Outdoor drinking plans will make Dublin ‘very different’ place

Making pandemic outdoor drinking laws permanent will make Dublin “very different over the next ...
Faye Curran
Faye Curran

11.05 24 May 2023

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Outdoor drinking plans will ma...

Outdoor drinking plans will make Dublin ‘very different’ place

Faye Curran
Faye Curran

11.05 24 May 2023

Share this article

Making pandemic outdoor drinking laws permanent will make Dublin “very different over the next couple of years.”

That’s according to Dublin Town CEO Richard Guiney, who was speaking to The Pat Kenny Show about plans to extend outdoor drinking and dining laws introduced during the pandemic.


The laws are expected to be extended until November, while work continues on more permanent changes to the Sale of Alcohol Bill.

“The public is very supportive of outdoor dining,” he said.

“They’re also supportive of outdoor drinking, not to the same extent, but still very supportive.”


Mr Guiney said certain streets in Dublin are better adapted to outdoor dining than others.

“You're walking down Henry Street, it's dead, it's dangerous, it’s uninviting,” he said.

“The shops are closed, you don't have a night-time business, but when you're on other streets where there's a bit of bustle, people are on the street, there are eyes and ears, people feel more comfortable.

“I don't believe people should be allowed to have pints halfway down the street.

“The free-for-all that we have on Capel Street is not working.

“We need to plan the city; we need proper engagement that we haven't had in terms of use of space.”

People enjoying food and drink on Dublin's Capel Street on the first Saturday of outdoor dining in June 2021. Picture by: Leah Farrell/


Green Party Cllr Janet Horner said “a lot of concerns have come up” at Dublin City Council over the use of outdoor space for dining and drinking.

“While you set up a table and chairs in one designated area, customers don't often observe that designated area,” she said.

“They start moving them around to join up with their friends, taking over the footpath, spilling out everywhere.

“The footpaths have become quite inaccessible at places.”

Outdoor furniture

Cllr Horner suggested more rigid furniture would be used to combat the issue of inaccessibility.

“It would mean that the chairs can't be moved around all over the place on the street,” she said.

“The quality of the furniture we've seen, certainly if you go down Capel Street, there's elements of it that look like very, very cheap.

“What [DCC] want to move towards is having a setup where we have set materials and we say you can set up outdoor furniture if you choose from the set materials that are going to be high quality.

“Otherwise, we end up with a pretty cheap tacky looking city.

Cllr Horner said the council would also like to ban outdoor furniture “draped in alcohol advertising.”

“I don't think that we should have free public space given over to alcohol advertising,” she said.

21/05/2022 Capel Street Pedestrianised. Pictured people eating food while out door dining takes place on Capel Street, Dublin. On its second day as a traffic-free street, becoming the longest pedestrianised street in Ireland. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov/


Mr Guiney said the potential mix of pedestrians, customers, and cyclists on the street can cause issues.

“I'm in favour of pedestrianisation and I'm also in favour of the use of space for sustainable transport and personal mobility,” he said.

“There should be a designated space for cyclists but actually what's happening at the moment is it's a free for all.

“These are really these are issues that can be really resolved.”

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Capel Street Dublin City Council Outdoor Dining Outdoor Drinking Pandemic

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