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Dingwall pubs denied early opening on Sunday match days

Councillor Maxine Smith

Councillor Maxine Smith

Requests from three pubs to be allowed to serve drinks ahead of two Sunday football matches being played in Dingwall have been declined.

Dingwall British Legion, The County Tavern and The Mallard wanted to open at 11:00 when Ross County FC plays Celtic and Inverness Caley Thistle.

Highland licensing convener Maxine Smith refused permission under delegated powers.

The councillor has, however, granted Ross County’s request to serve alcohol from 11:00 at its stadium’s hospitality suite.

Police Scotland opposed the applications from the British Legion, The County Tavern and The Mallard but not the football club’s request.

Ms Smith said her refusals did not imply that all football fans would be getting drunk before the games.

However, she said she was worried about some supporters, especially some away fans who may already have been drinking on their journey to Dingwall.

Ms Smith said: “These fans would have to pass by churches where there would be services being held and congregations coming and going, as well as families and children walking about the town on their day off.”

• Full story at BBC Scotland.

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