Police Attempt to Curb St. Patrick’s Day Partiers by Issuing a ‘Voluntary’ Alcohol Ban in Ireland’s Capital
Dublin, Ireland hosts one of the largest St. Patricks’s Day festivals in the world, as one would expect. People gather from all corners of the globe to show their Irish pride or at least celebrate like the Irish. Visitors expecting to crowd Temple Bar and party in the city streets of Dublin may be sorely disappointed this year, as police attempt to place a ban on alcohol. A voluntary ban on alcohol has been instated for all liquor stores and bars in the city center during some of the St. Patrick’s Day festivities in Dublin.
This St. Patricks Day there will be a voluntary alcohol ban in place on all liquor stores in Dublin city center that will be in place until 4 p.m. In recent statements, police have indicated that the voluntary ban should extend to all sales of alcohol including bars in the area. This could potentially mean no drinking until after 4 p.m. in Dublin. Although, bar owners aren’t having it.
In addition to the ban on liquor store sales, the ban includes prohibiting alcohol from being taken into Dublin city center on public transport. The policy is meant to discourage drinking on the streets during the St. Patrick’s Day parade.
Assistant Garda Commissioner Angela Willis said, “anyone who has a license to sell alcohol” will be closed until 4 p.m., reported The Irish Times.
“The St Patrick’s Day Parade is a family-friendly event and the showcase event for the St. Patricks Festival and to assist Gardaí with the policing event of this event, license holders are requested to voluntarily refrain from selling off sales until after 4 p.m. on 17 of March,” Willis told JOE.
Willis added, “If/where necessary, An Garda Síochána also has enforcement powers under Liquor Licensing legislation, Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act and Local Dublin City Council By-Laws in relation to consumption of alcohol in public places.”
Bar owners have rejected the plan to extend the ban to their businesses. Chief executive of the Licenced Vintners Association, Donal O’Keeffe, argued that St Patrick’s Day is a “very important trading day” for bars.
The crowds that gather in the surrounding area of the city center during festivities generate a large sum of revenue for bars and a ban could put a financial burden on some business owners. Covid put many pubs in a state of panic, something the government may not have taken into consideration for one of the biggest money-making days of the year.
He continued, “Under no circumstances will we be shut until 4 p.m. on St Patrick’s Day. Pubs are an integral part of the festival. They come to us for drink, they come to us for food. We haven’t been asked to close.”
According to the Irish Mirror, a spokesperson said, “The Licensed Vintners Association would like to clarify that all pubs in Dublin City Centre will be open for the full permitted trading hours on St. Patrick’s Day – 12:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
“We are really looking forward to welcoming our customers, both locals and tourists alike, to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with us.”
Willis said the ban is voluntary but generally observed, as reported by The Irish Times.
It appears bars and pubs are not willing to give up their St. Paddy’s Day earnings. Ireland has been hit, like most of the world, with increasing costs of living, business owners included. Irish businesses rely on tourism and St Patrick’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year for the country.
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