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After a 3 hour hearing, fate of Tully O'Reilly's Pub liquor license uncertain


Tully O'Reilly's Pub, at the corner of Pearl and Pleasant Streets in Northampton.

GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Tully O'Reilly's Pub, at the corner of Pearl and Pleasant Streets in Northampton. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO Purchase photo reprints »

NORTHAMPTON — A three-and-a-quarter-hour hearing ended Wednesday with no decision about the fate of the liquor license for Tully O’Reilly’s Pub at the corner of Pearl and Pleasant streets.

The hearing was continued until the License Commission’s next meeting in September.

The hearing was requested by the Northampton Police Department following an early morning incident in June that ended with reports of at least two fights in and around the bar and seven arrests.

Northampton Police Chief Russell P. Sienkiewicz said at the hearing that the bar frequently draws large rowdy crowds and causes disturbances that tie up police officers for hours.

Diane Fernald, representing Tully O’Reilly’s and owner Tully McColgan, objected to any evidence presented at the hearing that falls outside the June 16 incident or that hadn’t already been documented at earlier License Commission hearings.

Several Northampton police officers on duty that morning and several staff members of Tully O’Reilly’s and the bar that shares the building, The Elevens, gave their version of events.

According to police, officers responded to a call from the bar about 1 a.m. for an unwelcome patron who needed to be removed.

While that person was being placed under arrest, a fight broke out inside the bar between two men. A brief time later, three women who had allegedly been in the bar earlier began fighting in a nearby parking lot.

One man was sent to the hospital for treatment of cuts, bruises, a fractured eye socket and a broken nose.

Police maintain the injuries were sustained when the man had a bottle smashed in his face.

Walter Jennings, the bar manager on duty that morning, said the bar was cleared out quickly once the fight inside broke out and order was restored quickly.

Officers who were cross-examined by Fernald said they didn’t find glass on the floor of the bar, and bar staff who testified said they didn’t either.

The License Commission agreed to continue the hearing in order to give Fernald time to review approximately 274 police responses to the bar logged from June 1, 2011, through June 16, 2013, that didn’t trigger requests for violation hearings.

Those calls resulted in 52 arrests, according to police records.

Sienkiewicz maintains those calls establish a pattern unique to Tully O’Reilly’s, saying the number of responses there dwarf the number of responses to other bars in town.

Bob Dunn can be reached at bdunn@gazettenet.com.

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