Garda Commissioner Drew Harris is to issue a direction to all Gardaí that pubs and restaurants serving customers in temporary outdoor areas should not be penalised.
Yesterday, it was reported the serving of alcohol in temporary outdoor areas is in breach of the law, despite local authorities giving permission for such areas to be set up amid Covid-19 restrictions .
Last Thursday in Galway, Gardaí visited several pubs and restaurants and informed them they were in breach of the law for serving alcohol in these areas.
The Irish Times is reporting Mr Harris is to issue a communique to all members today instructing them to use discretion in enforcing licensing laws. The directive will effectively mean licensed premises which are acting responsibly will not be penalised or shut down for serving alcohol in these areas, even if they are found to be technically in breach of licensing legislation, senior sources said.
The issue has caused widespread confusion for both business owners and gardaí responsible for enforcing the law.
Speaking in Monaghan this morning, Acting Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys said she has spoken to Mr Harris about the matter and “he has assured me the guards will apply discretion”, and he will be issuing a communique to his organisation today to confirm that.