Offies Staying Shut Early On Paddy’s Day But LVA Provide Reassurance That Pubs Are Open

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Gardaí say a voluntary ban on alcohol at all off-licence premises will be in effect until 4pm on St Patrick’s Day in an area from Parnell Square to St. Stephen’s Green.

The ban, aimed at discouraging street drinking for Friday’s family-friendly parade, will include drink being taken from chancers on public transport.

However, publicans have rejected a suggestion that the voluntary ban would extend to their various premises.

Donal O’Keeffe, chief executive of the Licenced Vintners Association, which represents publicans in the capital, said its business as usual for the pub trade.

Under no circumstances will we be shut until 4pm on St Patrick’s Day. Pubs are an integral part of the festival. They come to us for drink, they come to us for food. We haven’t been asked to close.”

Assistant Garda Commissioner Angela Willis said off-licences had made a “very significant contribution” in supporting St Patrick’s Day parades by closing until 4pm, “and we know from previous experience that this is a significant contributing factor to make sure it is an enjoyable experience for everyone”, she added.

In addition gardaí will be operating a cordon around Temple Bar after the parade to stop overcrowding in the area.

All garda leave in the Dublin area has been cancelled with 600 personnel expected to be on duty from 5am throughout St Patrick’s day and night.