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Outdoor Alcohol Consumption Licensing Laws

  • 21-06-2021 6:11am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 25,649 ✭✭✭✭ Dempo1


    It seems astonishing, that no one in government thought to check the current licensing laws in relation to serving/Consuming alcohol in these outdoor spaces developed at substantial costs (primarily funded by Grants).

    Extraordinary it took a statement from Garda HQ for it to get any attention. I'm hearing the word "discretion" being banded about, others saying it will be resolved in time? This well established licensing law, turning a blind eye just seems quite bizzare. It also raises the question as to how serving takeaway pints during the pandemic was legal, by default alcohol was being "outside" and in addition to local authority by laws was in fact illegal to consume in public places covered by such by laws.

    I've no doubt discretion will occur but I simply ask, is this state of affairs acceptable and why hasn't this issue been addressed given we've known for months "An outdoor Summer" was the plan and almost €17 million has been spent developing these outdoor spaces.

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.




«1

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,566 ✭✭✭ glenfieldman


    IMHO it’s a distraction to cover up for the Garda complete incompetence regarding the feral scum in Dublin
    So instead of putting more gards in the street, let’s find away to punish the law abiding public


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,357 ✭✭✭ rolling boh


    Not the first time the easy targets get the attention a mass brawl starts and later we hear no arrests made .


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,333 ✭✭✭✭ seamus


    Dempo1 wrote: »
    Extraordinary it took a statement from Garda HQ for it to get any attention. I'm hearing the word "discretion" being banded about, others saying it will be resolved in time? This well established licensing law, turning a blind eye just seems quite bizzare. It also raises the question as to how serving takeaway pints during the pandemic was legal, by default alcohol was being "outside" and in addition to local authority by laws was in fact illegal to consume in public places covered by such by laws.
    Serving alcohol for consumption off the premises is legal if the pub has a licence for that.

    How that alcohol is served, is not a matter for the licence. So serving pints for take away is fine. Where it's consumed is not the publican's problem once it's not on the premises.

    Most of the bans on drinking outside are bye-laws and not national legislation. So there's considerable leeway allowed for local authorities to ask Gardai to ignore it.

    The current issue is a quirk of our archaic and puritanical licencing system. The liquor licence for a pub defines the boundaries/floor plan of the premises where alcohol may be consumed. Any areas which are part of the premises but are not specified on the licence, it is not legal for customers to drink. Thus, the outdoor seating area, while temporary, can be argued to form part of the premises, and therefore is not covered by the pub/restaurant's licence.

    It's ridiculous. This is an opportunity to overhaul the entire system. It's got religious fingermarks all over it, where alcohol is regulated to within an inch of its life like places are serving liquid heroin.

    Anyway, I suspect the catalyst for this was a couple of Gardai in Galway who felt like throwing their weight around against a couple of premises they dislike would be a bit of craic. I cannot see the top brass being stupid enough to direct Gardai to start warning premises not to serve alcohol to outdoor customers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,649 ✭✭✭✭ Dempo1


    I take your 1st 2 points but I'm open to correction, but I understood current licenses don't permit the serving of alcohol within a certain distance of a licensed premises. It is a farce in the context of outdoor dining etc, I just find it astonishing this licensing issue only coming up now. I don't believe showing "Discretion" is at all the answer and will lead to all sorts of unintended consequences.

    I'm not at all sure this issue is anything to do with either Gardai having a gripe or recent unsavoury incidents recently.

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.




  • Registered Users Posts: 15,686 ✭✭✭✭ VinLieger


    While the government were obviously at fault for not preparing enough for this, there's now obviously members of the Gardai who knew full well the situation and didn't raise the issue with their superiors or it wasn't passed the message into the Justice minister until after the fact.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 25,649 ✭✭✭✭ Dempo1


    VinLieger wrote: »
    While the government were obviously at fault for not preparing enough for this, there's now obviously members of the Gardai who knew full well the situation and didn't raise the issue with their superiors or it wasn't passed the message into the Justice minister until after the fact.

    Yes, I agree, somewhat late in the day albeit you'd expect legal experts at the department of Justice might have raised this issue before now

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.




  • Registered Users Posts: 5,531 ✭✭✭ pappyodaniel


    Dempo1 wrote: »
    I take your 1st 2 points

    Stay away from my pints:mad:


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,649 ✭✭✭✭ Dempo1


    Stay away from my pints:mad:

    Touché :)

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.




  • Registered Users Posts: 23,323 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus


    As I understand it, a pub has a licence to sell alcohol for consumption on and off the premises (as opposed to an off-licence which, duh, has a licence to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises only).

    The pub licence regulates the consumption of alcohol on the premises, but it says nothing, one way or the other, to regulate consumption off the premises.

    So, in the street outside the pub, whether there are any restrictions on the consumption of alcohol and what those restrictions are depend on local laws or bye-laws, not on the terms of the pub licence. In general, in most urban areas, bye-laws forbid the consumption of alcohol in the street, or indeed in any public place. That has always been applied with a degree of flexibility in enforcement; if drinking in public doesn't look like it's causing a problem, it isn't a problem.

