THE SALE of takeaway pints is set to end after large numbers of people in Dublin and Cork were pictured drinking in the streets over the weekend, despite the country being in lockdown.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he is "extremely annoyed and concerned" by the scenes, and said the Government will be reviewing the law on takeaway drinks as a matter of urgency.
Martin stressed that gatherings like the ones seen in Dublin and Cork were putting the hard work of the nation battling coronavirus in "jeopardy".
Over the weekend, videos emerged of large groups of people in both cities congregating together with pints in their hands, with no regard for public health guidelines.
Who am I to think we are all doing as we should on a normal Sat night in Dublin.
If this is Level 5, we are never getting out of it🥱
For anyone not sure where this is, its South William Street, Dublin 2 this evening. pic.twitter.com/pFkkl6oSCN
— Tara Fay (@tarafayevents) November 14, 2020
Speaking to Neil Prendeville on Red FM on Monday, the Taoiseach said: "What we have been seeing could put this progress in jeopardy.
"It puts frontline workers in our hospitals under pressure, it puts our ICU beds under pressure.
"Widespread congregation of people on our streets facilitates the spreading of the virus, we are going to have to review, in particular, the whole takeaway pints phenomenon, we are going to review that and see what we can do.
"We are going to look at that very seriously. It will happen over the next two days, I will be seeking reports from the Gardaí and consulting with the Minister for Justice today," he added.
Despite the impending booze ban, Martin insists he doesn't want Ireland to "go into a prohibition situation," insisting that "people can have a drink in their own homes if they wish."
Ireland is set to remain in full lockdown until December 1, at which point the country is expected to move to Level Three, where pubs will be allowed to open their doors albeit with restrictive measures in place.