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Drinking on the streets in Kilkenny could be allowed soon

The amended bye-laws will only affect certain times during specific events but there are still some who are unhappy with the decision.

Image: Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland

LAWS THAT WERE put in place to ban drinking from Kilkenny’s streets and public spaces 11 years ago have been amended to allow a relaxation of the rules under certain circumstances.

The move has disappointed the city’s former mayor Paul Cuddihy who led the campaign to have the bye-laws introduced in 2002.

“It sounds awfully old-fashioned but we had huge problems with alcohol and we fixed that problem, largely,” the Fine Gael councillor told TheJournal.ie.

“It is not entirely fixed but it is a great deal better than it had been. We had people urinating in letter boxes, people drinking slabs of beer in the streets, in parks, school yards and grave yards.”

We were better to leave well enough alone. If people want to drink, we have terrific pubs that would be happy to have the business.

Kilkenny Borough Council voted to relax the restrictions on public consumption of intoxicating liquor on a vote of eight to three earlier this month.

There will be certain safeguards introduced and any relaxation of the ban will require the approval of the local authority by a two-thirds majority.

Restrictions on locations and times will also be regulated by the council.

It is understood that those backing the change hope that it will help in any future bid for the city to host the popular Fleadh. Earlier this year, Derry hosted the event with local authorities granting temporary licences to a small number of designated areas in the city centre.

That is not a fair comparison though, according to Cuddihy, who claimed there is “no shortage” of police in Northern Ireland.

“I believe in five years we will have frittered away the bye-laws, which the gardaí have said have been effective (they pre-date national laws by some years) in their policing,” he continued.

Cuddihy believes that members of the council will come under pressure to relax the rules for any number of the festivals and events that take place in Kilkenny.

“I don’t want to be the Temple Bar on the Nore,” he concluded.

Read: A pint in the Stag’s Head listed in top 50 ‘must eat experiences’

More: Diageo defends Arthur’s Day saying it’s a music festival and celebration of the pub

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