Latest changes in Irish alcohol laws

By Nature Boy · Jul 31, 2008 · ·
  1. Nature Boy
    I mentioned this in another thread and thought it may have been deserving of its own thread. We have a few Irish members here at D-F so I would like to hear some opinions on this.

    The first rule strikes me as largely ineffective. The former closing time for off-licenses was 11.30pm. I don't see how closing them up earlier will change anything. People will buy their alcohol earlier hence they'll start drinking earlier. Is that what the government really wants?

    The second rule seems fishy. The objections of local people in regards to alcohol sales in their area could result in a lot of local businesses losing money. All it takes is a few busy bodies prying in and you lose your license. I'd almost compare it to the tough restrictions on Dutch coffeeshops introduced by the Christian Right.

    Segregating alcohol into separate areas in supermarkets is pointless. This seems like a needless measure that gives the illusion of action when it won't actually change matters at all. People will still know where the booze is and they'll still buy it. If anything, this rule is just a nuisance to someone who runs a supermarket.

    Test purchasing is snakey but most employees check for ID anyway so it shouldn't produce too many problems (unless the gardaí choose 17 year-olds that look like they're in their 30s). SWIM still gets asked for ID on occasion and he's nearly 23.

    The new powers available to the gardaí in regards to confiscating alcohol seems extremely loose. It's all down to their discretion, law enforcement discretion being something I don't have a lot of faith in. Your alcohol can be ceased if you just look young? That's fucked up.

    I'm not surprised they're clamping down on drinks promotions. It seems as though the government are dead-set on removing any sort of bargains from the alcohol industry. Fully priced drinks all the time, no happy hours, no drinks on the house. Goodbye fun.

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  1. podge
    This new law is indeed completely ridiculous. And on top of it all during a massive economic recession, the current figures being around 60,000 people out work. So now there are less hours for people to work, and on top of it there are roughly 400 pubs closing down a year.

    So basically all this law will succeed in : inconveniencing adults, and losing more jobs.
  2. Nature Boy
    It's actually way more than 60,000. This website has it estimated at 179,400 people and that's set to rise. But yeah, it sure as fuck is an inconvenience.
  3. soundoffear
    Hmm this coined with the new club hours, is just another step to far - i think you may have heard of this :

    "Irish Nightclubs are facing earlier closing. The Government are hoping to pass the Liquor Licensing Bill 2008 within the next 3 weeks. This means the latest a nightclub [ and late bar / theatre bar ] can open until is 2.30am 6 nites and 1am on Sundays. Local judges have of course imposed even earier closing in many towns / counties."

    Living in London at the moment ( so not personally effected but go back a good bit), Ireland seem to be going completely overboard! Im not sure but if that law passes it would be the harshest laws in the western world would it not?

    They just dont seem to understand the underlying problems... kicking everyone out at 2:30 is just going to compound the issues... I wonder who advises on these issues??????
  4. podge
    This has been the case for years now, last call tends to be at 2 and everyone out at 2:30. I think there is one club in Dublin which can stay open till 3 or half past but thats it. Unless one crosses the border into the North of Ireland where 24 hour drinking is available to those who want it.

    And where swim lives there are clubs which swim and his friends tend to avoid as the music ,prices etc are all terrible, but for the swimmers who just want to go to a late bar and avoid all the club nonsense there are about 5 or 6 late bars to cater for the whole city. And swim can only think of one suburb off the top of his head which has a late bar, so if somebody wants to have a late drink in a licensed premises they are pretty much forced to travel into the city center.

    People get in horrendous drunken states as they feel the need to drink themselves into oblivion in the rush before being sent out onto the streets at 2:30. Early closing times seem to just encourage people to drink more faster. Id be shocked if their wasnt a fight in town mosy nights that alcohol is being served due to the drunken retardation people seem to get themselves into. Its rare to meet a casual drinker, most people are simply out for the fun of the binge, men and women of all ages in the most ridiculous of conditions.

    Most foreigners get an extreme shock when they first see the streets turn into a human zoo every weekend and on many week nights, but to be fair most tend to join in with the craic ( craic is slang for fun for anybody confused) .:laugh:

    podge added 2 Minutes and 16 Seconds later...

    Ya thats including part time jobs too, absolutely insane.
  5. soundoffear
    Hmm I wasn't aware of that, my mate runs a club frequently enough on dame street ( Dublin ) and she has been instructed last track should spin at 3, and some larger places in cork usually has last orders 3:30. I seriously doubt that there would be a legal exception for one club only. The current law states "

    "pubs stop serving alcohol at 12.30am, late bars stop serving at 2.30am, and Nightclubs and Theatre Bars [ operating under Theatre Licenses ] stop serving at 3.30am. The pending Bill removes the later hours of trading afforded by the Theatre Licenses, meaning every late bar, every nightclub and every theatre bar will stop serving at 2.30am 6 nights a week and 1am on Sundays. [ with no exceptions ]"

    There is an pretty good online petition/and alternate suggestion at

    You should check it out.
  6. podge
    Ya swim hasnt been to this club in Dublin himself, but has heard about it, and he too has a hard time believing it but apparently they have some special license to serve later.