    Right. Obviously if local authorities have a policy of facilitating/encouraging outdoor eating and drinking they need to look at their bye-laws a bit more, if only to clarify what is and what isn't considered desirable. Obviously as a society we need to develop conventions and expectations about this, so that publicans/restaurateurs, customers/drinkers and other users of the street know what to expect and what should and shouldn't happen. Laws can play a part in developing that shared understanding, but they also can't move too far ahead of it. The strategy may be to wait and see what publicans actually do, what drinkers actually do and what consequences ensue, and the develop bye-laws informed by that experience. But, if so, it puts everybody in a difficult situation in the meantime, since they don't really know what's expected and what isn't.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,255 ✭✭✭ Snickers Man


    Pragmatism has to take place here. People are cooped up for too long. They are congregating outside anyway. My area of central Dublin has become an open sewer of late as people have been meeting outside to observe some degree of social distancing but have nowhere to relieve themselves.

    Except our street!!!

    Let the pubs/restaurants serve people in the open. It only makes for a more civilised urban ambience anyway. As long as they let people use the jacks!


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  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,972 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Chips Lovell


    I think the subtext to this is that a blind eye will be turned to it provided nobody's taking the p**s. If they are, the cops can easily shut them down. Irish solution to an Irish problem.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 991 ✭✭✭ ineedeuro


    IMHO it’s a distraction to cover up for the Garda complete incompetence regarding the feral scum in Dublin
    So instead of putting more gards in the street, let’s find away to punish the law abiding public

    How do you want them to put more Gardai on the street if they
    A. Don't have them
    B. Don't have the money for them

    Maybe they should a management tax on alcohol to pay for extra Gardai for people who seem incapable of having a quiet drink and going home.

    In regards to the "feral scum", I think you should start at the home an not the Gardai if you want to lay blame at someone. Constantly handing free money to these sections of society doesn't seem to be working and the answer from a lot of people is give them more while not giving money to the Garda to deal with them. Idiotic


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,635 ✭✭✭ plodder


    Legal expert on Claire Byrne's program is saying that it's not illegal unless there are local authority bye-laws that prohibit drinking on the street.

    Same point as post #10 above.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,649 ✭✭✭✭ Dempo1


    So Constance Cassidy SC has spoken, there is absolutely no issue apart from Local authority by laws and that should be straight forward. She's by far the most eminent expert on all things licensing laws in Ireland.

    Garda representatives and HQ seemed to have been blowing a lot of hot air.

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.




  • Registered Users Posts: 41,342 ✭✭✭✭ SEPT 23 1989


    that was a close shave

    back to the pints


  • Registered Users Posts: 601 ✭✭✭ cheezums


    The Gardai have been an absolute disgrace throughout this pandemic. First with the infuriating and utterly useless checkpoints, then allowing city centres to turn into Lord of the flies, now literally trying to put some businesses on life support permanently out of business on a technical whim.

    The department of justice needs to do their job and hold the senior decision makers in the gardai to task, or better yet replace them all.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,649 ✭✭✭✭ Dempo1


    cheezums wrote: »
    The Gardai have been an absolute disgrace throughout this pandemic. First with the infuriating and utterly useless checkpoints, then allowing city centres to turn into Lord of the flies, now literally trying to put some businesses on life support permanently out of business on a technical whim.

    The department of justice needs to do their job and hold the senior decision makers in the gardai to task, or better yet replace them all.

    I have to wonder what motivated this now absurd statement from GARDA HQ yesterday and the absurd moaning from the GRA AND RAI earlier on morning Ireland. Surely to god, Garda HQ have access to the best legal minds on this matter, absolutely embarrassing.

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.




  • Registered Users Posts: 6,635 ✭✭✭ plodder


    Dempo1 wrote: »
    So Constance Cassidy SC has spoken, there is absolutely no issue apart from Local authority by laws and that should be straight forward. She's by far the most eminent expert on all things licensing laws in Ireland.

    Garda representatives and HQ seemed to have been blowing a lot of hot air.
    Yes, the gardai were saying it was a condition of their license issued in the district court, but CC pointed out it's actually the circuit court where the license is issued.

    Ouch! :o


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 991 ✭✭✭ ineedeuro


    cheezums wrote: »
    The Gardai have been an absolute disgrace throughout this pandemic. First with the infuriating and utterly useless checkpoints, then allowing city centres to turn into Lord of the flies, now literally trying to put some businesses on life support permanently out of business on a technical whim.

    The department of justice needs to do their job and hold the senior decision makers in the gardai to task, or better yet replace them all.

    Well first off they wouldn't of had to the checkpoint only people decided to ignore the restrictions. They tried to stop people from dying and you are complaining.
    What would have happened if they didn't install the checkpoints?

    Both your examples are because of the stupidity of the public yet you blame the Gardai. Maybe we should ask the people of Ireland to cop the f**k on?


  • Registered Users Posts: 601 ✭✭✭ cheezums


    ineedeuro wrote: »
    Well first off they wouldn't of had to the checkpoint only people decided to ignore the restrictions. They tried to stop people from dying and you are complaining.
    What would have happened if they didn't install the checkpoints?

