Easter booze law shake-up proposed
LONDONDERRY’S political representatives are being asked by the Department of Social Development (DSD) if the Easter licensing laws should be changed to allow pubs open late on Maundy Thursday and Easter Saturday.
The Department for Social Development issued a consultation on proposed changes to the liquor licensing laws on July 24. The consultation will run until November 12.
One aspect of the proposed changes to the licensing laws is a modifcation of opening hours over Holy Week.
According to the consultation document: “Easter is a period of special significance in Northern Ireland which is reflected in licensing law by the placing of restrictions on the opening hours for licensed premises over this period. This has been the position as far back as 1833.
“However changing social habits and the growing importance of the tourism industry for Northern Ireland has led to calls for changes to Easter opening hours.”
The paper adds: “It is proposed to make some modest changes to the current opening hours which gives continuing recognition to the importance of Easter to many people but which also allows licensed premises to take advantage of the tourist spend during this busy holiday period.”
Currently bars have to close at 11pm in Maundy Thursday and Easter Saturday but it is suggested this be changed to 1am the following day.
“It is proposed to permit late opening on the Thursday and Saturday before Easter Sunday to those available on weekdays during the rest of the year - that is, ending at 1.00am the following day,” the paper states.
Local councillors are asked: “To what extent do you agree with permitting late opening hours on the Thursday and Saturday before Easter Sunday?”
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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