Home > Dáil Éireann debate. Question 197 – Legislative programme [Alcohol] [19663/24].

[Oireachtas] Dáil Éireann debate. Question 197 – Legislative programme [Alcohol] [19663/24]. (01 May 2024)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2024...

  1. Deputy Pa Daly asked the Minister for Justice if she will outline, further to the published summer legislative programme, the provisions that the proposed Intoxicating Liquor Bill will contain. [19663/24]


Helen McEntee, Minister for Justice:  The General Scheme of the Sale of Alcohol intends to modernise our existing licensing laws in line with the expectations and needs of today’s society, and to encourage the development of a modern and diverse night-time economy.


The proposed legislation endeavours to strike a balance between maintaining strict controls and safeguards in relation to the sale of alcohol, while providing support to those involved in our night time economy.


Given the known social and health effects associated with misuse of alcohol, Ireland has, for many decades, operated a restrictive regime for licencing. The General Scheme of the bill retains that approach and will ensure that the sale of alcohol remains closely regulated.


It is my intention to separate the Sale of Alcohol Bill into two Bills. Firstly, I intend to introduce the Intoxicating Liquor Bill 2024. This is a shorter Bill to introduce a number of key reforms contained in the Sale of Alcohol Bill 2022 to modernise our licensing system, including:-  


  • The standardisation of opening hours for pubs and off-licences.
  • The introduction of an annual late bar permit and an annual nightclub permit.
  • The inclusion of new grounds of objection in line with the Zero Tolerance Third National Strategy to Tackle Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence.
  • Strengthening of the powers of An Garda Síochána to ensure that public safety and order are maintained.
  • To provide that licensing applications, which are currently heard in the Circuit Court, will move to the District Court.
  • The inclusion of the provision for outdoor seating.

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