    Both your examples are because of the stupidity of the public yet you blame the Gardai. Maybe we should ask the people of Ireland to cop the f**k on?

    Sorry what exactly did the checkpoints achieve aside from piling misery on people at breaking point mentally??


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  • Registered Users Posts: 556 ✭✭✭ Paddigol


    Curious - what's the point of/ need for the maps/ premises plans with boundaries highlighted in the application documents for renewal of a licence? Long (long!) time since I did one, but I can remember the hoop la big deal made about the whole process when it always struck me as being 99% procedural - if your own the property, aren't a scumbag, the gardai/ fire brigade don't object and you have the necessary fire certs etc, you're fine. Yet the applications went on forever with witnesses called and drawings presented.

    Now it turns out, sure remember that parking bay on the road - well we serve pints at a table there now.

    Hopefully the licensing laws get completely overhauled as a result of Covid. There's been talk of it for years but this might be the push needed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 556 ✭✭✭ Paddigol


    cheezums wrote: »
    Sorry what exactly did the checkpoints achieve aside from piling misery on people at breaking point mentally??

    They discouraged people from flouting the regulations/ public health restrictions at the height of a pandemic. Because unfortunately grown adults can't be trusted to do the right thing without threats and enforcement.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,034 ✭✭✭ WallyGUFC


    ineedeuro wrote: »
    Well first off they wouldn't of had to the checkpoint only people decided to ignore the restrictions. They tried to stop people from dying and you are complaining.
    What would have happened if they didn't install the checkpoints?

    Both your examples are because of the stupidity of the public yet you blame the Gardai. Maybe we should ask the people of Ireland to cop the f**k on?
    The Gardaí tried to stop people dying by putting checkpoints on most of the motorways during morning and evening rush hours, delaying people going to work and coming home from work? Did they save many lives by doing this?


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,279 ✭✭✭✭ TheValeyard


    The whole thing is laughable.

    Fcuk Putin. Glory to Ukraine!



  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 991 ✭✭✭ ineedeuro


    WallyGUFC wrote: »
    The Gardaí tried to stop people dying by putting checkpoints on most of the motorways during morning and evening rush hours, delaying people going to work and coming home from work? Did they save many lives by doing this?

    Yes

    It was a pandemic.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,922 ✭✭✭✭ Buttonftw


    Paddigol wrote: »
    Hopefully the licensing laws get completely overhauled as a result of Covid. There's been talk of it for years but this might be the push needed.

    It's Ireland. Overhauling our legal nonsense generally ends up meaning just putting another layer on top of the hundreds of years old pile of nonsense.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,520 ✭✭✭✭ titan18


    Dempo1 wrote: »
    So Constance Cassidy SC has spoken, there is absolutely no issue apart from Local authority by laws and that should be straight forward. She's by far the most eminent expert on all things licensing laws in Ireland.

    Garda representatives and HQ seemed to have been blowing a lot of hot air.

    Well, most of the larger local authorities have by laws preventing it. It's not like those by laws are an exception, most of the population are under them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,333 ✭✭✭✭ seamus


    Paddigol wrote: »
    Curious - what's the point of/ need for the maps/ premises plans with boundaries highlighted in the application documents for renewal of a licence?
    I expect it's a mixture of old licensing laws which took a British/protestant attitude to alcohol, then after independence merged with good old Catholic guilt and authoritarianism.

    As a result we ended up with licencing laws that wanted to define down to the inch where and when alcohol may be served to the public.

    This was to ensure that drinking was always a clandestine activity, done in dark rooms out of the public eye, and not spilling out onto the streets where ladies and respectable people might be subjected to it and therefore tempted to disgrace themselves.

    No business should have to apply for a licence to sell alcohol. It's absurd. You set regulations for what businesses need to do if they sell alcohol (such as verifying age and ensuring drunk people don't get served), but outside of that no good comes of requiring a special licence to sell alcohol.


  • Registered Users Posts: 556 ✭✭✭ Paddigol


    WallyGUFC wrote: »
    The Gardaí tried to stop people dying by putting checkpoints on most of the motorways during morning and evening rush hours, delaying people going to work and coming home from work? Did they save many lives by doing this?

    Rush hour during a 'work at home' pandemic?? I've heard it all!

    People can't be trusted to do the right thing, unfortunately. Like the hoards invading Wicklow Mtns/ Glendalough during the 5k/ 10k lockdowns last year. Blame the likes of them, not the Gardai.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 556 ✭✭✭ Paddigol


    Buttonftw wrote: »
    It's Ireland. Overhauling our legal nonsense generally ends up meaning just putting another layer on top of the hundreds of years old pile of nonsense.

    I don't think that's usually the case, in fairness. I'm not sure exactly what you mean by 'legal nonsense' though. That's the sort of phrasing you'd expect to hear from a populist politician/ red top. Unless you're simply referring to licensing laws, in which case I'd tend to agree with you!

    Even if it is, the only other option is leaving the status quo as it is because you couldn't be bothered making the effort to try and bring in more effective laws.


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