Alcohol Licencing, Pub Licencing, Restaurant Licencing - Julie Breen Solicitor, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford

All pubs, restaurants and clubs which serve alcohol require a licence. At Julie Breen Solicitor in Ferns and Enniscorthy, we have considerable knowledge of the Liquor Licensing system.

Our client base includes publicans, clubs and hoteliers, and we provide advice in all areas relating to licensing, including all relevant Court applications.

Whether you need advice and representation in relation to an existing licence or obtaining a new licence, we are an experienced firm with an established track record in this area.


Whether you need to obtain a new licence, renew your existing licence, or apply for a bar extension, special exemption or music and singing licence, we can guide you through the process. Our experience in this area also includes the purchase and sale of licenced premises, leases of licenced premises, and revival of lapsed licences.


Technically there is no such thing as a nightclub licence. A nightclub owner must have an intoxicating liquor licence, a public dancing licence and a special exemption order before he/she is in permitted to serve alcohol after the permitted hours.

Application for a special exemption order is made to the District Court and, if granted, alcohol can be served up to 2.30am - assuming of course that there are no objections to the application by the Gardai, Fire Officer, Local Authority or any affected person.

At Julie Breen Solicitors in Ferns and Enniscorthy we can guide you through the process of applying for or renewing each type of licence required.



There are different types of restaurant licences, and choosing the right type for your restaurant begins with deciding which of the following you wish to do:

  1. Provide alcohol to customers with or without the necessity of selling them food. In this example you need a full seven-day licence to sell the full range of alcoholic beverages, or obtain a wine retailer's on-licence if you are happy to sell just wine or champagne.

  2. Provide a full range of all alcoholic beverages to customers accompanied by food before and during the meal. This requires either a full Publican’s Licence or a Special Restaurant Licence.

  3. Provide Wine/ Champagne and Beer to customers accompanied by food before and during the meal. This requires you to obtain Wine Retailers On-Licence, and once it is issued you must apply to the District Court for a restaurant certificate. This type of licence does not allow the sale of alcohol without a meal.

At Julie Breen Solicitors in Ferns and Enniscorthy, we can apply for a special restaurant certificate in the circuit court for Restaurateurs who wish to sell beer, cider, wine and spirits, as well as food, on their premises.


New Bankruptcy Rules

Bankruptcy is a process where the ownership of an insolvent person’s property transfers to the Official Assignee in Bankruptcy to be sold by him for the benefit of those to whom the individual owes debts (creditors). Bankruptcy proceedings are brought in the High Court. The application for a Bankruptcy Order is filed in the Office of the Examiner of the High Court. When the person’s property is sold, the Official Assignee will make sure that the proceeds are shared out fairly among creditors and any outstanding debt will be written off. Bankruptcy normally lasts for 3 years.


  • Your property transfers to the Official Assignee
  • You have a duty to contribute from surplus income (income less reasonable living expenses) towards your debts for up to 5 years.
  • You are discharged from bankruptcy after 3 years
  • All your debts are written off.

What are your duties and obligations in connection with bankruptcy?

You must attend Court :

  • on the day your bankruptcy application is listed and
  • on the day of the Statutory Court Sitting.

You must co-operate fully with the Official Assignee in all matters relating to your bankruptcy. You must attend the Bankruptcy Division of the ISI to be served with a Bankruptcy Order and a Warrant of Seizure, usually on the day you are made bankrupt. Ownership of all your property will automatically transfer to the Official Assignee.> You will be called for interview with the Official Assignee having already completed a Statement of Personal Information and a Statement of Affairs in relation to your estate. You must publish a notice in Iris Oifigiúil and a national daily newspaper[1]confirming the date of the Court Sitting for your case, which you will have to attend. You also have other legal obligations in connection with the administration of your estate and assets. These include:

  • the delivery of your accounts or documents to the Official Assignee when requested,
  • the delivery of your title deeds to property and any other assets to the Official Assignee
  • assisting the Official Assignee in the administration of your estate, and
  • disclosing any property acquired by you since the date of your bankruptcy order to the Official Assignee.

You must also inform the Official Assignee if you change your address. Where you fail to co-operate with the Official Assignee, the High Court may summon you to examine you under oath. Failure to co-operate with the Official Assignee may also result in conviction for offences under the legislation, which may make you liable to a fine and / or imprisonment for a term up to 5 years

Other implications of bankruptcy

Are any assets exempt from your bankruptcy?

The role of the Official Assignee is to investigate the full extent of your property, sell or otherwise dispose of your property and distribute the proceeds to your creditors. The only assets that do not transfer to the Official Assignee are essential assets up to a value of € 6,000 (including vehicles), or more, if the High Court allows. Any property you acquire during the period of your bankruptcy, transfers to the Official Assignee if and when the Official Assignee claims it and you are under a legal duty to declare such acquired property to the Official Assignee.

What happens if you seek to obtain credit from someone while you are bankrupt?

If you obtain credit of € 650 or more without disclosing your bankruptcy, you are guilty of an offence under the Bankruptcy Act, 1988 as amended. You should be aware that being bankrupt may affect your credit rating and may influence any information about you held by rating reference agencies such as the Irish Credit Bureau (or the Central Credit Register). This means you may find it more difficult to get credit in the future.

Can you operate a bank account while you are bankrupt?