    Down Cork im afraid last call is 2:30 even in the biggest venue's, the only exceptions might be if somebody rents out a premises for a birthday or wedding etc, or residents bars ( eg hotel bars for patrons). Otherwise it'd have to be an illegal lock in at the whim of the owner.
  7. Raw edge
    The point about 17 year olds that look alot older being used to catch premises out is a valid one. Like Narure Boy's friend. SIK had the same issue at 23 and even 24. He remembers seeing expose's at different time in the papers about under aged people being served. They always looked well above the legal age. Of course the articles would be worded completly differently.
  8. Purest
    Getting underage teens to go into offlicenses and buy alcohol is done by the cops loads around my area, always has been, there are the shops that are notorious for selling alcohol and cigs to underagers, more off liscences and pubs should ID really, its a bitch when you're under 21 and forget/lose your ID, but at the same time, its a lot better practice than constantly having underagers getting drunk on the streets.

    My local shuts at 3 on friday nights, every other night is 12:30-1 depending on the amount of people inside, and its the latest open bar in the area, kinda sucks when you're having a good night out, then again, most places in the area shut at 11-11:30
  9. Nature Boy
    I think such a tactic is blatantly venomous. It's like setting up a prostitution sting in an area where there aren't prostitutes, a form of entrapment. Such policing is actually a type of reverse morality. Laws are guidelines that try to protect the public. They shouldn't be manipulated to try and catch people out. It's not too far a step from tapping all telephone calls and residences just in case someone might think of breaking a law. Reminds SWIM of Minority Report.
  10. Coconut
    I agree. Somewhat reminiscent of the Thought Police. They will try to entrap and arrest people who merely have the capacity to commit a specific crime even though that person may never have committed that crime had they not been set up in the first place.

    I rarely buy alcohol but each and every one of these new laws makes me laugh.
  11. Lunar Loops
    A total farce. The government seems to think that they have to be seen to be doing something, well, by all means, but it would be nice if they could at least put some thought into the matter first.

    NB did a good job of highlighting the flaws in all of this. If people want to get drunk, they will get drunk and by being more restrictive you are unfortunately going to encourage (in some) more reckless drinking behaviour.

    As has already been pointed out, it can be incredibly difficult in some cases to judge the age of an individual (15-25 anybody?). Sting operations in these circumstances are ludicrous and in any case it does not stop the prevalent behaviour of children getting someone over 18 to buy the drink for them.

    There is also the not insignificant little matter of those groups of children who steal alcohol from the supermarkets (a fairly common occurrence in SWILL's neck of the woods) where ID is not an issue at all.

    The approach seems to be to treat everyone like children and let big daddy Dáil tell us how to behave.
  12. Mr. Giraffe
    I would react with a shrug, point out that alcohol is a drug, and advise that you re-read the new conventions, substituting cannabis for alcohol. Doesn't look so bad now, does it?

    If I drank alcohol, I would build myself a bridge (possibly out of old Dutch Gold cans) and get over it. Personally, I don't subscribe to the nannying approach and think people should to all practicality be left to their own devices, but this is really just window-dressing to allow the government (which is funded and indeed peopled by the alcohol industry) to say they are DOING SOMETHING when the Daily Mail whips up hysteria the next time drunken Junior Cert students go on the rampage.
  13. vinylmesh

    daily mail columnists who go overboard saying that the uk is being destroyed by 24hour drinking.

    i kid you not.
  14. elpatto
    Wow that's a big change. I just spent the last 5 months in Ireland working and living and it is clear to me that the drinking problem in Ireland is exadgerated (sp) on a whole, of course there are those full blown alcoholics but in my experience people don't drink a whole lot more and in most cases actually less as the price is astronomical(around 4 euro 20 a pint of lager), I worked behind a bar and found it crazy that pubs, bars and clubs close so early anyway. These changes seem to be a mixture of both innefectual changes and restrictions of the rights of store keepers.
  15. soundoffear
    On top of all the other issues pointed out above showing that the government has blatantly not thought this idea through, its also going to hurt employment.

    Im not attempting to defend the big profit bars, but for the people actually working the front line are now going to see there hours slashed and jobs will definitely be out the window. A lot of people rely on this kind of work as part time survival when studying or whatnot, and the same kind of hours previously there will just be unavailable.

    In relation to the ID issue I think Ireland make a decent effort on keeping tabs on the issue of underager's ( whether i agree that drinking should be reserved for those over 18 is a different matter ). When SWIM aged 25 goes back to Ireland he frequently gets ID in off licenses/pubs. In the two years SWIM has been living in the UK he's been ID'd a grand total of once - the issue of the 'dodgy off license' that looks the other way is in SWIM's opinion 100 times worse in the UK.
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