers or snipers. Unconfirmed reports indicate that the ruthless criminals threatened the gardai with a pack of cards and a newspaper open to the racing page.

The problem, you see was that one man was having a quiet pint and a bit of a chat at an unauthorised hour, while the others were physically standing in the premises,  and we all know what that could lead to if it got out of hand. It was a Sunday, you see, when the pubs can’t open until 12:30pm, but the criminal mastermind behind the vicious Early Bird Gang was drinking a pint at only 10.10 am.

I know. You’re probably as shocked as I am. In fact, I imagine the whole of Ireland is shocked. The Gardai in particular, whose members would never dream of having an illicit drink out of hours were probably the most shocked of all, with reports coming from Tralee of emergency trauma counselling being offered to the police who carried out the raid. Needless to say, no judge in history has ever demanded a pint after closing time, so I won’t even mention how horrified the judiciary were to hear of this crime which can only be called an atrocity.

It’s appalling. A man drinking a pint at just after 10am on a Sunday morning. It would even be shocking from Monday to Saturday when he’d be a full twenty minutes early, but to be consuming a quiet pint on the Sabbath is probably on a par with anything ISIS might do.

Can’t be too careful. Next thing you know, they might start playing chess or discussing current events.

Isn’t it lucky we have such a diligent police force with its eye fixed firmly on the real issues? A less professional outfit might waste its scarce resources on trivial matters that have nothing to do with crime.




Fighting crime – Irish style

Good Friday pub licence granted in Limerick




18 thoughts on “Gardai smash notorious Early Bird Gang in Tralee pub raid

  1. I take it by cunts, you mean the gardai Ronwan.. 12.30 on a Sunday.
    They’d have had to not open to the door to them for another 2 hours. Sunday morning is for mass.
    But I wonder how that’d work.. Yer all inside having a bit of banter, doors locked, a Garda passes along, thinks he’ll put a stop to this debauchery, so he starts banging down the door.
    Has he a right to enter the premises if he’s not invited in?
    Could you peep you head out and tell him buzz off?

  2. I remember being a yungfla travelling about the south of France, being in a club one night and asking the bartender what time they stopped serving.
    “When you stop asking. ”
    A terrible crime indeed.

  3. Absolutely scandalous :)

    A quite probably apocryphal story my Dad used to tell me about a “friend of his” who was up before the local magistrate charged with a similar case of vital importance to national security:

    “Well Tommy, you stand accused of being unlawfully present in a licensed premises and being in the state of the act of consuming alcohol on said premises in contravention of article….blah blah blah…have you anything to say for yourself?”

    “I do, your honour. And that is to say, I was not there.”

    “Oh, you weren’t there, were you not?” says the Judge, riffling through the case papers

    “Indeed I was not, your honour”, pointing a finger at the judge, “*And neither were you*”

    “uh….Case dismissed!”

  4. Priceless!! Reminds me of Jacksie Keogh’s Pub in Rathkeale on a Good Friday – I’ll tell you that story another time.

  5. But our spiritual, security, political and sporting leaders, Church, Gardai, Fianna Fail and GAA, have studied Paddy.

    They’ve pondered his psyche, his relationship with drink and the impact of opening and closing hours on his life and society in its entirety.

    Most Christian Irishmen can’t exactly recall the names of their own children, but are keenly aware of the ecumenical significance of closing – all day – pubs for the birth and death of a Jew.

    Our betters have also noted that Freud reckons that the Irish are the only race immune to psychoanalysis.

    Elsewhere, studies found that when you leave bars open all day and all night most nationalities have a lash at it for a few days.

    But then the novelty wears off and they, going forward, stop drinking. Experts believe this is because they’re not serious about alcohol.

    But the experts have noted that Paddy won’t, voluntarily, leave the bar unless certain conditions are attached.

    “He insists he won’t leave, expect for a baptism, marriage or funeral, and even at that he wants a written guarantee that the various ceremonies and customs we’ve built around hatching, matching and dispatching will involve drinking,” said the expert, yesterday.

    “Paddy is a hard dawg to keep on the porch,” to paraphrase a statement attributed to US Presidential runner Hillary Clinton in relation to her husband!

    The Church and Gardai know all this. As regards Sunday morning, there’s an celestial dimension.

    If Paddy, making his journey through eternity, goes drinking on a Sunday morning he could miss Mass, which also involves drinking, and that could impact on his immortal soul.

    Maybe the Church could serve Mass in the pub? I sincerely believe the Guards are looking out for us in this life and the next. This should be acknowledged and celebrated.

    Meantime, from a distance, 69.3% of Gardai can spot, at a glance, the difference between lines on the road and lions in the zoo.

  6. I have coming to Ireland playing music for some time before i finally moved here in 2000.
    Brought up in England, i had heard of the famous Irish wit and come-backs which,i have been on the receiving end many times .This is the country of REAL humour !
    This article IS Ireland. It has all the wit -piss-take and the sense of W T F ! which i have come t expect from the people of the land .
    I watch ‘The Stand UP acts on the tele and am appalled at the materiel used to (make us laugh ) -It doesn’t . I can swear (as my mates say) for 10 minutes without repeating myself -but it’s not funny -It’s just somebody who’s language has deteriorated beyond normal use (guilty) .
    Please Please let’s have more of this wonderful writing . The Irish are a people who look at life in a different way than most and with the grace of G-d never change 11

  7. Congrats bock.Fantastic post and absolutely spot on.Me being a rural dweller of a certain age,I can remember an Ireland where almost the only garda prosecutions were either for after-hours drinking or alternatively,heaven forbid,no light on your bicycle.
    Mind you,we knew a guard who could get your summons squashed.Unfortunately, we then had to buy buy him drink whenever we met him in the pub.This proved to be a poor economy and it was cheaper in the end to take our chances with the magistrate!

  8. I’ll print this out and take it to the US with me, my folks will probably get a good laugh out of it.

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