A Listowel, Co Kerry pub owner is facing charges after a session featuring dozens of people dressed as nuns went on for hours after official closing time.
BBC News reports that Christy Walsh of Listowel has been fined a total of €700 after his pub was raided twice in one night. The raid, however, were on the night of a massive charity event meant to raise money for Pieta House and achieve a Guinness World Record.
The ‘Nunday’ event took place in Listowel on June 30 of last year. It set a new record for the "largest gathering of people dressed as nuns,” with 1,436 adults gathering at a GAA sports ground in the town.
Ensuring to not offend anyone, the organizers of the charity event spoke with local priests and nuns to clear the idea for ‘Nunday’ with them first. They found the idea humorous, and apparently gave it their “blessing.”
The event was staged in order to benefit Pieta House, a suicide and self-harm awareness charity. The idea for the event came from a Co Kerry couple whose 17 year old son had taken his own life.
Mr Walsh, who was a member of the Nunday organizing committee, said the small town's population doubled for the day as over 1000 extra people came to Listowel to either participate in or witness the unusual event.
Despite the town’s charitable effort, police raided Walsh’s pub in Listowel twice on that night after closing - the first time about 45 minutes after closing when about 30 ‘nuns’ were found, and later around 4am when about 21 ‘nuns’ were still having the craic.
Walsh said he was there for the police’s first visit and admitted that they were just “doing their job.” However, he wasn’t present for their second raid as he was helping drive people home. Walsh claims that many of the people who were in the pub after hours were only there as they were waiting for cabs.
Walsh elaborated that the number of people in town that day nearly doubled for the event, but the cabs didn’t expand to accommodate the large crowds.
Nunday in Listowel raised an impressive €26,000 for Pieta House, which helps put Walsh’s fines in perspective. He said to the Irish Independent "I'm disappointed with the fine, but it won't stop me from doing charity work again.”
Check out this video that highlights Listowel’s Nunday events: