Recently, we’ve brought you stories of the Rock Bingo Club in Cork, reporting in November on the original story where they were raided by the gardai and again, in December when they received a court order in their favour declaring their activities as legal. Despite this, the Irish Independent reported on Monday that there has been a second raid at the bingo hall.
On the evening of January 1st, whilst a bingo game was underway, the gardai once again raided the Rock Bingo Club run which is managed by Omega Leisure Ltd. Omega Leisure, who have spent €750,000 renovating and developing the bingo hall were holding their gala opening event when the gardai turned up once more.
In possession of a warrant, the gardai carried out a full search-and-seizure of the thousand seater venue in the Togher area of Cork, seizing a number of different bingo and play books to the value of over €20,000. Despite this, the bingo game continued and the club is believed to have stayed open for further bingo games this week. On the night of the incident, it’s believed over 500 bingo fans had turned up to play.
After spending two months preparing and going to the effort of acquiring a High Court order to ensure their gala bingo opening could go ahead, it’s surely going to be hugely disappointing and upsetting for the owners of the club to have it hijacked once again.
The article in the Irish Independent continues to explain that they believe the raid and the warrant that had been granted were carried out on the basis that the activities taking place on the premises weren’t lawful. This is believed to be due to the conditions of the licence granted to the bingo hall for charity bingo games. One source suggested that concerns had been raised as to the location of the charitable beneficiary of the game as the Rock Bingo Club licence only permits certain games linked to certain organisations.
Indeed, the High Court battle had been regarding the licence pertaining to the agency agreement between Omega Leisure Ltd and the Mercy Hospital Foundation, on behalf of whom the company agreed to run charity bingo games. However, the Rock Bingo club is planning to run several bingo nights a week, with the belief being that a different charity may be represented each night.
Working out the next move on behalf of either party will be difficult but it’s clear to see that this charade has not played out to the end yet.