Alcohol Action Ireland has voiced concerns about the proposed extended alcohol licensing hours that are due to come into place in Summer 2024. Shelia Gilheany told Newstalk “If you increase licensing hours, you increase the level of sale, and with that, the level of alcohol harm”, although many believe staggered closing times will result in safer consumption of alcohol and less violence on the streets.

Alcohol Action Ireland have raised concerns about extended alcohol licensing laws when speaking to Newstalk during the week. “We have to legislate for what we have in Ireland, and we know we already have a problem with alcohol, we have a problem in terms of violence, we definitely have a problem in terms of the impact it has on our public services. – Shelia Gilheany

The suggested cut off time for serving alcohol under new legislation is 5am, which isn’t as radical as some might seem. With different venues having different times for ‘last orders’, this means fewer people binge drinking at one singular time due to a common time for last-orders across clubs and venues. Sporadic closing times will also help for ques for taxis, and will mean the streets will not be as busy with people piling out of various venues at the same time, resulting in a safer space nightclub patrons.

Leo Varadkar shares a different view to Alcohol Action Ireland as he says “I don’t think these changes will lead to an increase in alcohol consumption. Nobody can say that for sure. But my hope is that it won’t. It will see people drinking perhaps more in a controlled environment like in a pub or restaurant rather than drinking heavily at home,”

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