Dáil bar doesn’t need a licence to sell liquor

The Dáil bar does not need a licence — despite selling booze until all hours, Oireachtas officials have insisted.

They say the drinking establishment, which can stay open for up to an hour after the Dáil has finished proceedings, made notorious in the wake of last July’s “Lapgate” incident, operates under “parliamentary privilege”.

The revelation came in a response from the Oireachtas joint sub-committee on administration to inquiries first raised by Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams in the summer.

“Most people would find it odd that a bar can serve alcohol until all hours in a place of work,” he said. “For this to be the case in the Dáil, where important legislation affecting the lives of citizens is being debated, is unacceptable.

“The Dáil bar should be regulated the same way as any other bar and I intend to continue to pursue this issue.”

The Irish Examiner recently revealed Oireachtas chiefs would take no action to alter Dáil bar opening times despite Lapgate.

The notorious incident — in which Cork TD Tom Barry pulled Fine Gael colleague Áine Collins down onto his lap in the early hours of the morning as deputies voted on X Case legislation — sparked global headlines.

Takings in the members’ bar — exclusively reserved for TDs and senators — for that all-night session amounted to €1,440.80.


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