An Irish members club’s future is under threat after police called for the council to revoke its licence for selling booze illegally.

A Thames Valley Police (TVP) investigation found the Reading and District Irish Club was selling alcohol to members of the public who are not members nor guests and the club has refused to stop doing so.

The Chatham Street and London Street club’s licence only allows it to sell alcohol to members and their guests, within times of 11am – 2am, Monday to Saturday, and 12pm – 1am on Sundays.

An organisation which shares the venue, providing meals to elderly members, has hit out at the police, calling for a “positive outcome to this very worrying situation”.

Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) Licensing committee will review the club’s license on Thursday, July 27 in a public meeting at the Civic Offices at 930am.

TVP carried out an inspection on June 5 after discovering the club’s doors were “open to the public” which “raised the belief that the club was not operating on a private basis catering only for members and guests”.

A police investigation found 50 per cent of people consuming alcohol within the club were not members or guests of members.

At a follow-up inspection on June 5, sale of alcohol to members of the public was again observed despite the chairman being made aware of the offences of selling alcohol to people who are neither members nor guests of members.

RBC licensing officer Peter Narancic said chairman Seamus McCadden admitted to selling alcohol to people who are not members nor guests for 30 years.

Mr McCadden and bar manager Brendon Healey also told TVP and RBC officers that no guest records or member signing in records were being kept.

The chairman was advised by police officers and a council licensing officer to voluntarily close the club to ensure unauthorised alcohol sales do not continue but refused to do so.

Mr McCadden refused and continued to sell alcohol to members of the public after the advice was given.

TVP licensing officer Declan Smyth said the issue of the sale of alcohol is compounded by various incidents of disorder at the club over the past three years, including several group fights of up to 50 people at a time.

He added that the club had a history of reluctance to provide details or support police proceedings when disorders have occurred.

The Hibernian Society shares the premises with the Reading Irish Centre, where it provides lunches for its elderly members.

The organisation, which is funded by the Department for Foreign Affairs as well as corporate donations, has raised more than £750,000 towards modernising and upgrading the centre

Anne Morris, a trustee at The Hibernian Society, said: “The service that we provide is the highlight of all of [our elderly members] lives.

“For a huge majority of our members this is such an opportunity to catch up with friends and feel safe and secure in a truly friendly environment.

“We are at a total loss to understand the grounds presented by the police as a reason to close the centre down.

“It must also be emphasised that the RDIC is used regularly by members of other cultures and is truly multicultural and a focal point for all in the Reading community.

“We look forward to a positive outcome to this very worrying situation.”

TVP has asked the council to consider revoking the club’s license to prevent it from undermining the licensing objectives, which RBC licensing officer Mr Narancic has agreed with.

Mr Wheeler also raised concerns about trafficking and purchasing of stolen goods such as meat and alcohol and council staff witnessed the sale of to a 17 year old.