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Kerry publicans back motion calling for the closure of the Dáil bar

They said the taxpayer should not be footing the bill for the subsidised alcohol prices.

Image: AAP/PA Images

PUBLICANS IN KERRY are hoping that a motion calling for the closure of the Dáil will go before a national vintners’ congress.

Sean O’Mahoney, who owns a pub in Killarney brought the proposal before the local grouping of Kerry publicans and said it was inappropriate for members of the Dáil to be seen consuming alcohol at their place of work. 

He said that the taxpayer should not be footing the bill for subsidised alcohol prices. However, it is understood the alcohol prices in the Dáil bar are not subsidised.

He told Radio Kerry: “There’s a facility in place in Dáil Éireann where our politicians can consume alcohol while working and passing legislation on behalf of the people of Ireland.

“This might explain the current state of our country. Is it appropriate that guests visiting the Dáil see politicians, not all of them, socialising in the Dáil bar consuming alcohol? Why should the taxpayer fund the Dáil bar? What employer would allow drink being consumed in their workplace?”

O’Mahoney said he and his colleagues met with junior transport minister Brendan Griffin and asked if he could table a number of amendments to the new drink driving laws. The new legislation, enacted earlier this year, means that anyone found driving over the limit will be immediately disqualified from driving for three months even if they are marginally above the allowed level.

O’Mahoney explained: “We met with Griffin and asked if a restriction on a person’s licence can be placed if they are caught under the new drink driving law. We asked the current legislation be amended which would allow a curfew be placed on their licence so it would allow people to drive to and from home and during work.” 

To go before the national congress, the motion must first be passed by all the Kerry Vintners Federation members at its AGM in February.

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