With the commencement of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008 on July, 30th, the Government have tightened up the sale and consumption of alcohol.
According to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Dermot Ahern, the Act is necessary to ‘deal with the consequences of alcohol abuse’ in Ireland.
But are the Government dealing with the issues in the right way? We asked the people on Drogheda’s streets to tell us whether they thought the new laws would solve any of Ireland’s alcohol related problems.
Some people, like Lar Fraser from Termonfeckin, believe the laws will do very little to solve alcohol abuse and violence on the streets.
‘The licensing laws aren’t a particularly good idea’ he said.
‘It’s definitely a bad idea for nightclubs to close earlier, because it concentrates all going home activity’
‘It will cause a lot of friction on the streets,’ he adds, ‘It would be better if going home times were staggered, so there would be less rows.’
Con Duffy from Highfield said ‘I think the laws are a good thing, they stop people rushing in to places late at the last minute and looking for drink.’
Con doesn’t believe the laws will greatly impede his lifestyle or alcohol consumption
‘It doesn’t really affect me, being able to buy alcohol during the day is fine’
Con is cynical regarding the Government’s attempt to curb street violence
‘Well hopefully the laws will stop people fighting on the streets but unfortunately, there will always be people like that’.
Mark Petson from Skerries is not too worried about the measures, ‘I think the new laws are grand, they don’t really affect me too much’ he said.
Mark believes the new laws might do something to curb dangerous underage drinking.
‘I think they’ll definitely stop some binge drinking and kids being on streets,’ he stressed.
Neil Burnes from Ardee thinks the new closing times for nightclubs are appropriate. ‘There’s plenty enough time for people to drink between 10pm and 2.30am’
‘It’s not the older people binge drinking and fighting on the streets, it’s young people’ he adds.
‘In our day, we had stricter licensing. It’s the relaxing of the laws since then that has created this problem, so stricter laws are needed.’
Neil’s wife, Maureen, agrees with her husband and added that the new closing times don’t affect her to a great personal extent, ‘We don’t really go to nightclubs, drinking at home is fine, so it doesn’t affect us too much’.
Anthony Kennedy from Forest Park highlighted the difficulties encountered by those who may have to work late, ‘I don’t think the new laws are very fair,’ he said. ‘I work in a shop until 10pm so now I can’t go and buy drink in an off licence after work’
‘I don’t think people will stop binge drinking, people will just start drinking earlier,’ he noted, ‘The laws won’t stop anything, they’ll just make it more difficult for people who genuinely just want to drink a bit before they go out’.