After sandwich board ban, council will soon have pub owners over a barrel

Barrels to be banned outside Dublin’s pubs in a further crackdown on street ‘clutter’

Dublin’s publicans are facing a ban on placing barrels outside their premises following the success of the crackdown on sandwich boards in the city.

Since September, city businesses have had to apply for permission to erect advertising sandwich boards on the street. Almost 150 unlicensed boards have been seized by the council.

Council chief executive Owen Keegan said he was "delighted" by the success of the crackdown on sandwich boards, which he said was aimed at ridding the streets of "unauthorised clutter" and not a money-making exercise.

Mr Keegan is now planning a beer barrel blitz, to end the unauthorised use of barrels for customers to drink or smoke outside pubs.


“We are delighted with how the sandwich boards regulations have gone. They have been very successful at removing unauthorised clutter which has caused obstructions to the public footpaths,” Mr Keegan said.

The barrels would likely be licensed in the same manner as sandwich boards, Mr Keegan said

“Now we need to concentrate on other elements which are causing problems and I am particularly unhappy about the use of beer barrels, which are taking over the footpath in some areas. They are also encouraging on-street drinking in the city, which is a matter of concern to me.”

On-street advertising

The number of barrels placed outside pubs, particularly in the city centre, had increased in recent years, he said, with some drinks companies giving out free barrels which doubled as on-street advertising.

The barrels would likely be licensed in the same manner as sandwich boards, Mr Keegan said. The advertising boards are only permitted in places where they cause no obstruction to the footpath and are banned entirely outside protected structures, such as Georgian buildings, and in 23 architectural conservation areas (ACAs).

O'Connell Street, Grafton Street, Capel Street, Dawson Street and the area between Grafton Street and South Great George's Street are all within ACAs. Suburban areas including Phibsborough, Sandymount and Ranelagh are also covered by the designation.

Donall O'Keeffe, chief executive of the Licensed Vintners Association, said he would be opposed to a barrel ban.

“The council has had no consultation with us in relation to this. These barrels provide customers with outdoor space and add a lot to the atmosphere of the city.”

He said given the fees publicans already pay to the council for outdoor tables and chairs, it was excessive to ask that they pay additional barrel fees.

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times