Dublin Mid-West TD, Deputy Emer Higgins has welcomed the extension of outdoor dining and alcohol laws as the hospitality sector enters the busy summer season. Deputy Higgins said, “Although the pandemic was hugely challenging for businesses I also think the hospitality sector was accidently revolutionised by Covid-19 restrictions in some ways – particularly in relation to outdoor dining. “For example, last December I found myself having a late-night drink outside Courtney’s in Lucan which I never would have dreamed of doing in the dark Winter months, nor would Courtney’s probably thought of offering outdoor dining as an option in the Winter evenings, but we all had to adapt and it was good for business.
“New laws allowed businesses to extend their footprint whether that be in carparks The Laurels or Lord Lucan, or backyards like the graveyard in Kenny’s of Lucan or Annie Mae’s in Newcastle, and I’m glad these laws have been further extended to allow pubs and restaurants across Ireland to continue serve alcohol in outdoor settings lawfully. “Pubs and restaurants are absolutely vital to the social fabric of the towns and villages throughout the local community and I really believe this legislation is good for local business and great for hospitality to recover after the pandemic” said Deputy Higgins.
Minister McEntee’s announcement comes recently after Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien announced that he would instruct local authorities to waive fees charged by local authorities during 2022 for the use of outdoor furniture such as tables and chairs. “I also welcome Minister O’Brien’s announcement for local authorities to waive fees for the use of outdoor furniture,” said Deputy Higgins.
“South Dublin County Council did a superb job at preserving the value of the public realm during the pandemic and it’s great that this will continue for the summer. “Street furniture injects vibrancy into our towns and villages but we also must ensure that we maintain vibrancy and furniture does not cause a hazard and does not take away from the beauty of our towns and villages” said Deputy Higgins. I think this latest announcement will continue to revolutionise the Irish hospitality sector and will bring Ireland in line with our European neighbours when it comes to outdoor hospitality” concluded Deputy Higgins.