Food in Pubs after 9pm

June 21, 2015

Question:

At several different pubs in the north-west of Ireland we were told it is illegal for them to serve food after 9pm. What is the reason for this? Does it have to do with restaurant licensing?

Answer:

The reason is twofold. First, customers in pubs late at night were unhappy with children being on the premises, and secondly it was widely thought that having children in pubs late at night - when things can get a bit loud and messy - was not a good thing.

It was not really aimed at visitors to an area who just wanted something to eat or to enjoy music as a family after 9pm, more at people who were taking their kids to pubs instead of getting a babysitter and basically ignoring or neglecting them. So, it was seen as a child welfare issue and a law was introduced - a pub owner can lose his license if children are on the premises after the relevant hour.

The time can be extended between May and October to 10pm in pubs that have restaurants, but this is at the discretion of the pub owner. The restriction also applies in restaurants that serve alcohol.

The extra hour in summer was added after complaints from restaurant owners but also from people, especially families, who wanted to enjoy a meal at the end of long summer days and found they could not if they had children with them.

 

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