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Kilkenny publican and restaurateur calls for indoor dining to be brought forward

It would coincide with the Irish Open in Mount Juliet

A Kilkenny publican and restaurateur is calling for the hospitality sector to open earlier than scheduled.

Indoor dining’s set to be allowed from July 5 but, with Mount Juliet set to host the Irish Open golfing contest from July 1st to 4th, hopes are high that the local economy could benefit from an extra spend.

Pat Crotty from Paris Texas on Kilkenny City’s High Street on KCLR Live earlier said “An extra weekend of trading at this time of the year would be worth more than a week in the winter, it would be significant to get an extra weekend in the summer months and it would be particularly significant for Kilkenny because the golf is on, if we could get indoor dining open from the first of July we could look after an awful lot more people than we can currently”.

John McGuinness was the first of the five Carlow Kilkenny TDs to respond to KCLR on this and says he will raise the issue with Cabinet ministers, noting “It is a loss simply to be closed and I think it would be a great boost for the businesses in that sector if they were given the chance to do it and I’ve no doubt that they would act responsibly as the customers coming to those places would act and I see nothing wrong with the government coming out and making this decision and it’s a political decision that they can make”.

Listen back to his conversation with our Eimear Ní Bhraonáin here:

Meanwhile, it follows a call earlier by the Restaurants Association of Ireland for government intervention into the legalities of outdoor drinking after it was revealed it’s illegal to do so in some areas. (More on that here).

Kilkenny has bye laws for the city and county, with provisions in place to allow for drinking in areas tied to licenced premises. (See those here)

While Eamonn Brophy from Carlow County Council says there are bye laws too in Carlow which regulates and control the consumption of alcohol, noting “Where there are bye laws in place a person shall not consume or attempt to consume alcohol in a public place, now excluded from a public place is a house or a garden or a licensed premises so basically a person cannot consume alcohol say in a park or in a cemetery or on the streets in Carlow Town or in Tullow or St Mullins and Tinnahinch, now there is another exception to that in relation to a licensed premises, a licensed premises can get a licence under the planning act to put tables and chairs outside and if there’s a section 254 licence in place then the bye laws do not apply”.

He adds “It’s complicated because the Intoxicating Liquor Act applies as well which is regulated by the Gardaí, now in relation to the sale of food that’s not a problem, the sale of alcohol is governed by the Intoxicating Liquor Act which is the licensing laws as we understand them so apart from all of that, so you need a licence, I understand you can either have an on-licence or an off-licence, an off licence would sell alcohol for consumption off the premises, they’re all regulated by the gardai and so on, the bye laws are to regulate from a societal point of view for public order that you can’t have people wandering around the streets drinking freely so it’s to try and have people drinking in premises that are controlled usually by a licensee of the pub

The other thing is the bye laws are intended to prevent the gatherings of large numbers of people who might go to buy cans go off to a park or somewhere and they could intimate older people or people out for a walk with children or whatever so it’s to regulate or prevent all that type of behaviour and then it’s enforced either by the Gardaí or by the county council staff themselves, usually by the Gardaí”.