Overhaul Of Pub Opening Hours Dismissed As “Pre-Election Stunt”

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The Taoiseach’s suggestion of an overhaul of Ireland’s pub opening hours has been dismissed locally as a pre-election stunt.

Leo Varadkar says it doesn’t make sense to have the same closing times right across the country, and that it’s affecting our tourist experience.

But local business groups are skeptical that there’ll be any change at all.


It seems our pub-opening hours could be spoiling that famous Irish ‘craic’.

The Taoiseach says some of our licensing laws are out of date, and that it’s having a negative affect on tourism, a sector parts of Clare relies heavily on.

Leo Varadkar has signaled that it could now be time to change the laws governing licenced premises.

Despite these remarks, the Chair of the Clare Vintners Federation of Ireland doesn’t believe the law change will ever see the light of day, describing the Taoiseach’s comments as a mere a pre-election stunt.

However, Ennis publican Darragh McAllister says less stringent restrictions should be considered, including the possibility of pubs choosing their own opening hours.

A former President of Ennis Chamber fears that the changes could result in different rules in urban and rural areas.

But Solicitor William Cahir insists there is a need for the whole system to be reviewed, saying the costs associated with late opening are simply too high.