3rd August 2021

The highlighted topic this morning was the government approved legislation to clarify the situation around outdoor drinking. Seamus Gunn was not impressed at the manner in which this became an issue stating that outdoor eating was promoted, advertised and supported by government over an extended period and yet they did not foresee the difficulty with the Licensing Laws that in the majority of situations the license did not extend to the outdoor area being used for the consumption of alcohol. He referenced the point that the area in which the alcohol would be consumed should be in accordance with the licensing map which he said would usually incorporate the premises and in certain situations outdoor areas but not public footpaths as these were under the control of the local authorities. He foreseen a difficulty with insurance indemnity in respect of issues that may arise outside of the premises and in particular cover for such activity. He strongly recommended that proprietors should confirm cover with their insurers. Gregg Hughes highlighted an example where an incident such as a fight could arise outside of a premises at these locations and in particular the insurance implications. 

Seamus Gunn stressed that the bill came before cabinet at the beginning of the week and was yet to be passed into law but was expected. He was not impressed with the matter being left to the Gardai to apply discretion. He said that proprietors were trying to do their best in very difficult circumstances and were acting in good faith and were likely to have complied with the street furniture regulations. He said that the licensing legislation was a labyrinth of acts going back to the late 19th century and recently updated in 2000. They were quite clear in defining the licensed area and at all times it was foreseeable that this issue was going to arise, and legislation should have been addressed before now.

One of our most varied Q & A to date this year then followed.

Listen to the full interview below:

Part 1 –

Part 2 –

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