People gathering in public places to drink alcohol, in lieu of pub closures, could face fines of up to €300.

The move to prevent crowds of people congregating comes after footage posted on social media showed large numbers of people gathered in the cities of Dublin and Cork, despite social distancing rules.

It’s thought new measures to prevent people gathering close to pubs selling takeaway drinks are likely to be introduced by the Government, whose strong view it is that what happened in these cities cannot be allowed to happen again.

Currently, in Ireland, fines of €300 are already in place for customers who drink within 100 metres of a pub. A fine of €1,500 is also issued to the licence holder.

It’s expected that a decision will fall short of a full ban on all pubs selling takeaway drinks, since a number of government officials believed such a ban would not be representative of the millions of other people continuing to do the right thing.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said the behaviour seen in Dublin was “frustrating”, particularly for those who abide by the rules.

Dr Glynn said such behaviour was also particularly frustrating for business owners, healthcare workers, older people and those with medical conditions, who have been isolating for months, who would find it disheartening to see examples of such behaviour.

Pop-up pubs

The news comes as officials across Ireland have been warning about the emergence of pop-up pubs.

So-called ‘Shebeens’ are under-the-radar premises selling alcohol to customers without permission and the correct licensing in place to do so.

Officials claim that, instead of warding people away from people-dense environments such as pubs, the closure of public houses has seen more people drinking easily accessible alcohol in ‘uncontrolled environments’.

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