On Saturday night, Dublin's Dame Lane was not a picture of a country still emerging from a pandemic. It was more like a regular night of years past with the small area packed and a DJ playing.
Licensed Vintners Association CEO Donall O'Keeffe told RTÉ Radio One's Morning Ireland that this is the type of situation with which the Gardaí must deal.
"There's three sources of alcohol as far as we can see in this scenario," O'Keeffe.
"There are a number of pubs selling for takeaway, a small number of restaurants selling alcohol for takeaway and then there are traditional supermarkets off licences where people are buying alcohol to arrive to that part of town.
"It's a shocking situation, it's disgraceful business and it should not be happening. Selling alcohol through a window or hatch is actually legal. That's the weakness in the legislation.
"It was inconceivable three months ago that pubs would be involved in this type of business. We always want our customers to come to the premises, have use of the facilities and our service. This situation was never contemplated but it's causing huge problems in town now.
"It's very important to realise that this is a separate issue from pubs reopening. Pubs reopening for food last Monday have to follow the guidelines. We've been engaging with the Gardaí. This is a separate issue of on-street drinking which has reached very worrying, very dangerous proportions.
"The Gardaí need to deal with that. The law is clear: If alcohol is sold for takeaway, it cannot be consumed within 100m of the premises. That's difficult for the pubs to enforce but they should. The pubs that are knowingly allowing that alcohol on public streets and laneways around our pubs should stop that business. The Gardaí must intervene to deal with this."
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