Home > Dáil Éireann debate. Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2021: Second Stage [Serving alcohol].

[Oireachtas] Dáil Éireann debate. Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2021: Second Stage [Serving alcohol]. (30 Jun 2021)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/2...

Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys) I move: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time." 

This emergency Bill seeks to bring the clarity required by business, local authorities and the Garda as the Government continues to support an outdoor summer. In line with public health guidance, Government policy is to have a gradual reopening of the hospitality sector, beginning with outdoor hospitality. Unfortunately, as Deputies will be aware, due to the significant risk that the incidence of the Delta variant of Covid-19, the Government decided yesterday that the next phase of reopening will be based on a cautious approach with an emphasis on lower-risk activities. It nonetheless underlines the importance of ensuring this emergency legislation brings clarity for those pubs, bars and clubs that are in a position to provide an outdoor seating area to their customers and members. 

Many of our bars and restaurants have now reopened, serving outdoors, and this is giving people a welcome opportunity to safely meet friends and family again. We want to preserve that and support those business in what has been an unprecedented period of challenge. 

We are here today because the distinction being drawn between the liquor licence and the licence or approval or both by the local authorities for outdoor seating areas is causing a concern about legal uncertainty and enforcement. Confidence in the law and certainty is being sought by businesses, local authorities and the Garda Síochána. It is important that An Garda Síochána has clarity on its powers for public order purposes and that licensed premises owners understand their obligations to maintain order in public areas where they are selling alcohol. I want to ensure there is no uncertainty for all involved and this time-bound Bill seeks to achieve this objective…. 

[For the full debate click this link to the Oireachtas website]

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