Alcohol and Licensing

Mobile Bars In Ireland

Mobile Bars in Ireland

A common query that arises is the licensing law applying to mobile bars in Ireland. A number of products are available mirroring developments in the UK where a mobile vehicle can be licensed for the sale of alcohol. Large and small scale commercial vehicles and trailers have been adapted for the sale of food and alcohol with the benefit of the relevant licence attaching to the vehicle. No such provisions exist in Ireland however.

Licenses in Ireland attach to fixed premises only. There is no equivalent licence in Ireland for a vehicle and the sale of alcohol from mobile bars is only permissible in strict limited circumstances.

Mobile bars in Ireland may only operate under an existing licence attached to a premises or place and in the following manner:

  • A mobile bar operating in the grounds of a bar or hotel and within an outdoor licensed area of that bar or hotel;
  • A mobile bar operating in the grounds of a licensed concert or outdoor public event and within the designated area and authorised hours for the sale of alcohol at that event;
  • The provision of a professional bar service to parties who have purchased their own alcohol for consumption.

The central ethos behind licensing law in Ireland is twofold: the control of the sale of alcohol and the protection of minors and the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) on the sales. The effect of these central philosophies are that ultimately the named licence holder in each case is the person or company responsible for the lawful sale of the alcohol and the payment of V.A.T. on those sales. Any party wishing to operate a mobile bar in Ireland therefore must either be a license holder or must provide a bar facility to the licence holder whose authorised personnel can then operate the bar.

As can be seen from the above the tight controls that exist in Ireland for the sale of alcohol do not lend themselves to a business solely on the sale of alcohol from mobile bars. the bar can operate within the limited exceptions outlined above and by agreement with the licence holder.

At the Abacus Legal Network we are connected to the leading licensing practitioners around the country. If you have any queries about licensing or indeed need advice or assistance with any project, please get in touch and we will be happy to organise our local expert to contact you.

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