A publican is not obliged to serve all members of the public. This is subject to modern antidiscrimination legislation. Under older practice, a refusal to serve could constitute a basis for objection to renewal. A reason need not be given for refusal.

A hotel, as defined under legislation reflecting the common law concept of an inn is under a duty to receive guests unless there are reasonable grounds for refusal. This duty includes the provision of food and beverages at the prices indicated as applicable for the hotel.

Discrimination and Harassment

Prohibited conduct means discrimination, harassment or sexual harassment in contravention of provisions as to equality and discrimination.  Persons who claim he has suffered prohibited conduct may apply to the District Court for redress.

The court if  satisfied the applicant is entitled to redress may make an order as it considers appropriate including an order for compensation for the  effects of prohibited conduct, make an order that the licensee take a course of action specified, order for temporary closure in accordance with the above provisions.

The maximum award is that of the civil jurisdiction of the District Court.  The order may include a statement of reason.

WRC Redress

Where it appears to the Equality Authority (WRC) that conduct is being directed generally against persons or has been directed against the person who has not applied for redress and could not reasonably  be expected to do so, the Authority  (Commission) may apply for redress in respect of the prohibited conduct.

The application is dealt with in the same way as above.  However, an application for compensation shall not be made in favour of the Authority (Commission).

A person who considers that prohibited conduct has been directed against him may request assistance on the Equality Authority to apply to court.  The Authority may choose to render such assistance as it sees fits where it appears it is not reasonable to expect him to do so without assistance.

There is an appeal to the High Court from an order of the Circuit Court on appeal against the District Court’s decision for redress on a point of law.

Security Services

Security services including door services, suppliers of equipment, private investigators, security guards, locksmiths and suppliers of safes are subject to regulation under the Private Security Services Act. See the section on the legislation.

A security guard must have a licence and identification card. Breach of the legislation is an offence subject on summary conviction to a fine up to €2,000. The  identity card may be issued by an organisation / authority.

Certain categories of licensee must wear an identity badge when providing services. Contravention is an offence subject on summary conviction to a fine of €3000 and or imprisonment up to 12 months. There are requirements in relation to an identity badge.

Provision of an unlicensed security service is an offence subject on summary conviction to a fine up to €3000 or imprisonment up to and or imprisonment up to 12 months or on conviction on indictment for a term of to 5 years and an unlimited fine.

It is an offence to employ or hire as an independent contractor the provider of a security service who is not duly licensed. Breach is an offence carrying the same penalties as above.

There are prescribed qualifications and licences in respect of certain security providers including door supervisors and security guards who provide services in the vicinity of a premises licensed for the sale of intoxicating liquor. They must have specified qualifications in security procedures and services.


See the section on public health in relation to the smoking ban in public places. There is  specific legislation prohibiting and limiting the smoking of tobacco on licensed premises. Contravention is an offence. There is an exception for an outdoor area, where not less than 50% of the perimeter is surrounded by walls by way of a designated smoking area.

A person may not sell tobacco unless he is registered for such sale under the public tobacco legislation. Persons carrying on a business selling tobacco must register with the Office of Tobacco control. There is provision for deregistration upon conviction in respect  of offences.

There are prohibitions on advertising tobacco products and limitations as to how they may be provided and sold. There are special powers of enforcement conferred on members of the Gardai and HSE officers.

It is mandatory to display certain signs prohibiting smoking and specifying certain matters. Failure to display an offence.

It  is an offence to sell tobacco products to a person under 18 years of age. There are restrictions on self-serving vending machines, selling such products. A self-service vending machine must be located in an attended area, within line of sight of staff and must be subject to certain controls. The sale of tobacco products to under age persons from such machines is prohibited.

There are duties to ensure that tobacco products are kept in containers or closed receptacles and dispensers with limited visibility. There are requirements in relation to price product indication and other price indications. There are limits on the quantities by which tobacco products may be sold. There are requirements in relation to information that may be provided.


See the section on gaming and lotteries in relation to gaming on a licensed premises. The general provision is that a licensee may not permit gaming on the premises.

Gaming refers to any game of skill or chance or partly of one or both for stakes advanced by participants. Breach of the provision is subject to the recording and potential forfeiture on the intoxicating liquor licence.

There are limited exceptions for games in which no stake is hazarded other than a charge for the right to take part where only one such charge is made it is of the same amount and the promoter if any derives no profit from it.

A gaming instrument meaning any table instrument of gaming and any coin token card used for such gaming, may not be located on a licensed premises. Amusement machines are subject to  licensing and permit by the Revenue Commissioners. A amusement machine must not be made available without the requisite permit. Breach is an offence subject on summary conviction to a class E fine.

Lotteries on a licensed premises are subject to the general restrictions in the gaming and lotteries legislation. There is an exception from the general prohibition for private lotteries where the sale of chances is confined to members of one society established and conducted for a purpose not connected with gaming or lotteries for persons all of whom work or reside in the premises. The must be no written notice or announcement except a notice on the premises of the society or other persons concerned or to members of the society. A society may be a club Institute or other association of persons.

The gaming and lotteries legislation allows for issue of lottery permits and lottery licences by superintendent Garda Siochana and the District Court respectively within certain bounds. Conditions and limits apply. They must generally be for a charitable or philanthropic purposes where the licensee gains no profit.

A lottery permit allows for holding of lotteries where the prize does not exceed €3000 Permission may be granted by superintendent Garda Siochana.

No premises may be operated or used for the purpose of betting nor may  persons resort to it for the purpose of betting  or receiving any bet on any horse or other race fight game or sport nor for securing the payment or giving any money or valuable thing on such event.

Any such premises is deemed a common gaming house and an offence is committed. There are offences on the part of the owner occupier and persons acting on their behalf. There are offences advertising any premises for betting in contravention of the legislation.

A licensee may not open, use or allows premises to be used in contravention of the Betting Act. Same is subject on summary conviction to a class D fine.

Premises for the purpose of betting are subject to licensing under the Betting Act. The licence is granted pursuant to a court declaration.


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Draft Articles; The articles on this website are in draft form and are subject to further review for typographical errors and, in some cases, updating and correction. It is intended to include references to the sources of materials and acknowledgements in the final version. The content of articles with [EU] in the title and some of the articles in the section on Agriculture are a reproduction of or are based on European or Irish public sector information.

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