Legal Drinking Age In Ireland: Do Ireland Permit Alcohol For -16 Or 18+?


Legal Drinking Age In Ireland: Ireland’s approach to alcohol purchase and consumption is somewhat funny and liberal. It is not as rigid as it is in other countries of the world.


The minimum age at which one is legally allowed to purchase and consume alcohol is known as the legal drinking age. In most countries, the age differs when it comes to the purchase of alcohol and the consumption of alcohol. The laws guiding alcohol varies between countries.

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For instance in France, the legal drinking age for alcohol purchase and consumption is 18 years and 16 years under the supervision of a responsible adult. It is so in other European countries like Ireland. In most countries, there are laws that apply to the drinking of alcohol in public places, and there are age limitations for different types of alcoholic drinks.

SEE RELATED POST>> Drinking Age In France

Generally, the laws behind the legal drinking age are being enacted because of the effect of alcohol on the brain of minors. At this level, alcohol can affect the brain negatively because the brain has not matured yet. It is also a hormonal imbalance in minors and can cause the failure of the kidney. There is an increased risk of injury in young people who take alcohol.


In Ireland, the drinking laws are vividly spelled out. The legal drinking age in Ireland is 18 years. This means that before anyone can purchase any form of alcoholic drink in a pub, he or she must be up to 18 years. 

These Laws Include:

  • It is illegal for a minor below age 18 to buy alcohol.
  • It is also illegal for a minor below age 18 to pretend to be over 18 years in order to purchase or consume alcohol.
  • It is unlawful for a minor below 18 years to consume alcohol in a pub.
  • It is also unlawful for someone above age 18 to give anyone below age 18 an alcoholic drink.
  • It is unlawful for a minor below 18 years to work in a bar except with the permission of a parent and must not be allowed to serve alcohol. 
  • In licensed premises, minors below 18 years are not allowed except under the supervision of a parent or guardian, but they can be on the premises till 9 pm from October to April, and 10 pm from May to September.

Generally, there are drinking laws in Ireland that everyone must know about:

  • Serving alcoholic drinks in registered or licensed premises.
  • Purchasing alcoholic drinks off-licenses.
  • Drinking alcohol in public places.

However, there are some important things to know about drinking laws in Ireland.

— Drinking And Driving: It is illegal to drink while driving a vehicle in Ireland.

— Age Proof: You might also be required to provide identity or means of proving your age, whether I’m a shop or a pub, especially in a place that has a doorman or a bouncer.

— Drinking In Public: Unlike other countries, there is no regulation that prohibits drinking alcohol in the public. Local authorities can pass bylaws that regulate drinking alcohol in public. There are exceptions when it comes to drinking in public events or festivals.

— Drunk In Public: it is offensive to be drunk in public places and turn out to be a danger to yourself and to others around them, this is under the Irish Criminal Justice Act 1994.

It is important to note that 18 years is the legal drinking age in Ireland which everyone including visitors needs to be aware of.

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