DRINKING BYE-LAWS prohibiting the consumption of alcohol on the streets and in public places within the county were passed by members of Kilkenny County Council at their monthly meeting on Monday.
The bye-laws make it an offence to consume intoxicating licquor in a street or public place. It is also an offence to be in possession of alcohol contained within an open can, open bottle, opened pack or within a drinking galss or cup. Anyone found to be in breach of the bye-laws could face a fine of up to €2,500 if they are convicted in the District Court.
Cllr Paul Cuddihy (Fine Gael) said that it was important to have strong drinking bye-laws in Kilkenny. “We have family-based tourism and have 2,500 beds to fill every night. I would oppose any dilution of drinking bye-laws,” he said.
He added that no one had a problem with supervised drinking. “There are serious problems not with the pubs but with the off licences,” he said. “There are problems with teenagers deciding to drink and then going into the river which can have tragic circumstances,” he said.
Cllr Catherine Connery (Fine Gael) added that side by side with the bye-laws a culture of moderation in relation to drinking needed to be encouraged in the community.
Cllr John Coonan stated that the wide availability of cheap alcohol was also problematic.
The bye-laws come into force thirty days after being adopted by the council. Bye-laws are already in place for Kilkenny Environs, and the towns of Castlecomer, Thomastown, Graignamanagh and Callan. The updated bye-laws cover these and a number of new areas as agreed by electoral area committees including Ballyragget, Bennettsbridge, Ferrybank, Goresbridge, Graignamanagh, Inistioge, Mooncoin and Piltown.