THE manager of a Clydebank pub has been given a slap on the wrist after holding a lock-in on the night of an Old Firm match.

Catherine Sweeney, who runs The Mountblow Bar on Dumbarton Road, was caught drinking after hours on the premises with three others at 3am on April 30.

Police were attending a nearby incident when they heard loud music from the bar while the shutters were down. They could see four people clearly within.

At a special licensing board meeting last Wednesday, Sergeant Mairi Capaldi said officers had found Ms Sweeney to be “intoxicated” and in breach of both the premises and her personal licence.

However, after a defence was made by licensing lawyer Stephen McGowan on behalf of Ms Sweeney and Ioana Pub Partnership, the premises licence holder, the board agreed the incident was a “simple lapse in judgement”.

Mr McGowan explained the circumstances in the run up to the lock-in had resulted in said the manager, known as Kate, made an “unfortunate and regrettable decision”.

He said: “It’s an incident which has embarrassed Ms Sweeney and which she has apologised profusely for.

“The Mountblow is a very well-run pub. It’s not one on your (West Dunbartonshire Council’s licensing board) radar or the police’s radar for any ongoing issues.

“From Ioana’s perspective we deem this to be a well-run pub and we stand by Kate. We don’t dispute the report. The report is accurate.

“Kate did allow consumption of alcohol. It was the date of the Old Firm and Kate was working a double shift.

“The premises traded well that day. It was an extremely busy shift. At the end of that night, the cleaner phoned to cancel and tell Kate she wouldn’t be in the next day.

“Kate decided to stay behind and clean. The pub was cleared apart from a local couple, who are well respected.

“She took an unfortunate decision to sit down and have a drink with the couple that stayed behind. That shouldn’t have happened. That’s a lapse in judgement.”

“In balance it’s something I hope that can be forgiven. She let her guard down.”

Ms Sweeney added: “It was the most stupidest thing on the planet but it was the end of a hard shift. The shutter wasn’t locked but it was down. It certainly wasn’t a rave.”

Councillors expressed concern that Ms Sweeney had been working long hours in the run up to the incident and recognised her “dedication” to her work.

While Mr McGowan recommended an endorsement be issued – a warning which could be on Ms Sweeney’s personal licence for five years – Councillor Jonathan McColl claimed that would be “too far”.

He said: “An endorsement is too far as that lasts five years. Kate has made a simple lapse in judgement.

“We should write a simple warning letter, something that doesn’t go on an official file. She doesn’t deserve something that goes on a record for five years. She had the bravery and honesty to come forward and say she had done this and she’s sorry.

“I think a warning letter is the appropriate way forward in this case. It’s simply to say we know this has happened and don’t let it happen again.”

No action will be taken against Iona Pub Partnership, while a motion was carried to issue the Mountblow Bar with a letter of warning.