Gardaí have said people can't drink alcohol in newly set up outdoor seating in front of bars 1 month ago

Gardaí have said people can't drink alcohol in newly set up outdoor seating in front of bars

They said that the spaces are not covered for the consumption of alcohol by the licence issued to a premises.

Gardaí have said that people cannot drink alcohol in seating spaces recently set up on streets in front of bars and restaurants, which are not covered by their licences.

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Councils have set up seating areas in towns and cities across the country to facilitate the growing need for outdoor dining this month.

However, Gardaí have now said that food and drink outlets selling food and alcohol are restricted to "takeaway" or selling "for consumption off the premises".

They added that while local authorities may provide permission for additional seating outside of licensed premises, these spaces are not covered for the consumption of alcohol by the licence issued by the District Court.

Local authority bye-laws deal with whether or not drinking in a public place is permitted, meaning in counties such as Galway where drinking in public places is not allowed, some restaurants and bars will be limited to takeaway pints until indoor dining reopens on 5 July.

"The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A - Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) (No. 2) Regulations 2021, as amended are currently in effect. Outlets selling food or beverages are currently restricted to business on a takeaway basis or for consumption off the premises," Gardaí said in a statement to JOE on Sunday.

"Licenses to sell alcohol are issued by the District Court. The application for a licence to sell alcohol is accompanied by the lodgement of inter alia a site plan highlighting the specified area to which the licence will apply.

"The licensee is licensed to sell intoxicating liquor to a person to consume the alcohol within that highlighted area only, any other sales are on a takeaway basis only.

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 "The management of local public spaces is primarily a matter for the relevant local authority.

 "Where crowds gather An Garda Síochána responsibility is preserving public order and preventing and investigating any criminal offence which occurs."