Endorsement of Offences

Certain convictions in respect of the breach of the Intoxicating Liquor Acts are endorsed on the licence.  In the case of prohibited hours, the recording of convictions is discretionary.

A first conviction is not necessarily recorded.  If recorded, a  first conviction if recorded is  recorded for two years.  A second conviction is recorded for four years. A  third and every subsequent conviction lasts six year

Whether a person is convicted twice in  same court for offences on different dates, the conviction for the second dates are not regarded as the same offence.

Convictions against a former licensee after a bona fide transfer are not endorsable on the transferred licence.

Convictions are removed if the licence holder is acquitted on appeal. The  Circuit Judge may affirm the conviction and has discretion to declare that thee conviction shall not be recorded.


Where the holder of a licence is convicted of an offence under the legislation and at the time of such recording two convictions are recorded, the licence shall be forfeited.  Where a licence is forfeited, no new licence shall be granted in respect of the premises or any part of it.

Forfeiture, despite its potentially serious consequences in relation to the livelihood of the licence holder t, is not such as to require a trial by jury. The underlying offences remain minor offences.

When a person is convicted of two or more offences on the same day, the court may order that one conviction only shall be recorded.

Transfer & Endorsement

Where the applicant having on a bona fide purchase satisfies the court that the transfer is for the purpose of giving effect to a bona fide sale, the court shall if it grants the certificate for transfer direct, offences then recorded to be removed.

Where a licence is transferred, freed and discharged and the transferor applies for licence within five years, whether in the same or another licensing area, the court shall direct that the offences that were recorded on the first licence be recorded on the second licence.

A person who makes an application for transfer is under an  obligation to disclose the above circumstances to the court.  The omission to record a conviction on the licence does not affect its validity.

Licence Register

A register of licences is kept.  It includes evidence and particulars of endorsement.  The particulars of endorsement in the register are presumptively corre

Whenever the holder of a licence is charged, the summons or other document, bringing the holder before the court shall state that the holder is required to produce his licence to the court.  Where a recordable offence occurs, the registrar or clerk is to endorse the licence with details of the conviction.

The Probation Act does not apply to offences under this provision.

Covered Offences

This legislation  applies to offences scheduled which include

  • permitting gaming,
  • obstructing Gardai Síochána,
  • making premises available as unlicensed drinking premises,
  • contravention of the terms of certain licences,
  • sale to a persons under age,
  • supplying to persons who are drunk.
  • permitting, disorderly conduct and
  • permitting intoxicating liquor sold to be consumed near the premises
  • permitting premises to be used for a certain disorderly purposes, harbouring, bribing and certain other acts, in relation to the Garda Síochána;
  • off-licence, breach of certain regulation.

The latter four cases are subject to the court’s discretion.

Temporary Closure

In the case of convictions for so-called underage drinking, the court must issue a temporary closure order.  This may be between two and seven days for a first offence and between seven and thirty days for second and subsequent offences.  See generally the sections in relation to “underage drinking”.

There are similar provisions in respect of breaches by the licensee in respect of the provisions against  drunkenness and disorderly conduct.  See the separate sections in that regard.


Where a licensed person or a spirit grocer is convicted for the first time of certain offences:

  • selling spirits without a licence,
  • serious indictable offences,
  • making an internal communication with an unlicensed premises and
  • becomes disqualified as his licence is forfeited.,

the District Court may give authority to carry on the business at the same premises until the District Court sittings are next heard, next one month thereafter.


If the holder of a retail licence to sell beer or spirits is convicted of a certain serious offences, the District Court may annul his licence after due notice.

The 1833  Act also provides that “ no .. bailiff, gaoler, turnkey, guard, sheriff, sub-sheriff, peace officer or a non-householder may  hold a publican’s licence”.


A person who has been convicted of a drug trafficking offence is disqualified from ever holding in intoxicating liquor, public dancing licence or any public music or singing licence. A drug trafficking offence refers to certain offences in relation to manufacture production importation and supply of controlled drugs and certain equivalent offences.

Where  the holder of intoxicating liquor licence is convicted of a drug trafficking offence the Superintendent Garda Siochana may request this court to forfeit the licence. Such person is disqualified from holding a licence again.

A person who is disqualified from holding a licence under any of the provisions may not be a shadow licence holder. A shadow licence holder is a person who directs the holder of the licence in relation to the operation by reason of an understanding, arrangement ,direction, profit sharing  or control, or is able to share in the profits and gains of the licensed trade.

A disqualified person may not act as a shadow licence holder. There is provision for application to the District Court by member of an Garda Siochana in relation to a disqualified person who is acting as a shadow licence holder. The holder of the licence is subject to similar disqualifications. Similar provisions apply in respect of public dancing,  public music and singing licences

On  application by a member of an Garda Siochana above a certain rank to the District Court, where the court is satisfied that the person has allowed premises to be used for the sale of controlled drugs then the District Court may suspend the licence. An application shall not be made on the basis that the licence holder did not exercise control which is reasonable in the circumstances unless

  • a member of an Garda Siochana has previously advised the licence holder that he has reasonable suspicion that there was such sale or supply,
  • warned the licence holder to take whatever action was necessary and
  • given the licence holder  a reasonable period not less than four weeks to take whatever action was specified.

Where  the intoxicating liquor licence is suspended under this power it is suspended for three years. A person so convicted shall not hold any other licence in this period.


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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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