Special Event Licences

Cash strapped clubs need innovative ways to raise money beyond the local club Lotto. Think of an annual festival type event on the grounds of your club where family fun, food and drink on tap are served along with some sport and entertainment! Given the anticipated crowds and unreliable Irish weather a marquee is the obvious solution.

Whereas your clubhouse is licensed to sell liquor which can be consumed on site the big tent outside is not. That anomaly represents the obscurity and strictness of licensing law in Ireland. The way to overcome this otherwise illegal sale and consumption of alcohol in the marquee  is to apply to your District Court for an Occasional Licence for the event.

A good example is the Old Crescent ‘Pig and Porter’ event. The marquee is critical to the event as the club house cannot accommodate large numbers, so instead of getting 250 people to show up they might get 1500 people. The mathematics speak for themselves when you charge entrance fees, earn profits on margins charged within the event, and further income from raffles held on the occasion also.

More and more clubs are turning to this method of fundraising. Here are the steps involved in obtaining an Occasional Licence

  • A notice of application setting out the licensee’s name and place of residence, the premises to which his on-licence attaches, the unlicensed premises (marquee) for which the occasional licence is sought  and the special event to which the application relates and the times and days during which intoxicating liquor is to be sold.
  • This notice of application will then need to be served to the local District Court Clerk and to the officer in charge of An Garda Síochána of the relevant district.
  • Although not required under legislation it is advisable to serve a copy of the notice of application on the local Fire Officer.
  • Statutory Declarations of Service will then need to be prepared confirming that the notices of application were served on the parties mentioned above and lodged with the District Court Clerk.
  • A hearing will then take place in the District Court at which time the Judge will either grant or deny the application.

For further details contact Gavin Bluett.


This publication is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice. No liability is accepted by Ogier Leman for any action taken or not taken in reliance on the information set out in this publication. Professional or legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this publication. Any and all information is subject to change.

Share this post:

Connect with me: