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New laws could throw local pubs a lifeline
BAR CUSTOMERS could soon have an extra half hour to drink up after last orders if new proposals aimed at reforming the licensing trade are brought in.
Allowing bar patrons to 2am to finish their last drink is one of a number of measures being proposed by Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland.
Other proposals including setting a minimum price for a unit of alcohol, something which the licensed trade in Fermanagh would have no major issues with. The Minister also is targeting off-licence’s in supermarkets suggesting no-one under 18 years will be allowed into these areas and that alcohol will only be allowed to be purchased at a special till.
A 16 week public consultation on the reform of liquor licensing legislation has been launched Minister McCausland seeking the views of the public on proposed changes to laws regulating the sale and supply of alcohol in NI.
Marshall Coalter, Chairman of Fermanagh Pubs of Ulster, said he and Pat Blake (secretary) had been working closely with Minister McCausland on these proposals and had played a part in instigating this process.
“We feel that anything to help our industry will be of benefit to publicans across the North,” said Mr Coalter.
Mr Coalter said the pub industry is struggling at the minute, and said the industry in Fermanagh is also very much a tourist business catering for the large number of visitors who stay and pass through the county around this time of year.