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Legislation enacted to allow drinking outside pubs and restaurants

The Bill was passed to deal with the issue of certain outdoor service not being covered by alcohol licences.

People drinking and dining outdoors in Dublin today.
People drinking and dining outdoors in Dublin today.
Image: Sam Boal

A BILL TO clarify the situation around outdoor drinking has been signed into law by the president. 

The legislation was approved this week to deal with on-street service by pubs and restaurants not being covered by alcohol licences.

President Micheal D Higgins today signed the Bill into law. 

A number of pubs in Galway were warned by gardaí last month that alcohol can not be served outside their premises.

The Justice Minister Heather Humphreys said the legislation “provides the clarity that has been sought and ensures that we can deliver on our commitments for an outdoor summer”.

The law allows for the sale and consumption of alcohol in seated outdoor areas, including those authorised by local authorities or those privately owned adjacent to the licensed premises but not currently subject to a licence.

This will be subject to a number of conditions.

For those areas already given a permit by local authorities, these conditions would be the terms already set by the local authority, such as the number of customers allowed to be seated outside.

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Gardaí will also be given powers to enforce this new legislation. The Public Order Act will apply to outdoor seated areas.

The provisions of the law will expire on 30 November unless renewed by the Oireachtas for a further period of six months.

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