Aug 20

A Brief Guide to the Various Types of Liquor Licences

A liquor license granted pursuant to the Licensing Acts is a personal authority to the person named therein to sell intoxicating liquor in accordance with the terms of the license in a particular premises.

A liquor licence may be held by an individual, a partnership or company.

When applying to the District Court for a liquor license, it is necessary to liaise with An Garda Siochana and the local Court Office. In certain circumstances, it is also necessary to liaise with Fire Safety officials and architects to ensure the application is successful.

Ordinary Publicans On Licence

This type of liquor license must be renewed annually with the Revenue.

A new application must be heard in the Circuit Court.

This application must be made in the local court to the premises and on notice to An Garda Siochana and Fire Officer of the District where the applicant resides and where the premises is situated.

Every application is preceded by a notice signed by the applicant of his intention to make the application. Along with the application there must be a map with the premises outlined in red. There must also be publication in a newspaper before the hearing.

Special Exemption Licence

This type of license allows the license holder to continue serving alcohol after normal closing time.

When seeking this type of license, one should be aware of the permitted hours of trading and the applicable criteria for special exemptions. It may be possible to extend opening hours to up to 2.30am.

There is no limit as to how many special exemption applications a license holder can apply for in one year.

The relevant application is made before the District Court in the area within which the premises is situated.

Applicants should be aware that it is necessary to notify An Garda Siochana of the application before the application.

Music and Singing and Dance Licence

An application for this type of license is made in the District within which the premises is situated.

An Garda Siochana must be notified of the application before the application and notification to the local Fire Officer.

Applicants must also publish a notification of the application in a newspaper prior to the application.

It is of the utmost importance that appropriate public liability insurance is in place.

Restaurant Licence

Before incurring expense a prospective restaurant license holder can ascertain from court if the proposed premises would be suitable for certification as a restaurant by applying for a declaration as to suitability.

Each of the following are subsections of this type of liquor license:

  • Public House having a Restaurant Certificate.

A restaurant certificate is in force in respect of licensed premises and alcohol can be served one hour after normal closing time. This can be consumed after the substantial meal has ended and a substantial meal is a meal for which it would be reasonable to charge a sum no less than €9.

The Circuit Court has jurisdiction to certify a premises as a restaurant in conjunction with the grant of a certificate for a new on license.

An Garda Siochana must be served prior to the application and a map of the premises must be furnished to An Garda Siochana and the local Court office.

  • Public House having a Limited Restaurant Certificate.

The Circuit Court has jurisdiction to certify premises as a limited restaurant in conjunction with the grant of a certificate for a new on license. Same must be on notice to An Garda Siochana and a map must be available.

  • Wine Retailer’s On License Premises having a Restaurant Certificate.

The holder of a wine retailer’s on–license may apply to the District Court to have the premises certified as a restaurant which will allow sale of beer with a meal.

Temporary Transfer/Ad interim Licence

The District Court has jurisdiction to grant such transfers.

An application for this type of license may be made upon the death of the license holder, upon the removal of any such person from the premises or upon the sale or assignment of an interest in the premises.

These applications must be made on notice to the local An Garda Siochana.

Wholesale Beer Licence

The Revenue will not grant or transfer a wholesale beer dealer’s license without the production of a certificate granted from the District Court certifying to the good character of the applicant and the suitability of the premises.

An application for same can be made in the local District to the proposed premises.

Plans showing the lay out of the premises must be prepared by an Architect.

A tax clearance certificate must have issued.

A wholesale beer dealer’s license expires on 30 June very year and may be renewed by the Revenue on the payment of excise duty of €500.

An Garda Siochana must be on notice at least 21 days before the application.

Occasional Licence

An occasional license is applied for if a special event is being held at a place which does not otherwise hold a license for up to maximum of six days.

An occasional license allows the holder of an on license to sell alcohol which his on license allows at a place to which no license is attached.

An event can be held on a Sunday but not Christmas day or Good Friday.

The license may be granted from 8am to 10pm. It may go on later if there is a meal served.

There is no limit to the amount of occasional licenses the same party may apply for in a year.

The application is made in the District within which the event is to take place.

The local An Garda Siochana must be served before the court application. The relevant fire authority need not be served. However, it is prudent to do so as a courtesy.

Moran & Ryan has extensive experience of advising and managing applications in respect of all of the above types of liquor licences. For more information, please contact:

Caoimhe Connolly
Caoimhe Connolly
Email: cconnolly@moranryan.com
Call: 01 872 5622