How Popular Is Happy Hour in Ireland?

Most people are familiar with "happy hour" specials at bars and restaurants, in which alcoholic drinks are temporarily discounted, typically after the end of the working day. And on St. Patrick's Day, plenty of American bars try to cash in on the celebrations by offering themed happy hour drinks. So it may surprise you to learn that in Ireland -- even on St. Patrick's Day -- happy hours have been illegal since 2003. As part of an initiative to curtail binge drinking and create a more family-friendly environment in pubs, the Irish government enacted a ban on any promotional activity in bars and pubs -- such as two-for-one "happy hour" pricing -- that was likely to encourage people to drink excessively.


  • Although St. Patrick's Day is certainly a time of revelry in Ireland -- it's a public holiday -- many people primarily observe the holiday by attending Mass in honor of the patron saint of Ireland.

  • Ireland's Intoxicating Liquor Act of 2003 also banned children and teenagers under the age of 18 from entering a licensed premises without a parent or guardian. Establishments that contravene the law are liable to face a fine of €1,500 ($1,595 USD).

  • The specifics of the law mean that although bars and pubs can't lower the price of alcoholic drinks at a certain time of the day, they can still raise prices.

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More Info: Irish Independent

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