Consultation seeks views on reform of ‘antiquated’ licensing laws
A public consultation is seeking views on the modernisation of Ireland’s “antiquated” licensing laws through the proposed Sale of Alcohol Bill.
The government’s objective for the proposed bill is to repeal the Licensing Acts and the Registration of Clubs Acts and replace them with updated and streamlined provisions more suited to the 21st century.
Justice minister Helen McEntee said: “Our pubs, restaurants and nightclubs have experienced huge challenges as we continue to grapple with Covid and the devastating effect it has had on our society and economy.
“I know many of these businesses are still struggling but it is hugely important that we prepare for life after the pandemic. I am committed to enacting alcohol licensing laws that reflect the changing expectations and lifestyles of 21st century Ireland.
“We must take a range of views into account and the interests of public health, consumers and communities will be central to these reforms, which will be developed with a supportive approach to businesses.”
She said any changes “will be balanced with the need for regulation in the public interest – in particular public health and public order”, noting “innovations during the pandemic, such as the extension of outdoor dining”.
“Overall, the proposed Sale of Alcohol Bill will update and streamline existing alcohol licensing laws into a single Act, making it accessible and user-friendly for the licensed trade, courts, Gardaí and the public,” the minister added.
The consultation is available online and will run until 21 January 2022.