How do I revive a lapsed Pub Licence/Special Restaurant Licence?

The licensing year runs from the 30 September each year to 12 o’clock midnight on the 30 September of the following year. If you have let a year go by without renewing your licence, it will lapse, the consequences of which are great.

If the reviving or restoring of your licence involves an application to Court, the premises will undergo a full examination, similar to when the licence was first granted.

Can there be objectors to the Revival Application?

Yes – an application to Court gives objectors a chance to object to the revival of the licence.

A notice must be published in a local newspaper and served on An Garda Siochana and the Fire Officer a month before the Court date.

Will I have to prove the planning and fire safety status of my premises?

An Architect will need to be instructed to give evidence as to the planning and fire safety status of your building. The Architect will need to engage with the Fire Officer at a very early stage to ensure that the application is given consent to proceed.

Will the Fire Officer inspect the Premises?

Depending on the Local Authority, the Fire Officer may choose to inspect the premises and for certain documentation to be furnished to him/her in advance of the inspection.

For example, in the Dublin Metropolitan Area, a practice direction was given by the President of the Circuit Court, stating that:

1. It is the policy of the Dublin Fire Authority to inspect all premises that are applying to the Circuit Court for licences.
2. Unless ALL the requisite certifications are lodged with the Fire Authority a minimum of two weeks in advance of the Circuit Court hearing date, an inspection will not be carried out and the matter will not be heard.

The Fire Officer will have to be satisfied that the premises is in compliance with up to date fire safety regulations, which can be a very costly undertaking.

What else must I prove if my planning permission and fire safety is in order?

A house keeping exercise of your business will need to be carried out to ensure the Title to the property is in order and that a sufficient staff training programme is in place.

The original licence which has now expired will also have to produced in Court.

*Note: for the revival of a publican’s licence, a revival application must be made within 5 years of lapsing.

Great care should be taken to ensure that your licence is renewed in a timely manner and is not allowed lapse, as to do so will incur unwanted costs.

What are the consequences of trading without a renewed Licence?

If you do not renew your licence by the 30 September each year, you are at risk of prosecution for trading without a licence after the existing licence expires. Taking out a licence half way through the licensing year does not retrospectively authorise the sale of alcohol from the beginning of the licensing year. Revenue can only renew a licence, if a licence was in force for the previous licensing year and if you/ your company has a valid tax clearance.

Trading without a licence is a particularly serious offence as your entire stock of alcohol could be confiscated. More than one conviction can also lead to a forfeiture of your licence. To ensure no problems arise you should lodge the renewal application with Revenue before 30 September each year.

This document is intended to provide a general overview and guidance on a particular topic. It is provided wholly without any liability or responsibility on the part of Compton Solicitors and does not replace the necessity to obtain specific legal advice.


Please contact Lorraine Compton or Fiona Tonge for more information: –

  • Lorraine Compton on 086 – 253 4651 or lorraine.compton@comptonsolicitors.ie


  • Fiona Tonge on 089 – 471 4128 or             fiona.tonge@comptonsolicitors.ie


We Can Help You To Better Understand What Business You Can Carry Out During The Covid 19 Emergency Period:

Liquor Licensing is a complex and multi faceted process. 

We pride ourselves on providing a simple, non technical road map with a speedy timeline for completion of the project.  Along the way, we will liaise directly with architects and accountants to leave you free to concentrate on your business.


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