There is no legal bar to publicans obtaining late-night licence extensions, allowing them to serve drinks into the early hours on Good Friday, the president of the Circuit Court, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, has ruled.
A judge in the Dublin District court had refused to grant a Good Friday late-bar extension to the Red Cow Inn, on the Naas Road, Dublin, which meant a huge back-up in similar applications, pending an appeal to the Circuit Court.
The appeal was allowed yesterday, by Judge Groarke, freeing publicans to obtain bar extensions in cases where there is no objection by the state authorities, including the Garda Síochána, and where all necessary legal proofs are in order.
Barrister, Dorothy Collins, counsel for the Red Cow Inn, told the Circuit Civil Court that the legislation had been amended this year, deleting the two words ‘Good Friday’, from the 1927 Licensing Act.
“The Government’s decision means that, from now on, Good Friday will be treated as an ordinary day in the licensing legislation, under which bar-extension application may be made to the District Court,” Ms Collins said.
She said the requirement for such an application was a special occasion, such as a dance, and the Red Cow, and other public premises seeking extensions, do hold dances.
She said that more than 40 applications before the District Court had been adjourned, following the decision of the Court, on Wednesday, refusing a special exemption order to the Red Cow.
Ms Collins told the court there had been no objection by the gardaí to the event in the Red Cow.
Judge Groarke said the appeal arose in the context of the recent changes in the licensing legislation, which provided that Good Friday should now be treated as an ordinary licensing day.
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