Public drinking laws may be relaxed

LOCAL bye laws governing the consumption of alcohol on streets and in public places could be relaxed for certain special events, pending a period of public consultation over the next few weeks.

LOCAL bye laws governing the consumption of alcohol on streets and in public places could be relaxed for certain special events, pending a period of public consultation over the next few weeks.

An amendment to the laws was put before members of Kilkenny Borough Council on Monday. If the proceeding public process is satisfactory, it will allow special dispensations for public drinking in specific areas for ‘festivals, cultural events, special community events, and special sporting events’.

A number of groups and festivals have apparently sought permission for a relaxation of the provisions, according to town clerk Brian Tyrell.

“Up to now all such requests have met with the response that the bye laws do not allow for such relaxation,” he said.

“Following recent enquiries I have become aware that some other local authorities have in fact allowed a relaxation of the blanket prohibition by allowing the county manager, at his discretion, and following consultation with the Gardai, to relax the bye laws in certain circumstances.”

Cllrs Paul Cuddihy (FG) and Joe Malone (FF) both vehemently objected to the proposed amendment.

“Not everything has to revolve around drink,” said Cllr Malone.

“There are enough problems with alcohol without us relaxing the laws. I am totally against this.”

The proposed amendment went to a vote for the members and was passed to now go on public display.