Yes, you can operate a bank account. Maintaining a bank account is an essential requirement in the normal course of living and will assist you in vouching your income and expenses. Whilst the Official Assignee notifies financial institutions that bankruptcy legislation does not prevent persons made bankrupt from holding or operating a bank account, it is a matter for the financial institution itself to decide whether it still wishes to keep you as a customer. Generally, financial institutions do continue to keep their customers who are made bankrupt, although they may impose conditions on the nature of accounts they may hold.

Can you travel outside the jurisdiction while you are bankrupt?

There is no outright prohibition on you travelling abroad but you should inform the Official Assignee if you intend to do so. However, if it appears to the High Court that you may be leaving the State in order to avoid the consequences of your bankruptcy, you may be arrested.

What happens if your financial circumstances change during your bankruptcy?

If your financial circumstances change you must notify the Official Assignee and the terms of your Income Payment Agreement/Order may be altered, to take account of this. Your financial circumstances will be reviewed on a 6 monthly basis throughout your bankruptcy and you will be obliged to complete an income and expenses form to assist in the assessment at each review.

How will bankruptcy affect your employment or income

Will bankruptcy affect your employment?

You can continue in current employment or seek new employment while you are bankrupt.Under the Companies Act 1963, as amended, it is an offence for a bankrupt person to act in various capacities in relation to a company without the consent of the Court. These capacities include director, auditor, manager, liquidator or receiver of a company. As a bankrupt person you are not entitled to hold elected representative office, in local authorities, Dáil or Seanad. Certain professions may be governed by bodies where members’ personal finances are subject to regulatory requirements.

Will bankruptcy affect your income?

The Official Assignee will seek a contribution from your income after applying the ISI Guidelines on Reasonable Living Expenses. These guidelines take a person’s family situation into account when calculating how much of his/her surplus income (if any) can be paid to the Official Assignee.The High Court, in determining what, if any, contribution it may direct you as a bankrupt person to pay, may also have regard to the ISI Guidelines. This will typically take the form of an Income Payment Order and last up to 5 years and ideally should be agreed to at the earliest stage of bankruptcy. This is to ensure that you as a bankrupt person are subject to it for the shortest period possible after your bankruptcy has been discharged. Social Welfare payments are not liable to be taken by the Official Assignee or the Court.

Can you still trade while you are bankrupt?

Yes, as long as you trade in the same name in which you were made bankrupt. If you trade in a name other than that in which you were made bankrupt without disclosing this name, you are guilty of an offence. You must notify the Official Assignee of any business or trade in which you engage.

How will bankruptcy affect business partnerships?

When a partner is adjudicated bankrupt, the partnership is automatically dissolved unless the partnership agreement provides otherwise. Partnership assets are first used to pay partnership debts and if there is any surplus remaining, they can be used to pay an individuals’ debts.

What happens to your pension?

Generally, your pension assets are not transferred to the Official Assignee. However, pension income receivable by you will be treated as income for the purposes of your bankruptcy. Approved Retirement Fund (ARF) and Vested Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (Vested PRSAs) may be included in your bankruptcy estate for realisation and payment to your creditors. Where a bankrupt person has made excessive contributions to a pension scheme in the three years before being adjudicated bankrupt, the Official Assignee may apply to Court for an order to make the excessive amount available for distribution to the creditors. If you have a pension entitlement that matures within 5 years of your bankruptcy order, the Official Assignee will have the right to claim it for the benefit of the bankruptcy estate.

How will bankruptcy affect your family home

A family home is the property in which a married couple or civil partners ordinarily reside. The bankrupt person's interest or share in the family home transfers to the Official Assignee as with all other property. You may not necessarily lose your family home in bankruptcy. You may be able to agree a schedule of mortgage payments with your bank and the Official Assignee, where such payments are within the Reasonable Living Expenses approved by him. The Official Assignee may not sell the family home without firstly obtaining permission from the High Court. Where the Official Assignee seeks this permission, the High Court will consider the matter having regard to the interests of the creditors and of any spouse or civil partner and dependants of the bankrupt person. If there is equity (i.e. surplus in value of property above amount of mortgage) in the family home the Official Assignee will firstly seek to sell his half share to the spouse or civil partner. If there is no equity in the family home there is no immediate interest for the Official Assignee to sell. However,if the spouse or civil partner wishes to purchase the interest of the Official Assignee, the Official Assignee in determining the purchase price will have regard to the value of the property, the amount of negative equity, how long the property may remain in negative equity and any other relevant matter.

Publication of your bankruptcy

Will details of your bankruptcy be published anywhere?

Yes – notification of your bankruptcy will appear in Iris Oifigiúil, a national daily newspaper* and the Register of Bankruptcies maintained by the Office of the Examiner of the High Court.

Will your name be removed from the Bankruptcy Register at any time?

No - the Register is a record of all bankruptcies, including those that have been discharged. A person searching the Register is told the status of the bankruptcy and the date it was discharged, as appropriate. No information is given about the address of a former bankrupt person.

Discharge from bankruptcy

How long does bankruptcy last?

You will normally be automatically discharged from bankruptcy after 3 years. This period could be shorter if you can come to a settlement with your creditors. More information about early discharge options is available on the ISI website.This period could be longer if you do not fully co-operate or if you fail to disclose all of your property. While bankruptcy normally ends after 3 years, ownership of your unsold property will remain with the Official Assignee, until sold.